The Day When We Almost Lost the Army

Debate over America's involvement in World War II came to a head in July 1941 as the Senate argued over a draft extension bill. The decision would have profound consequences for the nation.

On July 19, 1941, when Gen. George Catlett Marshall, Army chief of staff, stepped before the Senate Committee on Military Affairs, his gray civilian suit could not disguise the proud bearing of a soldier and commander of men. His shoulders squared, but not conspicuously so, his chin receding slightly, and thin lips compressed with resolution, his tall figure exuded dignity, authority, and singleness of purpose. He considered his mission that day as among the most vital of any during his distinguished 39-year career in uniform: to save the still anemic U.S. Army from emasculation. Read more »

The Case For The Draft

Historically it has had real virtues

As everyone in the United States is aware by now, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is a man of strong opinions. But Americans of all stripes, regardless of their feelings about the then-looming war, seemed to feel that the Secretary went too far last January when he responded to a proposal by Rep. Charles B. Rangel that the United States reinstate the military draft.

 
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