Now that women serving in the U.S. military are eligible to serve in combat, should females be required to register for the draft when they turn 18?
It is a legal mandate for men. At 18 males must sign up with the Selective Service System, an independent federal agency that keeps track of those eligible to be drafted until they are older than 25. Those on the list could be drafted into the military in case of war.
It’s now being argued that as a matter of gender equality women should be eligible for the draft.
Others don’t see a need to draft women since they now make up a very small percentage of combat forces.
The law seems to be on the side of drafting women. Experts contend trying to establish a legal reason for drafting men but not women would now be difficult.
“They’re going to have to show that excluding women from the draft actually improves military readiness,” said Diane Mazur, a law professor at the University of Florida and a former Air Force officer. “I just don’t see how you can make that argument.”
Strong supporters of allowing women in combat favor including women in the draft.
“We see registration as another step forward in terms of equality and fairness,” said Greg Jacob, a former Marine Corps officer and policy director for the Service Women’s Action Network.
We don’t see this as a gender issue. Neither women nor men should have to register for the draft.
It’s a ridiculous waste of time and money. The U.S. now spends more than $24 million a year on the Selective Service System. So if women were required to register along with men, the budget would have to be dramatically increased.
Throwing good money after bad is the idiom that applies to this situation. Nobody has been drafted in this country since the Vietnam War in 1973 and the chances of the draft being reinstated are incredibly small. The all-volunteer military has been serving the U.S. well for 40 years.
Those who steadfastly want to keep Selective Service up and running contend it’s critical to have a list of eligible men — or women — in case the United States resumed drafting soldiers.
If the nation needed to be protected from invaders plenty of new volunteers would step forward immediatly to serve in the military. This would provide plenty of time to establish a draft to gather more soldiers if necessary.
The current system, essentially a skeleton of a draft system, would likely take the same amount of time to ramp up as starting from scratch would.
Selective Service should end. The country would save $24 million a year (every million helps in the current fiscal mess) and the issue of drafting women would be moot.
Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., and Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., are leading the charge to abolish the Selective Service System. Now is the perfect time to eliminate the waste of millions of taxpayer dollars year after year.