New York Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel said Sunday he sees his idea as a way to deter politicians from launching wars. He believes a draft would bolster U.S. troop levels that are currently insufficient to cover potential future action in Iran, North Korea and Iraq.
"There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft, and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way," Rangel said. (Your e-mails on draft)
Rangel, a veteran of the Korean War who has unsuccessfully sponsored legislation on conscription in the past, said he will propose a measure early next year.
In 2003, he proposed a draft covering people age 18 to 26. This year, he offered a plan to mandate military service for men and women between age 18 and 42. It went nowhere in the Republican-led Congress.
Democrats will control the House and Senate come January because of their victories in the November 7 mid-term election.
At a time when some lawmakers are urging the military to send more troops to Iraq, "I don't see how anyone can support the war and not support the draft," said Rangel.
He also proposed a draft in January 2003, before the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who is a colonel in the U.S. Air Force Standby Reserve, said he agreed that the U.S. does not have enough people in the military.
"I think we can do this with an all-voluntary service, all-voluntary Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy. And if we can't, then we'll look for some other option," said Graham, who is assigned as a reserve judge to the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals.
Rangel and Graham appeared on "Face the Nation" on CBS.