Monday, May 16, 2005

Paul Feels a Draft

Former John Bates Clark Wunderkind Paul Krugman imitates Willie Mays as a New York Met (i.e. past 40, losing a flyball in the sun in a World Series game):

But the American military isn't just bogged down in Iraq; it's deteriorating under the strain. We may already be in real danger: what threats, exactly, can we make against the North Koreans? That John Bolton will yell at them? And every year that the war goes on, our military gets weaker.

So we need to get beyond the clich├ęs - please, no more "pottery barn principles" or "staying the course." I'm not advocating an immediate pullout, but we have to tell the Iraqi government that our stay is time-limited, and that it has to find a way to take care of itself. The point is that something has to give. We either need a much bigger army - which means a draft - or we need to find a way out of Iraq.

The FLUBA Committee on Judicious Use of the Deirdre Rule ('How big?') notes that the U.S. Military currently has approximately 1-1/2 million men and women in uniform. In 1988 (prior to the break-up of the Soviet Union) that number was about 1 million higher.

Scarce resources...alternative uses...allocate...price system.

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