Special Military Draft Alert

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Special Military Draft Alert

by Dems Will Win, September 14, 2004

Please distribute this content and the official SSS draft document, the Feb. 11, 2003 “Issue Paper,” to all college newspaper editors, in LTTEs [ letters to the editor] and mass e- mails.

Not to be confused with draft legislation introduced by Congressman Charles Rangel in 2003 and it is not associated with any Democrat. This PLAN is the work entirely of George W. Bush and his Republican comrades.

This is a SPECIAL MILITARY DRAFT ALERT. In May, the Seattle Post Intelligencer published an article about a document they received through the Freedom of Information Act. It was revealed that the SSS is currently “designing procedures” for the implementation of a “Skills Draft” and had held a top-level meeting on it with Deputy Undersecretaries at the Defense Department. This draft would change the essential mission of the Selective Service and require “virtually every young American,” male and female ages 18-34, to register for the Skills Draft and list all the occupations they are proficient in to fill labor shortages throughout nearly the entire government. If enacted, the Skills Draft proposed in this FOI- recovered document would change America as we know it.

The Pentagon is suffering from immediate labor shortages. Recently, the inactive Ready Reserve had to be called up for the first time since the Gulf War to fill 5,600 job shortages in the Armed Forces. DoD said in the recent IRR callup “20% of the call-ups are truck drivers, 12% are supply specialists who can use a computer to track supplies, 10% are Humvee mechanics, 7% are administrative specialists and 6% are combat engineers” (USA Today, August 8, 2004).

Although Congress would have to approve new legislation to create a Skills Draft or reinstate the combat draft, Family Circle reported in its July 13 issue that Karl Rove had polled GOP members of Congress in September 2002 to see if they would support the President if he requests reinstatement. The Republicans said they would vote for the draft. They would likely support the new legislation needed to create the Skills Draft. While Bush and the Republicans are of course keeping the return of the draft and the new skills draft as quiet as possible, many anti-draft organizations have recently begun warning of a “Coming New Draft. ”

The Issue Paper document was revealed through the Freedom of Information Act by Seattle Post Intelligencer reporter Eric Rosenberg, who wrote a partial explanation of it that was printed May 1, 2004.

Rosenberg’s article was edited, however, and some key points about this document were omitted in the published article. What follows is a full explanation of the document.

This document is real, having been acknowledged by the DoD and the SSS when they said no action is being taken on it at the present time. However, given the current manpower shortages for certain skills and nurses, if Bush gets back in, expect all the options outlined in the Issue Paper to be implemented by the end of December of this year, and at the least a non-combat skills and medical draft to start next year, if not the male combat draft, ages 18 -25.

Despite Rumsfeld saying the draft is not needed, this is the same neo-con administration that has repeatedly lied to and misled the American people. Draft-age youth and their families are left looking at a “long, hard slog” in Iraq (Rumsfeld secret memo), the neo-con plans to invade still more nations, and then having to take Rumsfeld and Cheney’s word not to worry about the draft, that they “are not considering it at this time.”

Although official word is that this secret list of options is not being implemented-the Issue Paper options have NOT been rejected and the 6-page proposal is rather sitting in the Pentagon, waiting. In addition, the SSS itself has said that it is “designing procedures” (Seattle PI, May 1, 2004) to implement the skills draft, meaning designing the compliance cards and the data fields needed to keep track of “virtually every young American” and their skills. Acting Director of the SSS Brodsky has also said the Skills Draft is the “top priority” of the Selective Service for 2004.

From the FOI document, we now know that on February 11, 2003, Charles Abell, the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, and William Carr, Deputy Undersecretary for Military Personnel Policy, met with Lewis Brodsky, the Acting Director of the Selective Service and some other officials. This is the highest-level meeting you could have about the Selective Service, outside of Rumsfeld and his inner circle. They were there to discuss the urgent “issue paper” now revealed, which starts: “With known shortages of military personnel with certain critical skills, and with the need for the nation to be capable of responding to domestic emergencies as a part of Homeland Security Planning, changes should be made in the Selective Service System’s registration program and primary mission.”

