New York congressman says he'll introduce legislation to beef up number of U.S. troops
Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., the incoming chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, said he will introduce legislation to reinstate the military draft, claiming U.S. forces are inadequate to face possible threats by Iran, North Korea, as well as Iraq.
"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said today on CBS' "Face the Nation" program.
"I don't see how anyone can support the war and not support the draft," he said. "If we're going to challenge Iran and challenge North Korea and then, as some people have asked, to send more troops to Iraq, we can't do that without a draft."
Rangel is a Korean War veteran who unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past. He said his proposal would be filed early next year.
Appearing on CBS with Rangel was Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who serves as a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Standby Reserve.
While Graham did not say a draft was the definitive way to go, he did leave open the possibility.
"I think we can do this with an all-voluntary service, all-voluntary Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy. And if we can't, then we'll look for some other option," Graham said.
Polls have shown about seven in 10 Americans oppose reinstatement of the draft, and military officials have said they don't expect to see its return.