It had to happen. John Murtha, one of the first congressmen to openly criticize the handling of the war in Iraq, has called for reinstatement of the compulsory military draft. Success in Iraq, he says, can only be achieved through "a surge in force." The all-volunteer military has reached its limits and beyond, so something has to give.

The military draft is the elephant in the room that has differentiated this war from Vietnam. Ironically, reinstating the draft would be the same as admitting that the U.S. effort in Iraq is in its "last throes," to borrow the phrase used by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld once when referring to the Iraqi insurgency. This time, however, the prediction would be more accurate.

Steven E. Yorgason