Although it would require changes in current draft law, the far-reaching proposal shows how far the Republicans are going to plan and prepare for a huge expansion of the draft. The Issue Paper options include:

* Change the very mission of the SSS to become a massive conscription service in the War on Terror for the entire government. * Conscript men and women in a critical skills non-combat draft up to age 34 with no deferments of any kind, except “essential community service” (like the Medical Draft). * Allow a non-combat draft for shortages in critical skills, without calling a combat draft. * Fill labor shortages of all kinds throughout not only DoD but the whole government, especially high-paying professionals like computer networking specialist or linguist. * Create a massive database of “virtually every young American” ages 18 to 34. This database would be used to draft in war and to recruit in peacetime. State and even local governments would be given access to the names for recruitment and help in emergencies. * Create a single-point, all-inclusive database, in which every young person would be forced to send in a “self-declaration” of all of their critical skills, chosen from a long list of occupations like the Armed Forces Specialty Code. The self-declaration is similar to IRS compliance and the filling out and signing of your tax forms. All young people would be required to keep the government updated if they acquired a new skill. SSS Compliance forms will be available at every Post Office. The usual penalties of imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine would apply to all non-registrants. * A draft or recruitment could be for any one of the skills you self- declare on the compliance form, not your current or primary skill. This greatly increases your chance of being drafted if you are 18-34. * Bring the Medical Draft (HCPDS) up to speed and fully test it through readiness exercises. * Reduce induction time from being able to deliver all inductees in 193 days down to just 90 days for skills inductees.

This secret paper urges the mission be changed “promptly,” meaning they really need it, it would draft for the Pentagon as well as the enormous Homeland Security branches as well as other government agencies, even state and local!

For obvious political reasons, the decision was made by Bush, Cheney and Rove to sit on this 6-page proposal until after the election in November. Yet the SSS was told to go ahead and begin “designing procedures” for the Skills Draft in 2004 and make it their “top priority.” It can be expected that if Bush gets back in, and the DoD and SSS are still asking for the Skills Draft, the “Next Steps” part of the document will be put into action and the most expansive option to change the SSS mission will be rapidly legislated.

In the secret planning meeting document, the next steps strongly recommended by SSS Acting Director Brodsky were:

1. “Promptly” redefine the SSS Mission to draft men and women up to age 34 for skills, and deliver them within 90 days or sooner to the Department of Defense. Program a massive database to be ready to enter millions of names of those registering their critical skills.

2. Expand mission to deliver personnel in skills draft to the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies, including FEMA, NSC, Border Patrol, INS, Customs, Corporation for National Service, Public Health Service and other federal, state and local government agencies.

3. Form interagency task force to provide Administration with recommendation on this skills draft for the entire DHS and the rest of the government.

4. Obtain White House Statement of Administration Policy on the future of the SSS.

5. Be prepared to market the skills draft, raising the non-combat age to 34 and the drafting of women to the Armed Services and Appropriations Committee.

This proposed expansion of the draft, forcing all people under 35 to register with the SSS, man or woman, is primarily proposed, according to the document, because the cost of providing contract professionals, like computer network specialists, would be “prohibitive.” In this way, the proposed Skills Draft would help preserve Bush’s massive tax cuts for the wealthy by lowering the massive budget deficits.

That’s the new Skills Draft and the secret document behind it. But what about the Combat Draft?

Selective Service has been registering young men for over twenty years and at any moment the President can go to Congress and ask them to reauthorize conscription for the male combat draft for ages 18-25. It doesn’t take much to imagine a re-elected Bush going to Congress and saying “We cannot cut and run from Iraq or the War on Terror. I need you to reauthorize conscription.”

And they would not have to pass a whole new draft law to do it. All that is needed is a “trigger resolution,” which could be passed in the dead of night-and bingo! No debate, no regular bill, just a short resolution passed quickly and the draft for men 18 to 25 is back.

That is why the Democratic draft resolution being offered by Rangel and Hollings is totally irrelevant. These are known protest bills and actually propose drafting women for the combat draft, just to make sure they will never see the light of day. Rangel and Hollings offered them to raise the issue and confront Bush. Hollings even said he wouldn’t vote for his own bill!

They are not needed-and the press and the Republicans will bring them up as red herrings to distract everyone from what is really going on: the Republicans, and the SSS are quietly, behind the scenes, oiling up the draft machinery-getting ready to reinstate for the Spring of 2005. Taken singly, each of the clues indicating the return and expansion of the draft might seem insignificant but when you add them all up with what the Selective Service is doing to gear up the combat draft, a clear pattern emerges, leading to the inescapable conclusion that a Bush re-election will see not only a Skills Draft, but a return of the Combat Draft as well.

What is the proof? The government’s own document, the SSS Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 2004.

