In a document titled “A Call to Action: Lessons from Ukraine for the Future Force,” the U.S. Army War College writes the “Russia-Ukraine War is exposing significant vulnerabilities in the Army’s strategic personnel depth and ability to withstand and replace casualties.”
Katie Crombe and John A. Nagl write in the U.S. Army War College document:
The Russia-Ukraine War is exposing significant vulnerabilities in the Army’s strategic personnel depth and ability to withstand and replace casualties.11 Army theater medical planners may anticipate a sustained rate of roughly 3,600 casualties per day, ranging from those killed in action to those wounded in action or suffering disease or other non-battle injuries.12 With a 25 percent predicted replacement rate, the personnel system will require 800 new personnel each day. For context, the United States sustained about 50,000 casualties in two decades of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. In large-scale combat operations, the United States could experience that same number of casualties in two weeks.13
In addition to the disciplined disobedience required to execute effective mission command, the US Army is facing a dire combination of a recruiting shortfall and a shrinking Individual Ready Reserve. This recruiting shortfall, nearly 50 percent in the combat arms career management fields, is a longitudinal problem. Every infantry and armor soldier we do not recruit today is a strategic mobilization asset we will not have in 2031.14 The Individual Ready Reserve, which stood at 700,000 in 1973 and 450,000 in 1994, now stands at 76,000.15 These numbers cannot fill the existing gaps in the active force, let alone any casualty replacement or expansion during a large-scale combat operation. The implication is that the 1970s concept of an all-volunteer force has outlived its shelf life and does not align with the current operating environment. The technological revolution described below suggests this force has reached obsolescence. Large-scale combat operations troop requirements may well require a reconceptualization of the 1970s and 1980s volunteer force and a move toward partial conscription.16
— Balaji (@balajis) September 27, 2023
If you compare the numbers cited by the U.S. Army War College, “large-scale combat operations” would result in the same number of casualties in one week compared to one decade’s worth of casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The US Army War College issued this report, warning that if the USA goes to war with #Russia over #Ukraine, the U.S. should anticipate 100,000 casualties PER MONTH. That’s TWICE the total U.S. casualties of the Vietnam War, over the entire duration of that war. Expect 1.2+ million dead, maimed or injured US men and women in the first year of war with Russia. This figure of ‘3,600 casualties per day’ is found on the sixth page of this report,” Mike Adams, The Health Ranger, wrote.
The US Army War College issued this report, warning that if the USA goes to war with #Russia over #Ukraine, the U.S. should anticipate 100,000 casualties PER MONTH. That's TWICE the total U.S. casualties of the Vietnam War, over the entire duration of that war. Expect 1.2+…
— HealthRanger (@HealthRanger) September 18, 2023
The authors write the “ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict brings the changing character of warfare into sharp relief—a future of warfare marked by advanced autonomous weapons systems, artificial intelligence, and a casualty rate the United States has not experienced since World War II.”
General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called Russia’s invasion of Ukraine the “greatest threat
to peace and security of Europe and perhaps the world” in his 42 years of uniformed service, according to the document.
The Russia-Ukraine conflict apparently is the U.S. Army War College’s excuse to send 3,600 Americans per day to the slaughters of combat.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen proposals to bring back a military draft.
Others are making similar proposals, due to military recruiting shortfalls.
"…in 2023, every service except the Marine Corps is poised to miss its recruiting goals. In 2022, the Army alone fell short by 15,000 recruits."https://t.co/chJyOWlZp6
— Balaji (@balajis) September 27, 2023
Today, the military needs only about 160,000 youth from an eligible population of 30 million to meet its recruitment needs. But after two decades of war — both of which ended unsuccessfully — and low unemployment, many experts believe the all-volunteer force has reached a breaking point. And American confidence in its military is at a low.
The fastest and most effective way to resolve this recruiting crisis is to change how we recruit.
Instead of an “either an all-volunteer force or a fully conscripted force” model, I propose a both-and solution.
We should have our military recruiters sign up new troops for 11 months out of the year, and then have the Selective Service draft the delta between the military’s needs and the total number recruited.Advertisement
This model would alleviate the incredible pressure on our recruiters, lower the cost of finding new troops, and significantly reduce the much decried civilian-military gap by subjecting all of America’s youth — rich and poor — to the possibility of military service via the draft.
This increased public interest might also have the added effect of increasing public pressure to prevent open-ended wars led by unaccountable senior leaders like we experienced in our national debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While the causes of our current recruiting crisis are many, the fastest and best solution lies within our already existing Selective Service System.