Wes Hickman (202) 224-5972 or Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417
– U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement on Congressman Charlie Rangel’s plan to reintroduce legislation establishing a military draft.
Graham is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said:
“Now is not the time for political stunts. It is time for all Americans to come together to ensure we win the War in Iraq.
“Introducing legislation to institute the draft is a serious matter. Any suggestion America would not be fighting the war in Iraq if other people were being sent implies that Americans are not overly concerned about the men and women serving in the all-volunteer force. I strongly disagree with that line of thought.
“The all-volunteer force is capable of defending our nation. I believe those who choose to fight the war in Iraq and create a democracy from a dictatorship are making us safer.
“There’s no doubt we need more men and women in uniform. I believe with concentrated effort we can grow the all-volunteer force by offering better benefits and pay. The good news is enlistment and retention among those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan is sky high. The people in the military have a sense of purpose and know why they're fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I respect Congressman Rangel’s service to our country, but I disagree with his thoughts on this matter. It’s also worth noting that Mr. Rangel voted against his own legislation to reinstitute the draft in October 2004. It failed in the U.S. House of Representatives 402-2.”