Sunday, June 06, 2004

Draft beer, not programmers

While I'm in the blogging mood...Kerry's been on the stump about the "backdoor draft", and rumours have been racing around about reviving the draft for a while. Here's what the guy with two sons worked out about this from poking around for a while, a few weeks ago.

It is a fact that legislation is pending in congress to reinstate the draft. The Senate version of the bill was sponsored by a man my sister once worked for, South Carolina's own Fritz Hollings. (Yes, she was a legal intern, or something, and no, it wasn't like that.) News reports at the time suggested that it was some sort of political strategem to make the president "sqirm" although, in light of recent events, that seems rather quaint.

Practically, short-term manpower issues are likely to be helped with a draft, due to long training times...that's why the inactive Army reserves are being hit, and why it's getting harder and harder for trained soldiers to actually leave. Long-term manpower issues? I don't want to think about it.

Apparently the biggest shortages currently are for computer programmers, and linguists. I'm starting to regret having Charlie learn Hebrew, but at least it wasn't Arabic.