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July 26, 2006


mark safranski

"Take care to collect and compare the isotope mixture."

I'll get right on that after I adjust the brim of my tinfoil hat.

Josh Koenig

As one of "the kids" who might be on the line, I have to say there's a consensus among the sub-30 cohort against this war, and a Draft will trigger serious backlash.

jim my

Movement orders are interesting, particularly during the past weekend. Whether its related or not, we may never know. Within hours, Syria went from threatening to send its army into Lebanon if the IDF crossed the border to a blander statement about demanding a ceasefire.

Whether its the 82nd, the Stryker movement to Germany in the news, the 24th MEU and its ESG offshore or all the sudden road traffic in Iraq, I doubt the Syrians could keep up with everything.

Curiously, Janes reported on 071906 that the Syrians and Iranians have cut the Russians out of intelligence gathering at new joint facilities in Syria. Wonder how the Russians sitting in Tartus are feeling with all of the crusader comments flying about.

I have to agree with John, when covering this stuff, don't forget to detach yourself (its the only way to keep it together without thinking Apes!)

Jon S.

If the region explodes into wider warfare, all bets for civilization get called in. Iran may not be able to take on the US directly but they can certainly blockade the gulf with their cruise missiles. That would be an appetizer in a wider war.

This stupid little border conflict could have the effect of thinning out the global liquid fuel supply dramatically.

"He who can destroy a thing, controls a thing" - Paul Muad-dib


In 1914 evereybody wanted to go to war. The Prussians wanted it, the French, Austro-Hungaria, the Serbs, and I think that even the Russians were not so reluctant to it. In the Middle Easte the situation is completely different... We've got a very strong Army, the Israeli one, which has not lost a war in that area for more than 50 years and which is now being backed up by the US. On the other side we have the Syrians and Iranians (!?) Do you think the Syrians and Iranians really believe they'll be able to handle Israel and the US at the same time? I doubt it.

Michael Watkins

The West has been mucking up the Middle East for the last 100 years, leaving a litany of policy failures, failed "experiments", failed west-sponsored terrorism, failed west-sponsored insurrection / coups / wars, and a track record of resource plunder and propping up of "our" despots in our departing wakes sufficient to turn generations of middle easterners against us.

All so we can eat beef at incredibly low prices and prop up our cheap-energy fueled economy.

Why should we do better this time, particularly with the inept leadership currently at the helm in the U.S., Britain, Canada and Australia?

At least the latter two are oil self-sufficient, not that it will count much when the global economy tanks.

James Robertson

I think you misunderstand the nature of modern war if you think a draft would be useful, much less desirable. It takes a long time to create useful soldiers out of raw recruits. Additionally, a mass army is nothing so much as a huge target given nuclear weapons. There's a reason that the military is in the midst of reorganizing itself from large organic divisions into smaller, more easily configurable battalions. A mass draft army would run completely counter to that, and isn't something anyone wants.

I seriously doubt that any US troops will be sent into Lebanon, period. Also, it's telling that you think Israel is losing. Riddle me this: why are Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah desperately calling for a cease fire? Does the winning side ever ask for that?

John Robb


A more than a couple of points. I don't see a draft as useful or desirable, however it will become a necessary step if commitments wildly exceed capabilities. Granted, this will occur only if the war expands to include Syria and Iran and the war spins an unanticipated direction (which it would). If we don't engage Iran or Syria directly in this war, then I concede the point that it will never happen.

Tactical nukes against troop concentrations? LOL. ;-> Not in this war.

The reorg is a for a war that isn't going to be fought.

I hope you are right about Lebanon. However, the potential is building that they will go there. Who else? France?

Hezbollah wins if it doesn't lose. Watching Israel scale back its expectations was justification enough for my conclusion.

Re: Desperately calling for a ceasefire? Don't see it. I do see most of the world calling for a ceasefire according to classic post WW2 rules of conflict in the ME (stop the fighting and then talk).

Not sure what you mean about "it's telling."


"why are Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah desperately calling for a cease fire?"

Easily answered. For the PR points. Although I would see desperation rather on the side of the Lebanese government, which is entirely understandable.

" I don't see a draft as useful or desirable, however it will become a necessary step if commitments wildly exceed capabilities."

You'd have reluctant manpower, but the limiting factor is not manpower, but supplies.

Secondly, the current administration is serious about spreading democracy. You cannot tell a mother that her son was drafted and killed for an alien people's democracy. The aim of a draftee army would be to defeat the enemy by any means necessary. It would seek to destroy, not occupy. Thus there would be no longer the need for masses of soldiers.

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