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  • Backdoor draft

    John Kerry made some interesting statements this week. One of them was in reference to the Army's "Stop Loss" policy. The Army announced a new Stop Loss ealier this week. For those that are unaware of what Stop Loss is, it is a policy that restricts soldiers from leaving the Army once their service obligation is complete. It also prevents soldiers from retiring or even requesting retirement.


    Originally posted by Associated Press
    INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Democratic presidential challenger John Kerry said Thursday that the Bush administration has instituted a "backdoor draft" by requiring thousands of soldiers to stay in the military if their units are ordered to Iraq (news - web sites) or Afghanistan (news - web sites).
    Kerry said the Pentagon's announcement of the "stop-loss" program Wednesday may have increased the forces by 30,000 troops. "But this has happened on the backs of the men and women who've already fulfilled their obligation to the armed forces and to our country — and it runs counter to the traditions of an all-volunteer Army," he said during a speech on modernizing the military at the Truman Presidential Library.

    "They have effectively used a stop-loss policy as a backdoor draft," he said.

    Kerry says the Bush administration is relying on outdated techniques to fight a new kind of war and has stretched the U.S. military too thin, complicating the mission to create a stable Iraq. He warned that the country is in danger of returning to the low point of the late 1970s after the Vietnam War and "another hollow Army," with too few ready to fight.

    "From day one, this administration has been obsessed with threats from other states instead of opening their eyes to the perils of the new century — terrorist organizations with or without ties to rogue nations and failed states," he said.

    Bush campaign spokesman Steve Schmidt said Kerry has failed to support the troops financially in the Senate, voting against weapons systems and military benefits. He cited the Massachusetts senator's vote last year against the $87 billion to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and his failure to appear in the Senate Wednesday to vote for Bush's request for $25 billion for this fall's military operations in the two countries.

    The Senate voted 95-0 to provide the money. Kerry was campaigning in Florida.

    "His speech is filled with empty promises and campaign rhetoric that is completely disconnected with his 20-year record in the United States Senate," Schmidt said.

    Kerry said his first priority as commander in chief would be to increase the active duty force by 40,000 new soldiers who would be ready for possible conflicts outside of Iraq. Half of the new force would be combat troops, the other half civil affairs personnel trained for reconstruction.

    The campaign said adding the troops would cost $5 billion to $7 billion a year once all 40,000 are added to the force.

    Kerry said he would also:
    • double the number of Special Forces.
    • provide troops with the best training and most modern equipment and technology.
    • modernize the National Guard for a primary responsibility of security in the United States.
    • accelerate development of non-lethal weapons that can stop an enemy without killing innocent bystanders.
    "We cannot afford to spend billions to deploy rapidly an unproven missile defense system," Kerry said. "Not only is it not ready, but it's the wrong priority for a war on terror where the enemy strikes with a bomb in the back of a truck, or a vial of anthrax in a suitcase."
    Various news agencies have reported that the Stop Loss policy is new and has never been widely used before. That is an absolute falsehood. The Army has used the Stop Loss multiple times since 9/11. The most widespread use came during Operation Iraqi Freedom. That particular Stop Loss prevented almost anyone from leaving or retiring from the Army. In actuality, it simply barred service members assigned to units that were deployed or that might deploy from leaving. In effect, this policy affected the majority of the active duty force.

    Does this constitute a draft? Is it ethical? is it the right thing to do?
    Editor-in-Chief
    GameSquad.com

  • #2
    I would have to say that I disagree with it, the soliders have executed their service with full faith, if they want to retire or leave they should be allowed to. And although it may consitute a 'draft' per say, I think it is being done to not have to insitute a draft. I think the administration is pulling out all the stops to not have to propose the draft.
    "Have you forgotten the face of your father?"

    Comment


    • #3
      It's like taxes, once they're raised, they stay that way. Seems to me like some sort of directed "inequal" draft. I am surprised this is principally legal (retroactively changing a contract?). It may in the longer run affect recruitment or morale negatively, or both.
      "You can't change the rules in the middle of the game."
      "Hey, you just made that rule up."


      Heil Dicke Bertha!

