A “special skills” draft?

Of course, we all know that the threat of resuming the draft is a mere figment of the fevered imaginations of anti-Bush lunatics. No one is seriously thinking of actually doing it.

Except, that is, for the officials of the Selective Service System, who have been at work since last fall on developing a “special skills” draft targeted at people who know computers and foreign languages. Of course, reimposing conscription would require Congressional action, but it’s clear that the personnel folks at the Pentagon are taking this seriously enough to have encouraged Selective Service to get to work.

Can you say “perverse incentives”? I was sure you could.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com