Rangel: Everyone Should Be Prepared to Serve in Afghanistan

Posted April 2, 2009 at 12:43pm

House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) is the latest liberal lawmaker to criticize President Barack Obama’s plan to send 21,000 more troops into Afghanistan.

But his concerns aren’t with the size of the deployment. Rather, Rangel is taking issue with who is being deployed.

If the situation in Afghanistan is “that serious, everybody should be prepared, including me, to go there and expose myself to danger,— said Rangel, who has previously pushed to reinstate a military draft. “Terrorists are not just going to select poor folks, they’re going to select rich folks too. … That means Members of Congress, the administration, CEOs should be volunteering.—

Rangel, a co-founder of the Out of Iraq Caucus, said he isn’t opposed to ramping up a military presence in Afghanistan as long as those soldiers weren’t driven to join the military because of the nation’s economic conditions that have fueled high unemployment rates.

Asked if it is time to bring back the military draft, Rangel said, “We should make the selection more favorable.—