The Selective Service System, or the SSS, has for decades operated at a low level of readiness. Readiness Exercises are conducted on a multi-year cycle but historically these have been little more than getting draft board volunteers together and going over the procedures of what would happen under reinstatement and training new members every summer. And the draft boards themselves have become 80% vacant over the decades.

In the current 5-year cycle of exercises, however, the SSS is clearly ramping up the draft machinery to an unprecedented level.

“Strategic Objective 1.2: Ensure a mobilization infrastructure of 56 State Headquarters, 442 Area Offices and 1,980 Local Boards are operational within 75 days of an authorized return to conscription.”

Tie that to this objective:

An annual report providing the results of the implementation of these performance measures will be submitted by March 31, 2005.

75 days from March 31, 2005 is about June 15, 2005. According to the 2004 plan, the draft boards will be “operational” then, meaning that they will be set up in 1,980 local offices around the country. If Bush asks for reinstatement on April 1, Congress could pass it that night and the first batch of more than one million 20 year-olds would face the national lottery as soon as that date, June 15, 2005.

Here is how the $28 million is being spent according to the official document. Although the Senate rejected the funding request to bump up the SSS budget to $28 million, the SSS says in one paragraph of the Performance Plan that budgets will be “adjusted” to cover the additional cost for 2004:

Strategic Goal 1: Increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the Manpower Delivery Systems (Projected allocation for FY 2004: $7,942,000)

Strategic Goal 2: Improve overall Registration Compliance and Service to the Public (Projected allocation FY 2004: $8,769,000)

Strategic Goal 3: Enhance external and internal customer service (Projected allocation for FY 2004: $10 ,624,000)

Strategic Goal 4: Enhance the system which guarantees that each conscientious objector is properly classified, placed, and monitored. (Projected allocation for FY 2004: $955,000)

In analyzing each of the 2004 goals in detail it is obvious that there are hidden “activation bombshells” in this so-called Performance Plan. Goal number 1 in particular brings the combat induction process up to 95% operational readiness, going so far as to actually hold a mock lottery drawing this year and to issue sample orders to report for the famous medical exam. The document does not reveal the day in 2004 the mock lottery is to be held.

In addition, the Medical Draft, or Health Care Personnel Delivery System (HCPDS in the document), is for the first time brought up to full readiness by next year. This draft would take men and women up to age 44 if they are doctors, nurses or one of 60-some medical specialties. No medical deferments allowed. Previous readiness exercises merely went over what would happen with HCPDS and updated the guide. The 2004 plan actually develops a readiness exercise for the Medical Draft that would be conducted next year. Plus HCPDS must be ready to conscript by June, being part of the system.

Goal number four is particularly ominous:

Strategic Objective 4.1: Ensure a mobilization infrastructure of 48 Alternative Service Offices and 48 Civilian Review Boards are operational within 96 days after notification of a return to induction.

Strategic Objective 4.2: Develop a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the Alternative Service Employer Network to specifically identify organizations and associations who can, by law, participate in the Alternative Service Program. This network will provide jobs for ASWs at the local level. Prior to activation, SSS will develop a draft MOU for use when obtaining agreements with qualified employers at the local and national level.

For 31 years, the Conscientious Objector system, called the Alternative Service, has lain dormant. The 2004 plan also calls for this to be brought up to speed and to be ready to decide cases and place COs in the Alternative Service by July 6, 2005 (96 days after March 31, 2005). The SSS is even going so far as to draw up the SOPs, the Standard Operating Procedures which identify local employers eligible to receive cheap AS workers and to also draw up the actual MOU, the Memorandum of Understanding the employer must sign to get their CO workers and allow their mandatory attendance to be monitored. This is the last obstacle to be hurdled before the draft could actually be ready for quick activation under the law.

In sharp contrast to all this preparation for a Spring 2005 draft by Bush, Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry has proposed a military plan that reject
s any draft, by adding 20,000 active duty combat soldiers and 20,000 active “reconstruction specialists.” At a Wisconsin high school, Kerry pledged in June, 2004, that the draft would be “absolutely unnecessary.” When asked in April by 130 college editors in a conference call as to whether he would support a draft, John Kerry said unequivocally: “No. No draft” and he has criticized the use of the Guard and Reserve and now the Individual Ready Reserve as a “back-door draft.”

Kerry plans to spend an additional $7 billion to strengthen the Volunteer Army in what is essentially a “No-Draft Plan,” Moreover, Kerry is strongly opposed to the neo-con plan revealed in Wes Clark’s book, in which Clark was told by a senior Pentagon official that invasions of Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Sudan and Somalia are still to come over the next three years.