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News Supporters of the war: what will it take for you to sign up for the military?

  1. Nov 22, 2004 #1
    It always amazes me how people who are young enough and fit enough to serve in the military can both support the war, and yet not sign up for the military. The way I see it, if you think there's a cause out there worth fighting and dying for, then you should be willing to fight and die for it yourself, and not want others to die for a goal you support, but wouldn't make any sacrifices for.

    So, I want to know, why haven't you guys who support the war, and are young and fit enough to serve in the military, signed up for the military?

    Things obviously aren't going great, and more soldiers fighting would invariably help out the cause (if you think military action is the solution). Is it that things are going so bad that you don't want to put yourself in such a horrible situation? Is it that things aren't going bad enough, and you think that your help isn't needed, and we can complete our goals? Is it that you haven't even thought of serving in the military, but think the war is right anyway?

    If it becomes increasingly clear that what we need in Iraq is more troops, and Bush doesn't want to re-institute the draft, but issues a public plea to the youth of the nation to sign up for the war if they believe in it, would it change your plans in any way?

    I thank you for your time,
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 22, 2004 #2
    I think war has become more of a cinematic experience in the west, paticularly in the USA. It's not uncommon for people to know more about action movies based around ww2 than they know about the accual war.

    If people support a war they're not thinking about bombs and machine guns, mortars, land mines, storming mosques.. what they're thinking about is glorious armies and swift, decisive battles, the hollywood version. They listen to the president talk and they hear him talk about it like its no big deal.. so they think its no big deal. If he gives an apparently logical explenation for the war, or even better, makes you afraid of the enemy, then your all for the war, without realising that it's accually war.

    Those who know someone in Iraq, paticularly close friends and familly are probably not quite so naive. But It's not unkown for soldiers to believe what their president tells them purely out of loyalty to the administration. Similarly its not unheard of for the famillies of the deceased to believe it was a worthy cause simply because they don't want to admit they died for nothing. The same could be said for soldiers fighting in Iraq, who believe they are fighting for something because they won't believe their friends have killed and died for no reason.

    But this is just my own personal, Canadian, view.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2004
  4. Nov 22, 2004 #3
    And out of desire to drive this thread on topic, I'd ask you to delete that out of courtesy. I'm trying to understand the mentality of Americans who support the war, not Canadians who don't support the war.

    No offense, I just don't want the topic to get derailed by people rebutting your post and ignoring the actual questions I want to get answered.
  5. Nov 22, 2004 #4
    If it came to that then I certainly would as I have already served for over 8 years. But I would make very little difference since there are currently more than enough sailors to meet the needs of the Navy. I would hesitate to go Marine but if there was a severe enough shortage of able bodies then I would go Marine infantry or Army infantry. I would do this even if I was strongly against the war because if it was not me going then someone else would be sent in my place. I would not abandon my post or run in fear just so that someone else can fight and or die in my place.

    But a draft will not happen because if you know the U.S. Marines then you know they will never ask for more and will always say they can get the job done with less. Very few people come out of Marine Corps boot camps that are not ready and willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. The Marines have so much pride in being who they are and so much professionalism that I believe the Marines, together with the rest of the military, could handle much more then you give them credit for. Also keep in mind that the weapon systems we are currently using are not being fully employed. The capacity for one carrier battle group to wage war is phenomenal in every respect.

    Worst case scenario is that this operation takes longer than anyone would like but in any case a draft is not nor will it be needed to win this.

  6. Nov 22, 2004 #5
    It's certainly noble of you to say you'd go back to the military again after serving for 8 years, but you've already filled your obligation. In my mind, if you've already served in the military for as long a time as 8 years, you've shown your dedication to your country. The people I'm really trying to understand are those who are fervently pro-war, but unlike yourself, haven't signed up for the military and likely won't.
  7. Nov 22, 2004 #6


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    I put in 20 years and if I knew we'd have another war so soon after I retired, I would have stayed in a little longer. Granted, I didn't exactly have a dangerous job - in fact my job was usually hundreds of miles away from any fighting, but it was always a pretty satisfying job when there was an actual war going on.

    Or did you just want input from folks who thought we actually should have gotten involved in a war in Iraq?
  8. Nov 22, 2004 #7
    Let's see, we already have the troops we have fighting like they are walking on egg shells, with restraint, so as not to blow up the dusty ****ing bones of the True heir to the Prophet.

    How many troops does it take to fight with restraint? WOuld more troops gingerly not busting up weapon laden mosques be the solution?

    All I've heard is folks say, 'when the generals on the ground ask for more troops, they will get them.' So, where are the generals on ground, fighting with deliberate restraint, asking for more troops and not getting them?

    It is more costly to wage this war with restraint. It is going to take longer, it is going to be more difficult. Where is the evidence that 'more troops' --if those 'more troops' are fighting with the same restraing being showed by the rpesent troop levels--would fix anything?

    "more troops' is only 'more force' if 'more troops' are acting with 'more force.'

    The troops we have are not acting with all the force they could.

