As part of his national service agenda which he revealed in speech given in Colorado Springs, CO, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama called for increasing the military by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines. “In this young century, our military has answered when called, even as that call has come too often. Through their commitment, their capability, and their courage they have done us all proud,” Obama said.
“But we need to ease the burden on our troops, while meeting the challenges of the 21st century. That’s why I will call on a new generation of Americans to join our military, and complete the effort to increase our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines. A call to service must be backed by a sacred trust with anyone who puts on the uniform of the United States. A young person joining our military must know that we’ll only send them into harm’s way when we absolutely must,” Obama continued.
If the Obama is going to end the Iraq war, then why do we need to increase the size of the military? It doesn’t make much sense. I know he is trying to appeal to the military vote with this proposal, but it seems to go against what he said he would do during the primaries.
Plus if Obama also carries out some of his proposals, such as more than tripling the size of the AmeriCorps to 250,000, this might hurt military recruitment by creating a non-military domestic option for young people to earn education benefits. Obama also proposed doubling the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 and a $4,000 tax credit for college students who complete 100 hours of community service in a year.
According to government statistics, about 26.7% of American adults currently volunteer, with the highest percentage (35%) being through religious organizations. Volunteering is a great way to participate in your local community. Although I disagree with his plan to increase the size of the military, anything that would encourage people to be more active in their local communities is fine with me.