A Lesson In History – Ending the Military Draft

Go Lean Commentary

Do you remember the draft?

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If you were born after 1953, then probably not. The draft or conscription – see Appendix A below – ended in America in June 1973; see the full historic details in Appendix B below.

This was an American issue, but the shadow loomed large over other countries in the region, including the Caribbean. A most amazing observation – a learned lesson – is made based on the date of the draft ending: it saw the beginning of the end of Caribbean cohesion as we knew it.

The end of the American draft was the “first domino” in the Caribbean downfall. Societal abandonment has been all the rage ever since. (According to a 2012 report, the Migration Policy Institute detailed that the Caribbean Diaspora in the US amount to 22 million with the vast majority arriving in the last 2 decades of the 20th Century).

For the most part, Caribbean people had opposed military conscriptions, but only with passive voice, while other communities protested with vocal demonstrations and distributed various opposition publications. Consider this example:

The Masses was a graphically innovative magazine of socialist politics published monthly in the United States from 1911 until 1917, when federal prosecutors brought charges against its editors for conspiring to obstruct conscription. It was succeeded by The Liberator and then later The New Masses.
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CU Blog - A Lesson in History - Military Draft Ends - Photo 4Considering that the majority of the Caribbean were of an African heritage and the “pre-Civil Rights” American homeland was not welcoming for Black people, it is understandable that no Caribbean mother would have wanted to sacrifice their sons on the altar of war for racist America.

Sacrifice is the key word …

… the term National Sacrifice has been proclaimed to be a new community ethos that must be fostered in the Caribbean by the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean. Community ethos is defined as the underlying spirit-attitude-sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of society.

As an ethos, National Sacrifice defines a “willingness to die” for a cause. But the fuller definition presented by the Go Lean book and movement means a “willingness to live” for a cause. The Go Lean movement wants to forge change in the Caribbean, we want to change the attitudes for the entire region. We want to bring a National Sacrifice ethos to the Caribbean. This spirit is undoubtedly missing, as evidenced by the fact that the region suffers from an alarming rate of societal abandonment: 70% of the college-educated population have left in a brain drain.

This is the bad disposition now. This is the end-product of those dominoes; with no draft in the US – permanent residents with a “Green Card” were eligible for the draft – then the American homeland became more inviting. There are two reasons why Caribbean people have fled:

The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU); a confederation to bring change and empowerment to the Caribbean region; to make the region a better place to live, work and play for all Caribbean people.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean opens with the acknowledgement that despite having the “greatest address in the world… the people of the Caribbean have beat down their doors to get out”, (Page 5). So the purpose of this roadmap is to mitigate this abandonment threat. How?

  • Dissuade the high emigration rates of Caribbean citizens to the American homeland.
  • Encourage the Caribbean Diaspora to repatriate back to their ancestral homeland.

The truth of the matter is America is not the panacea for Caribbean ills. This commentary has long asserted that it is better for the Black-and-Brown of the Caribbean to prosper where planted in their homeland than to emigrate to foreign countries, like the United States.

But no one wants the status quo. We all want the elevation/empowerment as related in the Go Lean roadmap. In total, the roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance and industrial policies to support these engines.

The roadmap details the following community ethos, plus the execution of these strategies, tactics, implementation and advocacies to effect a turn-around in the region to improve our societal abandonment experiences:

Community Ethos – Deferred Gratification Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Choose Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – People Respond to Incentives in Predictable Ways Page 21
Community Ethos – Economic Principles – The Consequences of Choices Lie in the Future Page 21
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Lean Operations Page 24
Community Ethos – Governing Principles – Cooperatives Page 25
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Future Page 26
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact a Turn-Around Page 33
Community Ethos – Ways to Promote Happiness Page 36
Community Ethos – Ways to Impact the Greater Good Page 37
Strategy – Vision – Confederate 30 Member-States Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Enact a Defense Pact to Defend the Homeland Page 45
Strategy – Mission – Keep the next generation at home Page 46
Tactical – Confederating a Permanent Union Page 63
Tactical – Fostering a Technocracy Page 64
Implementation – Assemble – Incorporating all the existing regional organizations Page 96
Implementation – Ways to Pay for Change Page 101
Implementation – Security Initiatives at Start-up Page 103
Implementation – Ways to Deliver Page 109
Planning – 10 Big Ideas for the Caribbean – Defense / Homeland Security Pact Page 127
Planning – Ways to Make the Caribbean Better Page 131
Advocacy – Ways to Grow the Economy Page 151
Advocacy – Ways to Create Jobs Page 152
Advocacy – Ways to Better Manage the Social Contract Page 170
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Homeland Security Page 181
Advocacy – Ways to Improve Communications Page 186
Advocacy – Ways to Preserve Caribbean Heritage Page 218
Advocacy – Ways to Impact US Territories Page 244

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So Richard M. Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, is the one that ended the draft that started the Caribbean dominoes …

… is he to blame for the Caribbean’s atrocious societal abandonment rate?

