Friday, May 23, 2008

Is Stop-Loss Just a Back-Door Draft?

Instituting a new draft would be political suicide, but would likely get us out of the Middle East faster than you can say "boo." However, according to an NBC report, the military's stop-loss policy has forced 58,000 U.S. troops to serve past their enlistment terms, in what they call a back-door draft.

Stop-loss is "the involuntary extension of a service member's active duty service under the enlistment contract in order to retain them beyond their initial end of term of service (ETS) date." Basically, your enlistment term is extended, like it or not. Besides being the subject of much controversy, it's also been made into a movie.

According to NBC, despite a pledge in 2007 by the Pentagon to cut back on stop-loss, is at its highest since the start of the war.

According to the report:
Jim Miklaszewski: Stuart McKenzie's stop-loss not only cost him his time, it nearly cost him his life.

Stuart McKenzie: "The bomb was about 5 - 10 feet away. Severed my left hand almost completely off; it was just dangling by some skin."

Miklaszewski: Army surgeons reattached McKenzie's hand, which now gives him limited use. To this day, McKenzie blames the stop-loss.

The army says it uses stop-loss to keep soldiers who reach the end of enlistment from leaving the battlefield in the middle of a combat tour.

But many lawmakers and critics claim the army has used stop-loss as a back-door draft.
It should be noted that not only has this criticism been made, it's also true that the army has relaxed its standards by allowing more felons to join with "felony waivers."

Watch the full story. This video is from NBC's Nightly News, broadcast May 18, 2008.


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