While there are some obvious flaws in analysis provided by the linked article – chief among them the fact that it is China, not the USA, that will obviously win a naval war in the South Pacific, due to its massive superiority in shipbuilding capacity – his overall point stands.
I’ve read almost a dozen paper now suggesting the US reinstitute a draft or that it would need a draft in a war with China. I’ve not seen a single paper suggest how that could be achieved…
Functionally America is an hourglass-shaped empire.
It’s really two empires barely connected.
It is a 19th-century land empire conquered by the American settler populace, and it is a 20th-century Maritime and global empire conquered by the US Navy and the barely closeted communist bureaucrats of the federal government, along with the foreigners they funded.
These two empires barely interact, indeed America is amongst the most autarkic economies in the world with 90% of its trade flows isolated to North America.
The place they meet, the narrow center of this hourglass, is Washington DC.
And here’s the thing, whereas Washington is consistently able to push about its overseas maritime empire sending troops and its agents into Afghanistan or Korea or Vietnam or Ukraine whilst all of its bureaucrats and tax collectors remain safe behind the twin moats of its oceans, and the mountain that is the curvature of the earth and the north pole on its third side… and its completely open border with Mexico on its fourth, (but no one cares about that)
Whilst Washington remains completely safe from any threat to its 20th-century Maritime empire…
Washington’s 19th-century land empire has it by the throat.
A military draft is one of the very few things that could stir a very fat and very torpid Heritage America into rebellion against the federal government. Unlike the poor Ukrainians, who are being sacrificed en masse to the Russian slaughter machine with about as much ability to resist as a 12-year-old Mexican maiden being carted up an Aztec pyramid, Americans possess the wherewithal to effectively resist 21st century press gangs.
If forced to choose, most Americans would rather find themselves facing jackboots than hypersonics and tactical nukes. Which is why they won’t be forced to choose, and the neoclowns will do their best to find a few Asian proxies to play the role of sacrificial victims.
Besides, there are no shortage of paper-seeking immigrants who can be offered citizenship in return for being hurled at the People’s Liberation Army. If anyone is going to be impressed into the US military, it will be those who cannot resist.
Then again, the neoclowns have never shown any hesitation before leaping into the abyss of obvious and inevitable failure. And one of the papers to which the article refers is published by the US War College (PDF).
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. The Individual Ready Reserve, which stood at 700,000 in 1973 and 450,000 in 1994, now stands at 76,000. 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.
Against this is the fact that war with China requires ships, not manpower. And those are mostly ships that the US Navy doesn’t have and cannot build.