      Comment


      • #4
        I know that I'm an bloody pacifist european and this affair is not my business, but when you are under a war, it seems normal that retirement conditions must be on hold until return on peace condition.

        Add that until the number of volunteer is enough to maintain a good working condition and you are not under a major threat as WWIII, there is no need of Draft

        My 2 eurocents

        Der WanderLoveAndPeace
        The Best weapon ever:a good Joke. The Best shield ever: Humour
        JLBETIN© Aka Der Wanderer TOAW Section Leader is a █ WHQ/SZO/XG/Gamesquad® product since 01/2003
        The Birth of European Army Tournament round Three is opened

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        • #5
          It's like Col. Chamberlain (?) with the 20th Maine at Gettysburg. Some of the men were 2 year Volunteers and they would not fight because their time was up. I think most of them were talked round into making a stand though.

          At least that's the way I saw it in the film ''Gettysburg''.
          http://www.irelandinhistory.blogspot.ie/

          Comment


          • #6
            I am about as disgusted with Kerry as a candidate as I am with Bush as a president. I believe his national security strategy will be similar to the Clinton Administration, where commitments are pursued only with strong support from the international community. While this might appear to be an appropriate strategy, the motivation is not international cooperation. Instead, Kerry will want allies to shoulder a heavier burden to minimize his own political risks, with little or no real concern for the wider implications of such policies. International cooperation should be mutual, with each side accepting equal percentages of risk.

            If the US is going to force people to stay in the military, it should broaden benefits, and increase the pay of those required to remain. I believe people are leaving the military not out of fear for being sent to the combat zone, but because of the strain deployments place on families, as well as the pay. Furthermore, the economy seems to be improving, which is another incentive for leaving. If the military really wants to keep people, and attract additional volunteers, it must accept the reality that it is a competition.

            While I don't support the ideal of the draft, I do see this "backdoor draft" as an favorable alternative to dragging people off the street. Soldiers already serving are trained and many have experience. These traits are impossible to replace immediately any other way (that I can think of). However, if we are going this route, the least we can do is increase these soldiers' benefits to provide somekind of additional compensation.
            "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

            Comment


            • #7
              Aren't service obligations of fixed terms signed as a contract? The government expanding the terms after the contract was signed, would be a breach of contract.

              I personally am a firm opponent of compulsory military service for foreign operations. If the government wishes to expand the service contracts, then the contracts can be re-negotiated, or they could even make requests for voluntary extensions. But to simply shut the door and force members to continue their service beyond the obligations, is IMHO somewhat draconian.

              Comment


              • #8
                Sorry, but the Army has you at their beck-and-call for a minimum of 8 years, and can even recall retirees up to a certain point! It's in the contracts every soldier signs.

                I am of the mind that, Jimmy wanted 25K for college, Jimmy thought he was going to skate through 3 years AND get paid a nice chunk of change at the same time?!

                A Private E-1 makes TWICE what I did 20 years ago. Bullsh*t these soldiers aren't paid enough! Add-in combat pay and tax advantages, and after 3 years a MINIMUM of E-4 pay due to regular promotions, and these kids are making beaucoups bucks! They are making more out of high school than many with 4-year degrees! Let's not even start in on the tax advantages servicemembers make!

                No, I don't sympathize. Military service, if it is going to be an all volunteer force, they need to take the bad with the good.

                No one will get rich serving as an enlisted soldier, but they ARE making a living wage, and most get free schooling while they serve AND get money for college when they get out?! Please,...time to earn those bennies. Don't be fooled,...many soldiers are doing college as we speak from their tents in Iraq with feree laptops given to them by the Army.

                How many of you, right out of high school, had a job that provided you free room and board, PLUS a regular paycheck AND free schooling, AND a friggin' laptop?!

                Nope, no sympathies from this vet.
                Last edited by CPangracs; 03 Jun 04, 19:50.

                Comment


                • #9
                  A little on both sides with a lot to CPs.


                  Stop loss was activated during Desert STORM.


