Well, I'd say the 'all volunteer' army of recent years is about done in now. You can only put volunteers in harm's way for your own ego related warmongering and mismanagement for so long before they stop being volunteers. There are two things in the news tonight that make me think the US will have a military draft again early next year.
First, there's this story, which came out as I drove home from work tonight. I probably don't need to state that I only a few minutes ago predicted that he would ignore the military brass about sending yet more troops to Iraq - here it is. As Carlos Mencia says - "DE-de-de". But then there is also this other story here on AOL about a Naval buildup in the Persian Gulf because of Iran.
Now, given the comments yesterday from Colin Powell (Retired US Army General and retired US Secretary of State) who should know what he's talking about, we may have nearly broken the ability of our military to continue to perform in Iraq or any similar venue - but he was talking mostly Army, Marine Corps, and perhaps Air Force. Apparently the Navy is all we have left with enough depth to be able to increase the presence. Or maybe they don't have the ability either without relocating ships from some other fleet - those vessels are very expensive equipment and I don't believe they have a lot of extras sitting around.
But what I think concerns me more is that a) I don't think it will impress Iran much, b) if we were to make war on Iran, we could launch a lot of Cruise missiles from those ships, and c) it sounds like escalation to me.
So, given Mr. Powell's comments about the nearly broken down military capabilities, and the possibility of escalation of what is not yet a war (but which the Bushies have said repeatedly they are willing to make into a war), and the federal military testing that is given to all our high school students under No Child Left Behind (see the second and third paragraphs here) and the database they keep on those kids tested, I think you're looking at a military draft for every kid who has graduated since Bush took office. That database may well be the real meaning of 'no child left behind' - no child missed as a source of cannon fodder.
The sad part? These kids won't be volunteers, they won't have more than about 12 weeks of training (what we got before Viet Nam), they won't have as much experience as the guys who'll be allowed to go home and won't have those older guys around to help them survive, and we'll see them getting killed a lot faster than what we see now. And it's a good possibility for 2007. Bush and Cheney will do all the damage they can before he's out of office - count on it.