Saturday, April 4, 2009

A call to war

The U.S. Constitution called for an all voluntary military.

At the time, that probably made practical and political sense. We were new Americans then. Had the new nation been threatened, there was no concern that men in droves would not show up to fight whoever might threaten the nation.

So, many people view consciption, or draft, or mandatory military service, to be unconstitutional.

The first U.S. draft occurred during the Civil War; thereafter, the only major conflict Washington fought without compulsory military service was the Spanish American War. In 1940 Congress approved the first peacetime draft, and conscription continued, with one brief break, until 1973. At that time President Richard Nixon inaugurated the All-Volunteer Force (AVF), in part to help dissipate social conflict over the Vietnam War.

Which means, for years America had mandatory military service. Nixon started the all voluntary force because the Vietnam War was so controversial at home.

When the all voluntary military idea was written into the Constitution it was assumed that those folks would fight a war that everyone would sign up for.

We have had two wars where there was not a clear mission that involved the citizens of America.

Vietnam. And, the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sadly, the American military has had a saying and a feeling in these wars that, "The military is at war. America is at the mall."

We cannot allow the Commander at Chief to put the military at war at his/her own will.

Our military is our sons and daughters.

They deserve to know if the country is behind them.

Today, they don't.

We have never had a clear mission in Iraq.

We don't have a clear mission in Afghanistan.

Our President, who is the Commander in Chief, needs to come to the American public and make the case.

Presidents Bush and Obama have not done that.

President Obama, our military needs the country to be totally supportive.

Either call us to war, or bring them home.

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