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Thursday, January 16, 2003

More on the Bushies' reaction to Rangel's call for reinstating the draft. On December 31 I suggested that the administration would likely reply by saying "our all-volunteer military does a wonderful job and is quite capable of dealing with all of the challenges facing it."

And that is pretty much what they said:
The country doesn't need a draft because the all-volunteer force works -- in fact, the United States has the most effective military in the world precisely because it is all-volunteer, Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers said.
"(The all-volunteer force is) efficient; it's effective; it's given the United States of America, the citizens of this great country, a military that is second to none," Myers said.
"The people who are in the armed services today are there because they want to be there and are ready and willing and, without any question, capable of doing whatever the president may ask," Rumsfeld added.

But then they got carried away, as frequently happens, by augmenting a compliment for one group with an insult to another. Here's a more full version of the Rumsfeld quote referred to by Russell Mokhiber below, with (added bonus) another dig at Vietnam vets by Myers:
Rumsfeld said that under the draft people were "sucked into the intake, trained for a period of months, and then went out, adding no value, no advantage, really, to the United States armed services over any sustained period of time."

Myers called the volunteer force "extremely well-trained and well-led troops. Any comparisons between today's force and the Vietnam force would be dramatic. There is no comparison."