Ed Driscoll



No doubt many people enter the military and successfully overcome troubled lives. But it also occurs to us that increasing the quality of military recruits would probably help avoid future Abu Ghraibs. One constructive step toward that end would be for elite universities to drop antimilitary policies, so that the military would have an easier time signing up the best and brightest young Americans.

Many academic institutions have barred ROTC or military recruiters from campus for left-wing political reasons–first as a protest against the Vietnam War, and later over the Clinton-era “don’t ask, don’t tell” law. Whatever the merits of these positions, it’s time the academic left showed some patriotic responsibility and acknowledged that the defense of the country–which includes the defense of their own academic freedom–is more important than the issue du jour.

Steven Den Beste recently wrote:

For instance, The Truth Is… that “liberals” who suddenly have started talking about reintroducing the draft are not in the slightest concerned with military readiness, and do not believe that filling out the army with draftees is an essential step in winning the war. What’s actually going on is that they know that one of the biggest reasons that the people of America ultimately turned against the Viet Nam war was because it was being fought primarily by draftees. And one of the biggest reasons why America’s college campuses were particular focal points for anti-war activism was because it was men that age who were being drafted.

Said liberals, usually graying Boomers like me, are amazed at the degree to which college-age Americans support this war. They feel somehow cheated; colleges are supposed to be anti-war, aren’t they? Of course, there are many critical differences between Viet Nam and the WOT, but regarding the “Millenials” (previously known as “Gen Y”) they view the draft as one of the biggest reasons. If they can somehow reinstitute the draft, then said liberals hope they could ignite massive opposition to the war, and would once again see America’s college campuses become centers of anti-war activism.

It seems that before Democrats like Congressman Charlie Rangel call for a new draft, they should call for colleges to allow recruiting on campus again, or risk losing Federal funding. As Stanley Kurtz suggests, “return the ROTC to America’s most-prestigious college campuses”.

…But that’s the problem is isn’t it? Republicans would agree with him, and it would actually happen!

UPDATE: Andrew Sullivan isn’t impressed with Taranto’s suggestion.