Constant's pations

If it's more than 30 minutes old, it's not news. It's a blog.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Draft vs women in combat: The challenge of finding 850 troops

This raises more questions about military mannng levels.

The US, rather than relying on its own troops asked the UK for 850 troops. US women are actively fighting and already dying in Iraqi combat operations. Ref Ref

Case study: The challenge of finding 850 troops

850 UK troops to be moved, not very many. Ask yourself, "Why can't the US come up with ONLY 850 troops?

The answer: The US doesn't have 850 spare troops to do the job. 850 troops is only a single battalion.

In order to sustain simple "police actions" in Iraq, the United States has to go through major efforts to free up what is not a large number, but a sizeable number relative to Alabama.

Active reserves are feeling the pinch

Another sign is, despite the need for troops, the Army is still rotating troops out of Iraq back to Germany, then recycling them back, not to Iraq, but to Afghanistan.
Although the rest of his battalion is standing down to go to Germany, he is on alert to go directly to Afghanistan. Ref
The Army has exhausted the state-side sources of troops, has insufficient numbers of ready personnel, and the number of ready personnel to do the job is far less than requirements.

The Army does not have enough time to train the troops, but requirements are piling up faster than the Army can fill them from existing sources.

Women in combat

The fact that the US has to ask the UK for "only" 850 troops indicates that the United States has to make a decision: "Will they put women in combat before starting a draft?" Ref

Draft vs Women in Combat: Two perspectives

  • School A: If there is no draft, then we have to use women.
    "Unless we want to draft men, we have to take women. We have to have an all-volunteer service or go back to the draft. That's the trade-off." Ref
  • School B: If we want to keep women out of combat, we have to have a draft.
    In the legislative history for the Department of Defense Authorization Act, 1981, the Senate Armed Services Committee report stated that the primary reason for not expanding registration to include women was DOD’s policy of not using women in combat. Ref

  • However, it is telling that the Selective Service does not require women to register. The Selective Service in 2003 only floated proposals to expand registration to women.
    The chief of the Selective Service System has proposed registering women for the military draft . . . The proposal, which the agency's acting Director Lewis Brodsky presented to senior Pentagon officials just before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq [in 2003] . . . Ref
    If current voluntary enlistments open up combat to women, it remains to be understood why there such a move would not be matched by a mirror-requirement that women register. If women were to be included in combat [which no decision has been made], then we would also have a serious discussion about having women register; some argue it does not seem palatable to have any childbearing-sex to be drafted into combat. Ref

    Available troops, time to train

    Two issues are time to train, and the minimum numbers relate to the projected enemy strength. Transferring 850 UK troops shows two things: Requirements already exceeded the available numbers; and the requirements are clearly rising more steeply than "the ability-speed to train reserve forces."

    The inability to find 850 troops confirms: Even if the Army transfers units from the United States, there remains insufficient time to train troops, either male or female. Far more likely is to have non-combat males transferred within the US Army, yet they still need to be trained.

    Yet, given women combat soldiers are already fighting and dying in Iraq, it may ultimately not be an "either-or", but both: "Now that we [a] require additional personnel, and [b] have exhausted the female and male-support pool worldwide, when are we going to draft men?"

    Thus, it appears the "women in combat" issue is more likely related to an "attention getter" of how close we are to running out of non-draft sources of personnel. Ref, Ref

    Either way, there's a present challenge of quickly finding only 850 troops for combat, regardless the numbers available worldwide. Ref

    Meanwhile the insurgency continues to grow -- you've been warned.