Group: Bush can reinstate the draft, or lose the Iraq War

Michael Roston
Published: Wednesday August 23, 2006

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Fast on the heels of yesterday's Defense Department involuntary call up of Marine reserves, an Iraq veterans group tells RAW STORY that if a draft is not the next step, President Bush must choose to accept a loss in the war.

Reports yesterday indicated that 2,500 inactive reserve members of the Marines were called up for duty in Iraq. The Marines are members of the individual Ready Reserve and have already given four years of service, allowing them to return to civilian life. However, they are contractually obligated to return to service when needed.

But Jon Soltz, who heads up the group, warned ABC News yesterday that the call up showed a lack of plans for victory in Iraq, and the problems faced by an overburdened American military. Soltz served as a captain in the Army in the Iraq war and is still a member of the reserves.

In a follow-up interview with RAW STORY, Soltz explained what he views are the prospects of a draft returning to the US military.

"The Pentagon has been saying it's meeting retention goals, but its actions speak louder than words," he explained of the stop loss and reserve call up actions that the Pentagon has taken.

For President Bush, Soltz explained, there is a simple choice: "They have to decide between drafting people and cutting and running because either way they have a big problem. 130,000 was never enough, but you cannot sustain force levels where they are. Those are their options."

The Bush administration has repeatedly claimed that it is in favor of retaining an all-volunteer military force.

Soltz thinks that in the short term, they'll stand by that position. "What it really tells you is that the Bush administration is not dedicated to democratization, they will cut and run, because the political liabilities of having a state that is Iran's proxy aren't as bad as losing political power in the midterm election." He added, "Doing a draft would cause that." works to place Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans in government. While it does not consider party affiliation in its endorsements of candidates, all five candidates it has endorsed are running for office as Democrats.