Bush War Adviser Says Draft Worth a Look
Aug 10 06:25 PM US/Eastern
By RICHARD LARDNER
WASHINGTON (AP) - Frequent tours for U.S. forces in
Iraq and Afghanistan have stressed the all-volunteer
force and made it worth considering a return to a
military draft, President Bush's new war adviser said
"I think it makes sense to certainly consider it,"
Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute said in an interview with
National Public Radio's "All Things Considered."
"And I can tell you, this has always been an option on
the table. But ultimately, this is a policy matter
between meeting the demands for the nation's security
by one means or another," Lute added in his first
interview since he was confirmed by the Senate in
President Nixon abolished the draft in 1973. Restoring
it, Lute said, would be a "major policy shift" and
Bush has made it clear that he doesn't think it's
The repeated deployments affect not only the troops
but their families, who can influence whether a
service member decides to stay in the military, Lute
"There's both a personal dimension of this, where this
kind of stress plays out across dinner tables and in
living room conversations within these families," he
said. "And ultimately, the health of the all-
volunteer force is going to rest on those sorts of
personal family decisions."
The military conducted a draft during the Civil War
and both world wars and between 1948 and 1973. The
Selective Service System, re- established in 1980,
maintains a registry of 18-year-old men.
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., has called for
reinstating the draft as a way to end the Iraq war.
Bush picked Lute in mid-May as a deputy national
security adviser with responsibility for ensuring
efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan are coordinated with
policymakers in Washington. Lute, an active-duty
general, was chosen after several retired generals
turned down the job.