American parents, even those whose kids aren’t quite comfortable in bigboy pants yet, are facing up to the fact that those cute little tykes will be trading in their Lion King jammies for battle fatigues in just a few short years.
With existing expendable troops already stretched to the breaking point, and occupation areas widening, whether it’s called a draft or Empowering Youth with the Privilege of the Highest Form of National Service, one way or another, today’s toddlers have a lot better chance of spending their teen years in a barracks than on a campus.
While it’s true that at least for the first few years, the heaviest burden will be drawn from America’s urban slums and barrios, the rural backwaters and dying little townvilles, it is inevitable that the concurrent transitions to a 2-class, single-industry society will impact the suburbs before today’s avid Yu-gi-oh aficionado proudly picks up a can of Foamy for his first shave.
Even if mom and dad manage somehow to hold on to the dwindling available spaces in America’s legendary Promised Land of dental insurance and savings accounts and Dad’s special English muffin pizzas on Sunday night, the necessary consolidation and downsizing of non-defense-related business endeavors will leave even the most fortunate of sons with a choice of battle theatre, not a choice of careers.
He will, however, still be better off than his less fortunate neighbor, who will go where he is sent.
A cursory glance at a world map tells the story. In order to secure natural resources and transport thereof, it will be necessary to occupy quite a large land mass, all of it inhabited by populations so hostile that they believe that both land and resources belong to them, and not the United States.
Even concentrating efforts only on those areas critical to resource extraction, it is still a daunting task, as the Afghanistan operation shows.
Even after 3 years of occupation, carpet bombing and massive crackdowns, the US has still been unable even to establish a secure corridor for pipeline construction. If every troop in Iraq were moved to Afghanistan, it is debatable whether even that would be sufficient to accomplish the mission.
Obtaining additional personnel from “allies” is a popular mantra, especially with the left, but the allies simply do not have the kind of population, much less soldiers.
Both the US and Somalia chose not to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Indeed, the provision against child soldiers alone precludes the document from being in the interests of the military goals of either entity.
At this time it is not known when, or by how much, the US will be obliged to lower the minimum age for military service, and it is reasonable to assume that Washington anticipates that there will be some domestic opposition to this and other essential measures, but forward-thinking policy makers have laid solid groundwork to counter and neutralize such eventualities, and as can be seen from recent events, significant dissent in the US is easily diverted by press conferences alone.
Some questions from the education and social science sectors on the utility value of gunmen of a very young age are unavoidable, but military strategists have only to point to Africa, where some very impressive results have been noted using troops as young as seven, especially with the aid of appropriate medications, and US pharmaceutical companies have a long history of stepping up to the plate to do their part to help America’s soldiers get the job done.
For folks with the resources (read money) there will always be options, ways to buy your kid’s way out of Abu Ghraib guard duty, but as the middle class dwindles, more and more moms and dads are getting used to the idea of being “military families.”Powered by Sidelines