Wednesday night the US House Armed Services Committee passed an amendment to require women to register for a potential military draft via the Selective Service system. The requirement already applies to men. The amendment is part the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that passed in the committee early this morning.
Richard Lardner of the Associated Press recounts of the amendments’ consideration, reporting that committee member Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) proposed the amendment to start a debate about the recent move in the military to expand women troops’ involvement in combat, with which Hunter has disagreement. Hunter voted against his own amendment, but the amendment still passed by a vote of 32 to 30.
Ron Paul Institute Chairman Ron Paul wrote in a October 19, 2014 editorial regarding why he opposes the draft. Wrote Paul:
The very worst form of national service is, of course, the military draft, which forces young people to kill or be killed on government orders. The draft lowers the cost of an interventionist foreign policy because government need not compete with private employers for recruits. Anyone who refuses a draft notice runs the risk of being jailed, so government can provide lower pay and benefits to draftees than to volunteers.
As the burden of our hyper-interventionist foreign policy increases, it is increasingly likely that there will be serious attempts to reinstate the military draft. General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, continues to suggest that US troops on the ground may be needed to fight “Operation Inherent Resolve” in Iraq and Syria. A major escalation requiring a large US troop deployment will likely add pressure to consider a military draft.
The only real way the American people can protect their children from the military draft is to demand an end to the foreign policy that sees the US military as the solution to any and every problem — from ISIS to Ebola — anywhere in the world.
Some who share my opposition to a militaristic foreign policy support the draft because they think a draft will increase public opposition to war. However, the existence of a draft did not stop the American government from launching unconstitutional wars in Vietnam and Korea. While the draft did play a role in mobilizing political opposition to Vietnam, it took almost a decade and the death of thousands of American draftees for that opposition to reach critical mass.
Reprinted with permission from the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity.