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Theres a quiet move under way to abolish the Selective Service System the government unit that keeps track of draft-age young men Opponens of this relic of the military conscription that ended 26 years ago say it is time to shut down the agency that this year will spend 244 million registering 18-year-olds for possible call-up if the draft ever reinstates Supporters counter that the money is a small price to pay to keep the nation prepared for a major conflict that might require deployment of hundreds of thousands of US servicemen and women That argument took a beating when the House Appropriations Committee voted to abolish the Selective Service Commission an action that also must be approved by the full House and Senate and signed by the president But a noisy debate about the future of the Selective Service Commission- and the draft- may be just what this nation needs Except for the Marine Corps every branch of the armed services has fallen short of its recruitment goal in recent years With the economy in overdrive and an increase in the deployment of US troops into harms wa enlistments in the all-volunteer arent keeping pace with the needs of the army navy and Air Force The best way to keep US troops out of combat is to make sure our potential adversaries know our military is ready and able to inflict heavy losses if they cross swords with us For that message to be convincing we have to get more men and women into uniform This year the navy expects to be short 22000 sailors The army project a deficit of 10000 soldiers and the Air Force says it will miss its goal by 25000 airmen and 15000 pilots Faced with these short falls the United States not only
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