War On Terrorism Calls for
Draft, Former Senator Says
By Lawrence Morahan
Senior Staff Writer
January 23, 2003
(CNSNews.com) - In order for all segments of American society to
participate equally in fighting the war on terrorism, the United
States should reinstate the military draft and some other types of
national service, such as the Peace Corps, a former senator said
"I think all strata of our society should share in
this next 20 years we have ahead, which is undoubtedly going to have
a lot of combat situations come up," former Ohio Democratic Sen.
John Glenn told CNSNews.com .
"We're not looking
forward to just a little bit of combat once in a while; this is
liable to be a much greater combat role than anybody ever thought we
were getting into," Glenn said.
The war on terrorism, threats
by North Korea against U.S. troops in South Korea and a buildup of
U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf in preparation for a possible war
against Iraq have strained military personnel reserves and ignited a
debate on the draft, which was abolished in 1973 in the closing days
of the Vietnam War.
Earlier this month, Democratic Reps.
Charles Rangel (N.Y.) and John Conyers (Mich.) introduced a bill
that would reinstate a draft for military or alternative national
service for men and women 18 to 26 years of age.
the draft said, however, that bringing more people into the armed
services will not solve the security problems America faces today.
Studies by the Pentagon and the General Accounting Office said the
all-volunteer force was more effective than the draft.
Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North said he favored maintaining
registration of draft-age individuals but didn't yet see the need
for military service for eligible candidates.
"Even if you
recruited all these guys, it could be very difficult to get them
anywhere," North told CNSNews.com .
Glenn and North
were guest speakers at a Press Club luncheon Wednesday hosted by the
Foss Institute, an organization that is encouraging veterans to
share their military experiences with students around the country in
order to promote patriotism.
The non-profit Foss Institute
was founded in honor of General Joe Foss, a World War II Marine ace
and Medal of Honor recipient who died Jan. 1. Foss received the
country's highest award for bravery for his critical role in holding
Guadalcanal, later recognized as the turning point of World War II
in the Pacific.
The Foss Institute plans to send volunteer
veterans to one million school-aged children across America every
year with the aim of restoring patriotism, integrity and an
appreciation for America's freedoms, members said. Veterans also
will talk about their combat experiences, not to glorify war, but to
make young people more aware of the price of freedom, they
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz praised the
Institute's mission as a "great project.
"I can't think of
anything more worthy than this project of inspiring America's youth
to dedication and to patriotism and to national service at a time
when our country needs it, and we will need it unfortunately, I
think, for a good long time," he said.
Wolfowitz noted "some
spectacular successes" early in the war on terrorism.
the president and the secretary of defense and everyone tries to
remind us constantly, [terrorists are] still out there, they're
still plotting actively, they are still working against us, and it's
not going to be over anytime soon, so the spirit of national service
and national dedication is something that we enormously benefit from
as a country," he said.
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