McChrystal: Time To Bring Back The Draft

By Josh Rogin

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the former top commander of international forces in Afghanistan, said this week that the United States should bring back the draft if it ever goes to war again.

“I think we ought to have a draft. I think if a nation goes to war, it shouldn’t be solely be represented by a professional force, because it gets to be unrepresentative of the population,” McChrystal said at a late-night event June 29 at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival. “I think if a nation goes to war, every town, every city needs to be at risk. You make that decision and everybody has skin in the game.”

He argued that the burdens of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan haven’t been properly shared across the U.S. population, and emphasized that the U.S. military could train draftees so that there wouldn’t be a loss of effectiveness in the war effort.

“I’ve enjoyed the benefits of a professional service, but I think we’d be better if we actually went to a draft these days,” he said. “There would some loss of professionalism, but for the nation it would be a better course.”

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq placed unfair and extreme burdens on the professional military, especially reservists, and their families, McChrystal said.

“We’ve never done that in the United State before; we’ve never fought an extended war with an all- volunteer military. So what it means is you’ve got a very small population that you’re going to and you’re going to it over and over again,” he said. “Because it’s less than one percent of the population… people are very supportive but they don’t have the same connection to it.”

Reservists following multiple deployments have trouble maintaining careers and families and have a “frighteningly high” rate of suicide, he said.

“The reserve structure is designed for major war, you fight and then you stop, but what we’ve done instead is gone back over and over to the same people,” he said. “We’re going to have to relook the whole model because I don’t think we can do this again.”

McChrystal was speaking at a panel focused on how to manage marriage in the military. He was joined by Annie, his wife of 35 years, and the discussion was moderated by CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux.

Multiple deployments often result in divorces and split families, he said.

“The marriages I see most strained are the senior NCOs and officers who have four or five tours… you’re apart so much that it’s hard to have a marriage if you’re not together at least a critical mass of time, and that’s tough,” McChrystal said.

Malveaux asked McChrystal how he has managed to get through 35 years of marriage.

“One day at a time,” he responded.

  1. #1 by SazzyLilSmartAzz on 07/09/2012 - 9:34

    Bring it on McChrystal so I can have a good laugh!

  2. #2 by galwayspaniard on 07/09/2012 - 9:34

    I agree with him but only if there are no exemptions so that would mean that the sons of Jewish billionaires and mutimillionaires would have to serve on the front lines. The sons of lawyers, bankers, doctors, CEOs would all have to be plucked. Mitt Romney’s kids would have to go.
    It would be a comedy to see all the strategic maneuvering going on to avoid the draft- the letters from doctors saying that these strong young men have conditions that prevent military service would be sky high.
    Most importantly, a draft would help as a deterrent to starting wars (but Israel wouldn’t care anyway because life is all about Israel to a lot of deranged Zionists).

  3. #3 by rusirius1111 on 07/09/2012 - 9:34

    He’s daft. War is wrong no matter who serves. No more drafts, no more wars. The elite can fight amongst themselves if they want war.

  4. #4 by Dude on 07/09/2012 - 9:34

    Dear god please let this happen. I would love to see all the ladies here in dire need of male attention

  5. #5 by on 07/09/2012 - 9:34

    Generals, politicians, and bankers to the front lines!!!

  6. #6 by SazzyLilSmartAzz on 07/09/2012 - 9:34

    @ #4 by Dude on July 9, 2012 – 3:08 pm
    You’re sick!

  7. #7 by SazzyLilSmartAzz on 07/09/2012 - 9:34

    A draft would cause rioting at all the major universities!

  8. #8 by bj on 07/09/2012 - 9:34

    Remember the ’60’s & Nam!
    Multiply that X 10 if there is a DRAFT!
    Internet savy kids today are not going to war for Isreal! NO WAY!

  9. #9 by Naeem on 07/09/2012 - 9:34

    Well the US needs a draft there’s not enough brainwashed kids who haven’t joined yet. The US needs a force of over 1 million to try and handle iran and syria, currently their strecthed all over the place, morale’s low. I believe the draft would follow a false flag and ppl will get caught in the emotional patriotism like 9-11 and BOOM you’ll have your neighbours turn on you because you didn’t serve. Alot of ppl dismiss it but its perfectly possible the whole nation be indoctrinated into fighting WW3

  10. #10 by Peter on 07/09/2012 - 9:34

    I thought he was in prison? Oh, I’m sorry, that was wishful thinking. He’s living on a little island in his own mind. Peter

  11. #11 by Vickie Jacobs on 07/09/2012 - 9:34

    Those with dual citizenship pledge your allegience!……..send your own children….especially those draft doggers who seemed to worm their way out………..send your own children and grandchildren to the front line. This is your hour Congress……….send your own for Israel.

