Draft rumors elicit varying opinions

By Benjamin Stock

Despite rumors circulating over a draft reinstatement, NIU professors and students speculate it is not something to worry about.

“The situation we face in Iraq does not require a dramatic increase in our strength on the ground,” said political science professor Daniel Kempton. “Back when we had a draft, it was a very different time and a very different war.”

Last year, a bill was introduced by Congressman Charlie Rangel, D-NY, which would reinstate the draft. This bill was defeated in Congress Oct. 5.

President George Bush said during the Sept. 30 presidential debate that the military would remain all-volunteer. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld also said that there are no plans to reinstate the draft.

Reassuring the lack of need for a draft, Bill Kelo of the Army’s public affairs division said the Army has no plans for a draft.

“The Army has made its recruit mission for each of the last five years,” Kelo said.

Despite all of this, rumors continue to circulate throughout college campuses. Political science professor Christopher Jones said there is a positive note to the rumor – it attracts interest in the presidential race.

“Any young person would care that they arguably could be sent overseas,“ Jones said. “This is one way to capture their attention. The rumors persist because people don’t understand the background of the draft controversy.”

He said he does not think the draft would be reinstated any time soon, and that bringing it back would be political dynamite.

“We would most likely withdraw troops or draw down in certain regions of the world before reinstating the draft,” Jones said. “The draft would be reinstated only if American forces became incredibly overstretched and it was the only alternative.”

NIU students have different opinions about the possibility of a draft.

Sarah Bates a junior family social services major agreed the draft was not probable.

“I think there is a large enough interest in joining the military that we won’t have to reinstate it,” Bates said. “Even if there was a draft, women probably wouldn’t be drafted.”

Josh Roberts, a junior athletic training major, had not heard about the possibility of a new draft.

“Personally, I don’t see any reason to have a draft because of the condition and size of our military,” Roberts said. “If I was drafted, I would fulfill my duty to the United States and serve in the military.”