Monday, January 20, 2003
More on conscription and politics: The San Diego Union-Tribune's own Robert J. Caldwell has an article in the Sunday paper on the proposal to resume the draft. The article is based upon some facts from the Pentagon on our all-volunteer military -- and whatever Democratic congressmen Charlie Rangel and John Conyers say -- forcing people into the military that don't want to be there will not make our military any better.
The most interesting bit, however, has to do with the claim that somehow, poor, less-educated minorities are doing a greater proportion of the dying in battle.
Are black Americans cannon fodder in the all-volunteer military?
Quite the contrary, actually.
Blacks constitute 21 percent of the enlisted force but only 15 percent of the combat arms ? infantry, armor and artillery. By contrast, African-Americans constitute 36 percent of functional support and administration and 27 percent of the military's medical and dental career fields.
Casualties in the 1991 Persian Gulf War reflected these military occupational proportions. Blacks constituted 23 percent of U.S. military personnel in the Persian Gulf conflict but only 17 percent of combat and non-combat deaths. Whites constituted 71 percent of the Desert Storm force and 76 percent of the U.S. deaths.
Surprising you don't hear more of the media reporting this.