Doug Bandow

Recent Articles

Military Wreckage

Representative Charles Rangel is reintroducing legislation for a draft. He first pushed his bill in 2003 in an attempt to slow the Bush administration's rush to war. Now he's advancing conscription to provide the bodies necessary to prosecute the Bush administration's unnecessary war. Returning to a draft would ruin the world's dominant armed forces, filling its ranks with people who don't want to serve and turning military service into a divisive political issue. Yet Rangel's proposal reflects an ugly reality: The Bush administration's disastrous intervention in Iraq -- dubious social engineering on a global scale -- already is wrecking the U.S. military. As Rangel points out, "The entire volunteer system is in danger of collapse under the weight of the burden being placed on those who are serving." Recruiting and retention are suffering. The active forces have joined the reserves on the manpower-critical list, with both the Army and Marines failing to meet their recruiting goals for...

Dealing with Legalization

Although hostilities abroad have captured the attention of Americans over the last year, the U.S. remains mired in a costly domestic conflict -- the drug war. While both President Bush and members of Congress seem to hope the issue will simply fade away, millions of people still use drugs, drug-related crime and killings continue to rise in major cities, drug enforcement officials violate the civil liberties of the innocent as well as the guilty, and drug dealers seduce young people into joining their criminal enterprises. Yet as the drug war has dragged on, the sense of crisis that once surrounded it has lessened -- making this an opportune moment to reassess the war and debate the direction of future policy. For we must consider more than the usual minor reforms advanced by Washington policy makers. We need, instead, a serious and rational debate on the legalization, or really re-legalization, of drugs. Proposals for legalizing drugs have entered the mainstream of public debate in...