  12. #12 by ruby22-kate on 07/09/2012 - 9:34

    “I think if a nation goes to war, every town, every city needs to be at risk. You make that decision and everybody has skin in the game.”

    I don’t know why he qualified his remark with ‘if.’

    If America goes to war….blah,blah, blah. When is America not at war? Have there been any years, or presidential terms that were war free?
    I’m asking a serious question, I don’t think USA has been war-free in my lifetime.

  13. #13 by equalizer on 07/09/2012 - 9:34

    The United States military-industrial complex will be an equal-opportunity employer, Dude #4, boys AND GIRLS WILL SERVE……….

  14. #14 by galwayspaniard on 07/09/2012 - 9:34

    RUBY: post Vietnam Germany was highly desired and we had near 100,000 troops there??
    But guys stayed in Germany because it was a great country, beautiful, organized, lots to do, and US dollar went a long way- so figure 73 to early 80s no wars and also, one was safe in Germany from 50s through present
    there have been bombings at times but overall was great duty
    I never served there- I only went to armpits but finished up in reserves. Guys did all they could to stay in Germany.
    Russia did have plans to attack but USA was deterrent – through Fulda Gap

    it is in Polish archives and Russian archives and Polish archives about russian plans can be found on internet

  15. #15 by galwayspaniard on 07/10/2012 - 9:34

    I agree but it pays to prepare a defense now as to why you are incapable of serving
    because politicians know it is politically bad and youth will be in uproar but powers to be dont care and will start a Draft whenever it is ripe
    so it pays to prepare

    I told a guy a little younger than me (I am 62) and he said I was a lunatic
    I was proud to be called a lunatic because thuis guy liked zionists

  16. #16 by galwayspaniard on 07/10/2012 - 9:34

    Probably would cause rioting at big schools who produce the leaders that start all the wars and run wall street
    but doesnt matter because if powers to be want a draft, they will initiate a draft

    and I guess the high and mighty will probably be able to get out of this one too
    and the lower classes will get screwed once again

  17. #17 by lichinut on 07/10/2012 - 9:34

    what a DUMBASS… so ignorant of what is going on. makes me sick

  18. #18 by on 07/10/2012 - 9:34


  19. #19 by R. Zuercher on 07/10/2012 - 9:34

    Why would a murdering and rampant running bunch of thugs under the guise of being the standing “US Government”, arm its “subjects”, who would then use these weapons to turn against its rogue Government?

  20. #20 by SazzyLilSmartAzz on 07/10/2012 - 9:34

    @ #16 by galwayspaniard on July 10, 2012 – 12:46 am

    If they wanted a draft they would have initiated it YEARS ago. Why didn’t they? Out of fear, that’s why. They aren’t ready for the American public to riot yet!

  21. #21 by ruby22-kate on 07/10/2012 - 9:34

    My older brother, who passed, was one of those offered the choice of ‘enlist or go to jail. My father who was very frustrated by us, encouraged my bro to enlist. We knew Viet Nam was going on but were indifferent to it, didn’t understand it, confused by ‘experts’ and domino theory and friends who had been there came home and refused to talk about anything but getting high.

    My brother lucked out and served his time in Germany (in or close to Munich) drove a garbage truck. When he died I was surprised that he was considered a Viet Nam vet.

    But yes I agree that if and when they need cannon fodder they will bring back the draft. It will have enough loopholes for those who can buy their way out or are influential.

    There have been so many exposes of how the gov. treats vets, yet youth will still mostly learn by experience, just that stop loss nonsense, where the gov. extends your time should convince youth to avoid the military.

  22. #22 by galwayspaniard on 07/10/2012 - 9:34

    I clicked on to what you provided but the image would not come up

  23. #23 by Ingrid B on 07/10/2012 - 9:34

    plenty cannon fodder in the parasitic entity, make the sick bstrds earn the tax dollars thrown at them..

  24. #24 by SazzyLilSmartAzz on 07/10/2012 - 9:34

    Gene Simmons “That Is What Gentiles Are For”

  25. #25 by galwayspaniard on 07/11/2012 - 9:34

    yes, same thing will happen- the influential and rich will get out of it
    then the American people should riot

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