Republican presidential candidate, Fred Thompson, is calling for creation of an armed force containing at least one million men. “The investments we make today,” he said, “provide the means to defend our nation tomorrow….Too many commitments today leave our armed forces capable of meeting too few contingencies tomorrow.” He wants the Army to be increased by about 65,000 soldiers to a total of 65547,00 and the Marines to be increased by 27,000 to 202,000. He also called for a “modern GI Bill of Rights with educational assistance that will help us recruit and keep our nation’s finest in uniform.” Thompson believes there is sufficient money for these increases.
It is difficult to argue with Thompson’s rationale that if the United States wishes to become involved in various struggles throughout the world we simply lack the manpower to achieve these foreign policy aims. The real question is how does one recruit the additional personnel when there appears to be widespread hostility to our current wars. Is the former senator hinting at the need to reinstitute the draft?