    By design, on purpose.
  9. Nov 23, 2004 #8


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    Been there, done that (not 8 years, though).
  10. Nov 23, 2004 #9


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    I'm not invited then, but anyway I give my opinion, because it is, I think, not nation-related.
    I fail to see your link between "being pro or contra" the war and "have the guts to sign up". There *is* an army, and people joining the army know (or should know) what they sign up for. These people can have a political opinion, but part of their signing up means that they put any such opinion aside and are there to obey orders. If they don't like it that way, then they shouldn't be in the army. Probably they think they serve their nation by doing what they do (and up to a point, they are right).
    Other people consider their political opinion and part of that is whether the tool the public forces have, namely the army, should or shouldn't be used in order to establish certain goals.
    I fail to see why those that have the opinion that the army should be used (after all, it is there) should sign up for the army.
  11. Nov 23, 2004 #10
    While it is true those signing up for the Military should be aware of the possibility of going to war, they probably were not expecting the President to lie and cheat his way into declaring war on a remote nation that no one cares about. The Military exists to 'defend the homeland' and they were very willing to defend the US if it was indeed attacked, but the same people may not be willing to invade a nation for reasons they don't believe/agree with.
  12. Nov 23, 2004 #11
    I love it! Let's see what Bob Kerrey, Sr Democrat on the Senate Intelligence COmmittee, says about "what we wanted done." and how long we've wanted him out of power, because some think this is a brand new January 2001 notion.

    Source: JFK Foundation Library

    Scan ahead to the eye catching section:

    Is Bob Kerrey a liar for Bush?

    Hey, this little talk got a whole lot of coverage in the press, didn't it?

    Well, sorry, I believe Bob Kerrey when he said what he said, I don't think GWB suddenly sprang onto the scene in January 2001 with a brand new idea from Texas, a new direction for the government of the USA. What the self declared best minds of government in the USA had decided needed to be done, continuously if not effectively, since 1991 was still the case in 2001. The difference is, GWB actualy did what we said needed to be done, and what he said he would do.
  13. Nov 23, 2004 #12
    Again, I'd appreciate if random arguments about the merits of the war/the merits of Bush etc. were kept out of this thread, unless it specifically relates to why you will not go to war even though you support it.

    Russ, thanks for the service, nice to see you're not a chicken hawk like so many others...

    Zlex, your contention is that we should let the soldiers go wild and that will help the cause, therefore not requiring your service?
  14. Nov 23, 2004 #13
    Waste, although I agree with your point, pushing this isn't worth it. People can believe in a cause and still be afraid of death. The hypocrisy you speak of is inescapable for just about everyone (except for guys like Pat Tillman). Why don't people who oppose the war (I oppose the deception behind the war) do something equally as radical? Maybe I should quit my life and devote my time to spreading truth as I see it.
    By the way, I am currently in the military. I joined in september of 2000.
  15. Nov 23, 2004 #14
    That is not my contention. I'm not sure how you could miss my point...but I will reiterate.

    Far be it from me to question a RAND Excel spreadsheet, complete with what must be a 'troops per square kilometer' or 'per capita' analysis. I hear they have real Ivy Leagers at work there.

    But it doesn't answer a basic question: how is 'overwhelming, excessive force' reconciled with 'applied with overwhelming, excessive restraint?'

    How many more troops does it take to wage this conflict with restraint?

    1] The force we have in place now is , by design, as a matter of expensive policy, not being applied at full 115% Military Power.

    2] Have Sanchez et. al. requested additional troops and been denied?

    Until I see evidence otherwise, there is every indication that if Sanchez wants a higher troop level in Iraq, he is going to get it. So the question is, why aren't the generals in Iraq asking for additional troops if that is what we all back here say they need to get this job done with restraint done faster?

    More power ---applied through the same filter of restraint? How many more troops does it take to not level a dusty old mosque full of a few ****fighters with weapons caches? Pull out the self-imposed stops, and this is over in 30 minutes of noise. Sorry, we'll build you a new mosque to store the dusty bones of the True heir to the Prophet. And, to their great credit which few give them, our heroes over there are doing it the long, hard way in the name of a noble mission.

    IMO, the biggest impediment to our existing force level in Iraq is not the size or strength of the force arrayed against them; it is the proximity of those few ****fighters to innocent people and 'things' that our forces are risking their lives to preserve.

    I will start screaming along with everyone else, and if I could, sign up for duty when Sanchez is asking for more troops and being told 'no.'
  16. Nov 23, 2004 #15
    So you think the troop level is fine, and think your signing up for the military wouldn't help at all at this point?
  17. Nov 23, 2004 #16
    Defense of the US does not end at our borders, nor does our influence and our livliehood.
  18. Nov 23, 2004 #17

    Also, I don't feel that I need to sign up for the military just because I support the cause; and that if I don't, it's some glaring hypocricy on my part. For example, I fully support the War on Crime going on within our polite borders, but it is certainly not necessary for me to join the police force.
  19. Nov 23, 2004 #18
    What if the situation Iraq continues to deteriorate (in the sense that progressively more American soldiers are killed as time goes by), and we start running low on troops. President Bush makes a televised plea to the young people of the nation to sign up for the war if they believe in it, becuase he is opposed to a draft. Would you sign up then?
  20. Nov 23, 2004 #19


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    If Sanchez requested more troops and was told no, then decided to go over the Commander in Chief's head by telling the public he needed more troops, he would be dismissed, and rightly so.

    The most reliable source of whether there are enough troops is the results. Does the combination of tactics and troop strength mesh. Is that combination getting the job done effectively. The second most reliable source would be Congress, especially their Armed Forces committees, Intelligence Committees, and Foreign Policy committees.

    At this point, the Bush Administration would not be a reliable source, at all. Rumsfield has a pretty heavy investment in the idea of transforming the military into a leaner, lighter force and has had conflicts with the Army over that from the day he took office.

    The invasion showed at least part of Rumsfield's equation was right. Unfortunately, he seems to have taken the 'peacekeeping' problems as a sign that his plan only needs a few minor adjustments instead of recognizing that occupying a country exposes a serious flaw in his vision.
  21. Nov 24, 2004 #20

    Sure thing.
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