Is RAND consulting the Bush admin on how to avoid the draft?
Kos hears rumblings that the RAND corporation has been contracted by the Bush admin to find ways to replenish the depleted boots on the ground while avoiding an official draft. The answer, as you might have guessed, is to farm out the non-combat services to contractors (wonder who will be first to belly up to the taxpayer buffet?) and deploy the unprepared desk jockeys out into the field. He also thought aloud about how this would affect women in combat, as they make up a good deal of the support position staff that would be pushed out into the hot zones if the speculated scenario becomes reality.
The Pentagon has already been floating the idea of creating “units of action”, which are mixed-sex support units that train and deploy with their all-male combat units. This would place women in harm’s way of course, since there is no front line against an insurgency. The RPGs and bombs are going off all over Iraq. (WTimes):
Therein lies the potential problem. Pentagon policy not only bans women from direct combat brigades, such as infantry or armor, it also says they cannot join support units that collocate with those units.
…An Army spokeswoman said, “It is my understanding that the November 29 briefing was predecisional. There are a number of Army policies under review.” An earlier Army briefing in May, labeled “draft close hold,” stated that one option putting FSCs outside a combat brigade in an organizational chart “could be perceived as subterfuge to avoid reporting requirements.”
Congress requires that any change in women-in-combat rules first be presented to lawmakers. The May briefing portrayed the Army as in a bind. If it collocates FSCs with combat teams and keeps them men-only, then it “creates potential long-term challenge to Army; pool of male recruits too small to sustain force,” the Army documents stated.
Bush has repeatedly said “no women in combat,” as recently as last week. The right wing has been on the Pentagon’s case about the gradual, unofficial slide of women into the combat zone, since they too know that the current definition of what the government considers combat is a slippery one. Of course, the wingnut women’s take is that women don’t belong there at all. Any change is opposed by Elaine Donnelly, who heads the Center for Military Readiness.
Combat commanders will have to cope with significant personnel losses, distractions, and social turmoil that will be more intense in the heat of war. Predictable problems include far higher rates of medical leave and evacuations, primarily due to pregnancy, which Army officials refuse to reveal or discuss. Making the mix even more volatile will be sexual attractions, personal misconduct, and accusations of same.
…Politically correct group-thinkers and Clinton-promoted generals in the Pentagon apparently have forgotten certain realities affirmed by overwhelming evidence: In direct ground combat, women do not have an “equal opportunity” to survive, or to help fellow soldiers survive. No one’s injured son should have to die on the streets of a future Fallujah because the only soldier near enough to carry him to safety was a five-foot-two 110-pound woman.
The concerned soldier who contacted me recognized that the Army is about to conduct an unannounced, extremely dangerous live-fire social experiment under wartime conditions. With deployments imminent, what can be done? President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld must intervene to enforce the notification law and encourage the recruitment of young men [How about all those frat boys that voted for Bush — they should be forming lines at the recruiting office.]. In long-overdue congressional hearings, members should require Pentagon officials to document alleged shortages of males, and explain why female soldiers should have to pay the price for the Army’s bureaucratic errors.