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Draft momentum continues.

"The Selective Service has been updating its contingency plans for a draft of doctors, nurses and other health care workers in case of a national emergency that overwhelmed the military's medical corps," reported the October 20 New York Times. A report filed last summer by a private contractor hired by the Selective Service "described how such a draft might work, how to secure compliance and how to mold public opinion and communicate with health care professionals, whose lives could be disrupted."

The report described the need to make discreet contacts with medical societies, medical schools, hospitals, and similar institutions in advance of a "special skills" draft involving health care professionals. Discretion is necessary, the report emphasized, because "overtures from Selective Service to the medical community will be seen as precursors to a draft."

Our continuing occupation of Iraq, and projected military ventures abroad, will mean additional demands on an already badly overstretched military. "We're already deploying today's soldiers and Marines at a pace that is unrivaled in the history of the all-volunteer three, at considerable risk to the staying power of that force," noted Michael O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, in an October 15 syndicated op-ed column.

"Take, for example, the Army's 3rd Infantry Division, which was critical in overthrowing Saddam Hussein last year--and is now getting ready to redeploy to Iraq this winter. The Marines' 1st Division, also part of that invasion force, is back in Iraq. About 50,000 reservists involuntarily have been activated not once but twice since 9/11."

"Remarkably, our troops are responding with grit and patriotism to the challenge so far," continued O'Hanlon. "The data on recruiting and retention show that there is no personnel crisis--at least not yet. But that reality could change as more units deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan for a second or even a third time in the coming months."
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Title Annotation:Insider Report
Publication:The New American
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 15, 2004
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