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July 26, 2006

Comments

Oliver

The comparision to 1914 is mistaken.

In 1914 two alliances of essentially equal strength and kind faced each other. Today the West is able to destroy everybody in the region. Furthermore the US cannot afford to lose a war of that scale. It would be a catastrophe. Secondly a general war in that area is bound to include the use of the "oil weapon". Strategic Oil Reserves will last for a shorter time than it would take to train draftees. The US would be forced to make a desert and call it peace, quickly so.

mark safranski

"But a draft? I do not see it.Save maybe in case of a nuke attack on america that would have everyone dancing at the government tunes."

Well...I'd have to say if there was ever a time to set aside partisan feelings, the immediate aftermath of a nuclear strike on the United States might be the appropriate moment.

Tim F

Our democracy will not survive the sort of global conflict that you describe. This administration will find it too difficult to operate with no public support and (likely) a minority in Congress, which will oblige them to capitulate or proceed extraconstitutionally.

Who thinks that they would capitulate? I don't.

Needless to say another 9/11-type attack, AKA Reichstag fire, would render the question moot.

John Robb

Oliver: 1914 is pretty apt. The idea is that there were a series of cascading entanglements that resulted in a global war. Equality doesn't matter. The length and difficulty of the conflict does.

The Draft: It won't take a nuke to do it. It will happen at a point far less than that. There will be a horrible domestic bill to pay though. Most people don't even think we are at war right now.

The Hook

I'm not so sure that a 9/11-type strike or even nuke attack would guarantee ever-lasting support of the American people for the US government. I think there's a 30 or 40% chance that US citizens would quickly (3-12 months) ignore their government and look at it as a failure that they can't count on. Information spreads so fast nowadays that any silliness the Feds tried to pull could exposed pretty quickly.

Oliver

The length and difficulty of the conflict does.

And here you are mistaken. The US simply cannot afford a long stop of oil supplies. If it takes extremely drastic measures to end that war, the US will nevertheless execute such measures.

tim302

I tend to agree with Robert that a severe strategic reversal will trigger a draft. Something like US forces being cut off from their logistical tail in Iraq.

John, I see your point about most people not knowing we're at war. It isn't even a topic of discussion for most people at all. I think though that Marcello is on to something when he says it would be political suicide. People would start to be _very_ interested when they or their kids were on the line...just like last time, for better or worse, in Vietnam.

Now I don't think that this factor would register at all with the White House-- it seems to me they are pretty insulated from reality as it is.

Oliver

And the draftees would help how? No western nation will take the level of casualties that would make a draft necessary. I can be even more direct. Once so many troops are killed, it will be time to use nukes, but not to use a draft

b

Well...I'd have to say if there was ever a time to set aside partisan feelings, the immediate aftermath of a nuclear strike on the United States might be the appropriate moment.

Karl Rove knows this, as the neocons do. It will be an U.S. produced weapon though. Take care to collect and compare the isotope mixture.

John Robb

b, good coverage BTW. Also, when covering this stuff, don't forget to detach yourself (its the only way to keep it together without thinking Apes!)

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