It’s time to toss the all-volunteer military – The Washington Post

Since the end of the military draft in 1973, every person joining the U.S. armed forces has done so because he or she asked to be there. Over the past decade, this all-volunteer force has been put to the test and has succeeded, fighting two sustained foreign wars with troops standing up to multiple combat deployments and extreme stress.

This is precisely the reason it is time to get rid of the all-volunteer force. It has been too successful. Our relatively small and highly adept military has made it all too easy for our nation to go to war — and to ignore the consequences.

via It’s time to toss the all-volunteer military – The Washington Post.

Let’s take the best trained, most educated force we’ve ever fielded and ruin it!

Geebus, how is it people this stupid get PAID to write?

10 thoughts on “It’s time to toss the all-volunteer military – The Washington Post”

  1. Progressives cannot reason. What they call reason is nothing more than logical fallacies, unquestioned assumptions, and inchoate emoting.

    Seriously, the oxygen used by Ricks’ brain used to come up with this bilge could have been put to a much more productive purpose. Say, rusting a bridge somewhere.

  2. I do not think the “all–volunteer military” is a bad thing. I think the real problem is in our expectations of them. A President of the United States should not be trying to prove that he is a man by using the military. Both Republicans, Democrats, Liberals and Conservatives have all done it and they can’t see beyond the end of their nose.

  3. Tom Ricks is the same guy who thinks we should do away with the service academies and the command and staff colleges and war colleges, etc. Because that’s the big problem with the military: TOO MUCH training, continuing education, and professional development.

    Seriously, Ricks is one of the biggest dumbasses currently working as a “foreign policy intellectual.” I put him right up there with Fareed Zakaria and Thomas Friedman. All of these guys think that saying controversial, counterintuitive, unconventional things, it proves that you are “edgy”, and forward-thinking and original. Sometimes, however, there’s a very good reason why an idea is controversial, counterintuitive, and unconventional: because it’s stupid.

    These guys are stupid, and the most dangerous type of stupid: the stupid man who actually thinks he’s really smart.

    I’ll tell you one thing, though: if I was the President or the SecDef or SecState, I would hire Ricks as an advisor/consultant. Then, whatever he recommended, I would do the exact opposite, and feel confident that I was taking the correct course of action.

  4. I think a good case can be made for eliminating the service academies. Cost effectiveness is just one. The war colleges are a much different thing, and eliminating them would not be a good move.

    Given what is about to happen to the military, a draft doesn’t make much sense. If we were trying to maintain a cold war size establishment as in the 60s, I think a draft would be needed.

  5. I lost all respect for Ricks within 30 seconds of him opening his pie-hole during a media panel at Fort Leavenworth, in which he immediately asserted that we’d better not lie to him (i.e. the media) because he would find out and punish us. I’ve only seen one other speaker lose a crowd of 1000 that quickly, and it is a whole different story. Then he proceeded to wave Galula’s COIN book at us and tell us we were going to lose Iraq because none of us, but only he, had been reading it. The definition of pomposity.

  6. I get the larger point that he’s trying to make – that bringing back conscription would engage a heretofore largely ignorant American public who would suddenly find themselves with some skin in the game when it came to going to war themselves or sending their sons & daughters off. It would also allow greater numbers of the public to experience the conditions and deprivations of military service, which would probably be good.

    However nice such thoughts may be, it wouldn’t work. For one, we have congressional limits on the size of each branch of the armed forces. You can’t just let in a couple of million new recruits – where would we put them all? What would they be doing? Bases would have to expand in order to accommodate the influx of such a crowd – difficult to sell in an era where a drawdown is in effect.

    Second, due to the number of overweight youngsters running around, it is doubtful if very many of them would even be fit to serve. So now, instead of an educational waiver that you had during the Vietnam era, we’d be grading a lot of folks “4-F” because they’re too out of shape to serve. Don’t want to be drafted? Forget Canada, just hole up with enough pizza and beer and you’re good to go (or not go).

    Lastly, how motivated are a bunch of don’t-wanna-be-here draftees going to be to serve? Even if we limit them to a 2-yr contract, what do you think it will look like in terms of increased disciplinary actions and the like? We’ve got enough problems with our all-volunteer force without throwing in a heaping helping of folks who would be looking for the quickest exit out of their erstwhile “commitment.”

    Historically, our nation has only instituted the draft when the situation required it – during WWII and Vietnam. No doubt it was needed during WWII to accomplish our objectives, but I think the jury’s still out on whether or not it was necessary for Vietnam. As I recall, the Reserves weren’t even mobilized – lots of Reserve Marines sat around stateside while draftees were going downrange.

    So yeah – as my DI used to say, “Good initiative, poor judgment.”

  7. If you ever need to get your blood pressure up go on over to Mr. Ricks site called The Best Defense. ( ) For every single good point brought up there are about 10 that will make you want to pull your hair out by the roots…the comments are to die for as well.

  8. If you ever want to raise your blood pressure go over to Mr. Ricks website called The Best Defense (I previously attempted to add a link, I’m assuming that post went right to the spam filter). For every one good idea you get ten things that, at best are kind of goofy, worst case they make you want to pull your hair out by the roots. The comments are to die for as well. Joe Bob says check it out!

    As long as the military remains a finite number the draft would do little to expose the nation as a whole to what federal service is all about, and would only serve to degarde or overall capibility due to greater personnel turn over. I just don’t think it would achieve what he thinks it would.

    1. I check out Best Defense pretty regularly. And I’ve actually linked him a time or two. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then!

      But to admit the AVF works, and still argue to kill it for social engineering purposes…. well, that’s putting the cart before the horse.

      Obviously, I think there IS a level of disconnect between the services and the population. OTOH, the fact the military is still one of our most trusted institutions tells me the disconnect isn’t a huge problem yet. I think it is best addressed by information and education, rather than transformation.

  9. “A draft would be good for our nation and ultimately for our military.”
    I was in the military in the sixties and thanks to the college deferments the unlucky souls drafted were the dregs of society barely educated drug addicts. Fast forward to today, everything is so hi-tech that there is no way that a draft could work.

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