Salon has a piece on McCain’s opposition to a measure that would expand and renew the GI Bill. What makes the opposition unconscionable is that a few days earlier, on the view, McCain talked about increasing the size of the military. To entice more volunteers, for a unending war that we refuse to draft for, McCain said the government should focus on incentives: “[O]ne of the things we ought to do is provide [the troops with] significant educational benefits in return for serving.”
Earlier in the video, McCain outlines his strategy for success. We need to keep troops there until they stop getting killed, then they get to stay.
What is McCain’s rationale for opposing the GI Bill. We can’t really say. But, it might be along the same lines as Bush officials who “worry that a more generous and expansive GI Bill would create an incentive for troops to get out of the military and go to college.”
I didn’t agree with this war from the beginning. Irrespective of that, the people who did fight deserve to be taken care of. It is debatable whether an all volunteer force is better than a larger force with some conscription as far as the military mission is concerned. However, what an all volunteer force does is relieve some of the political pressure. Apathetic youth suddenly find a reason to participate in their government when they find out they might be the next victim of an IED. Keeping the physical burden to a small group of volunteers and mercenaries combined with simply passing the financial burden onto the next generation of Americans seems to be the order of the day. As it stands, there is no shared sacrifice to this war in Iraq. The people who did get called to go have had to bear an unfair burden.
In this respect, McCain is not a candidate that represents a departure from disastrous Bush policies. He is more of the same.