No! Though he turned out to be a “bad actor” in his own rite, he is not directly responsible for Caribbean dysfunctions; “we” did that on our own. (Nixon was fulfilling a campaign promise to end the universally unpopular Vietnam War in which there were organized protests for all of the 1960′s and 1970′s to date; see Appendix C VIDEO). But the US did not work in the Caribbean’s best interest; they rarely do. This is the running theme of so many previously Go Lean blog/commentaries; they have detailed how Caribbean priorities are rarely American priorities. See this sample list here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=10336 A Lesson in History – Haiti’s Reasonable Doubt of US Intentions
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9214 Time to Go: Spot-on for Protest
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9216 Time to Go: No Respect for our Hair
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9626 Time to Go: Marginalizing Our Vote
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9646 Time to Go: American Vices; Don’t Follow
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9648 Time to Go: Public Schools for Black-and-Brown
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=8724 American Dysfunction with Marcus Garvey
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=5733 Better than America? Yes, We Can!
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4551 US Territories – Between a ‘rock and a hard place’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4360 Dreading the ‘Caribbean Basin Security Initiative’
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=789 America’s War on the Caribbean

So President Nixon ended the draft as a campaign promise; see Appendix B below. Had he, and subsequent presidents, left it in place, Caribbean people may have stayed home. Our lack of a National Sacrifice ethos would dictate this decision-making.

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We cannot go back in time …

… but we can go forward and foster a National Sacrifice ethos of our own. Not by messaging a devotion for a “cause to die for”, but rather messaging a “cause to live for”. We already have the greatest address considering island terrain, fauna/flora, hospitality, festivities, food, rum and cigars. If only we can optimize our societal engines (economics, security and governance).

Yes, we can … foster the national pride and love of culture. It takes heavy-lifting so this is the charter for the Go Lean/CU roadmap. We had that ethos before …

… the same Black-and-Brown populations have had to endure change over the years, decades and centuries to get the progress they have now. The Go Lean book identified the ethos of “deferred gratification” as having a focus on the future. Accentuating this ethos is how we forge patriotism and love of homeland. As related in a previous blog, public servants are required to show a sacrificial spirit now. Many times these public servants (school teachers and administrators) are lowly paid; their service to their country is a great sacrifice. Yet respect for this group is so lacking now – see this previous blog that relates the under-funding of a pension plan in one Caribbean member-state.

This is among the building blocks for fostering National Sacrifice. This point was detailed in these 2 previous blogs:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2809 National Sacrifice – The Missing Ingredient
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=3929 Success Recipe: Add Bacon to Eggs

The Caribbean is arguably “the greatest address on the planet”. This beauty should be valued; we should be willing to die for our homeland, but the Go Lean roadmap is only asking that we live for it … and live in it. Everyone in the Caribbean is urged to lean-in to this roadmap for Caribbean empowerment. 🙂

Download the book Go Lean … Caribbean – now!


Appendix A – Conscription (or drafting)

This is the compulsory enlistment of people in some sort of National Service, most often military service.[2] Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names. The modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a very large and powerful military. Most European nations later copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and then transfer to the reserve force.

Conscription is controversial for a range of reasons, including conscientious objection to military engagements on religious or philosophical grounds; political objection, for example to service for a disliked government or unpopular war; and ideological objection, for example, to a perceived violation of individual rights. Those conscripted may evade service, sometimes by leaving the country.[4] Some selection systems accommodate these attitudes by providing alternative service outside combat-operations roles or even outside the military, such as civil service in Austria and Switzerland.

As of the early 21st century, many states no longer conscript soldiers, relying instead upon professional militaries with volunteers enlisted to meet the demand for troops. The ability to rely on such an arrangement, however, presupposes some degree of predictability with regard to both war-fighting requirements and the scope of hostilities. Many states that have abolished conscription therefore still reserve the power to resume it during wartime or times of crisis.[5]
Source: Retrieved January 15, 2015 from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription


Appendix B – End of Conscription

During the 1968 presidential election, Richard Nixon campaigned on a promise to end the draft.[57] He had first become interested in the idea of an all-volunteer army during his time out of office, based upon a paper by Martin Anderson of Columbia University.[58] Nixon also saw ending the draft as an effective way to undermine the anti-Vietnam war movement, since he believed affluent youths would stop protesting the war once their own probability of having to fight in it was gone.[59] There was opposition to the all-volunteer notion from both the Department of Defense and Congress, so Nixon took no immediate action towards ending the draft early in his presidency.[58]

Instead, the Gates Commission was formed, headed by Thomas S. Gates, Jr., a former Secretary of Defense in the Eisenhower administration. Gates initially opposed the all-volunteer army idea, but changed his mind during the course of the 15-member commission’s work.[58] The Gates Commission issued its report in February 1970, describing how adequate military strength could be maintained without having conscription.[57][60] The existing draft law was expiring at the end of June 1971, but the Department of Defense and Nixon administration decided the draft needed to continue for at least some time.[60] In February 1971, the administration requested of Congress a two-year extension of the draft, to June 1973.[61][62]

Senatorial opponents of the war wanted to reduce this to a one-year extension, or eliminate the draft altogether, or tie the draft renewal to a timetable for troop withdrawal from Vietnam;[63] … After a prolonged battle in the Senate, in September 1971 the draft renewal bill was approved.[65] Meanwhile, military pay was increased as an incentive to attract volunteers, and television advertising for the U.S. Army began.[57] With the end of active U.S. ground participation in Vietnam, December 1972 saw the last men conscripted, who were born in 1952[66] and who reported for duty in June 1973.
Source: Wikipedia Online Encyclopedia – Retrieved 02/13/2017 from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conscription_in_the_United_States#End_of_conscription


Appendix C VIDEOOpposition to the Vietnam War in the United Stateshttps://youtu.be/vVNUlOUlMeo

Published on Oct 21, 2015 – As opposition to the Vietnam War grew, protests erupted in communities and college campuses across the United States. In May of 1970, four students were killed by Ohio National Guard troops on the campus of Kent State University in Ohio during a protest. The deaths shocked the nation and brought attention to the unrest of the times. This segment from Iowa Public Television’s Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary includes archival footage and and first-person accounts from a news reporter, protester, and draft resistor from the era. Source: http://iptv.org



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