                  That year the Army was whittling down like 50,K. So lots of admin disciplinary discharges. My unit the 197th Inf Bgd was one of the 3rd ground units on the ground. Well we got probably atleast 10 tp 20% chapter no big whup and our Army within. Alot messed up to permanantly place them-selvges on non-deploy.

                  I processed many reserves befor I got out (medical).

                  Look your ass sighned the contract. So the contract didn't look like it would, it is for 8 years irregardless of active or reserve. Do the math active vs reserve time. Tough **** and so it reads. On the flip I think we are asking our reserves to deploy to much back to back and as much as I hate it the active needs to be expanded.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CPangracs
                    Sorry, but the Army has you at their beck-and-call for a minimum of 8 years, and can even recall retirees up to a certain point! It's in the contracts every soldier signs.
                    And when the contract expires? Of course if you've signed on for 8 years you have to serve those 8 years, but the day those 8 years are up, can't you legaly leave?

                    Are these reservists having their deployments extended, or are they personnel who's contract time is up and are being forced to serve longer?
                    Last edited by Martin Schenkel; 03 Jun 04, 21:44.

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                    • #11
                      You are 4 years active.


                      Active Regular Army and 4 years Active Reserve or Gaurd.

                      You sign up 4 or 8.with the last 4 ijnactive Resereve and subject to call back.

                      Sorry but that is how it is.

                      We have many vets here from many countries you have t underestand the contrqact

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BigDog
                        You are 4 years active.

                        Active Regular Army and 4 years Active Reserve or Gaurd.

                        You sign up 4 or 8.with the last 4 ijnactive Resereve and subject to call back.

                        Sorry but that is how it is.
                        So the Stop Loss system is only for personnel that are still within their 4 or 8 year service? Anyone that has completed their 4 or 8 years is exempt?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by CPangracs
                          I am of the mind that, Jimmy wanted 25K for college, Jimmy thought he was going to skate through 3 years AND get paid a nice chunk of change at the same time?!

                          A Private E-1 makes TWICE what I did 20 years ago. Bullsh*t these soldiers aren't paid enough! Add-in combat pay and tax advantages, and after 3 years a MINIMUM of E-4 pay due to regular promotions, and these kids are making beaucoups bucks! They are making more out of high school than many with 4-year degrees! Let's not even start in on the tax advantages servicemembers make!

                          No, I don't sympathize. Military service, if it is going to be an all volunteer force, they need to take the bad with the good.

                          No one will get rich serving as an enlisted soldier, but they ARE making a living wage, and most get free schooling while they serve AND get money for college when they get out?! Please,...time to earn those bennies. Don't be fooled,...many soldiers are doing college as we speak from their tents in Iraq with feree laptops given to them by the Army.

                          How many of you, right out of high school, had a job that provided you free room and board, PLUS a regular paycheck AND free schooling, AND a friggin' laptop?!

                          Nope, no sympathies from this vet.
                          While all these benefits are nice, they don't necessarily compensate for expended periods away from families, and the stresses deployment places on personnel. The problem is not convincing people to sign up. If I'm not mistaken, the Army met it's yearly new-recruit requirements in some like 9 months both in 2001 and 2002.

                          Resolving the manpower-shortage depends on the military's ability to convince those kids fresh out of high school to join, and those men and women returning from Iraq to willingly sign on the "dotted line" again and again. This is why we must look at additional incentives.
                          "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by jlbetin
                            I know that I'm an bloody pacifist european and this affair is not my business, but when you are under a war, it seems normal that retirement conditions must be on hold until return on peace condition.

                            Add that until the number of volunteer is enough to maintain a good working condition and you are not under a major threat as WWIII, there is no need of Draft

                            My 2 eurocents

                            Der WanderLoveAndPeace
                            Remember that they claim that they're not at war, Jean-Luc!
                            "A platoon of Chinese tanks viciously attacked a Soviet harvester,
                            which was peacefully working a field near the Soviet-Chinese border.
                            The harvester returned fire and upon destroying the enemy
                            returned to its home base."

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                            • #15
                              We have a similar situation. Soldiers who have been discharged can be transfered back to the active forces under certain conditions. What you are seeing is just the logical removal of the step where the new retiree has a reactivation letter waiting for him when he gets home.

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