The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service has issued a final opinion recommending women aged 18 to 25 should register for the military draft, same as men are currently required to. Oregon’s Congressman Peter DeFazio objects to any draft registration requirement for men or women.
Public opinion on the matter is divided along gender lines. A 2016 Rasmussen poll shows 61% of men favor extending draft registration to everyone – only 38% of women supported doing so.
224,000 women are currently on active duty in the U.S. military, which amounts to almost 19% of the armed forces’ 1.2 million active duty members. More than 2,900 of those women have served in Army combat positions since 2016, according to the commission.
DeFazio issues stunning rebuke: In a response to the report, Rep. DeFazio writes “The Commission’s recommendation to force even more young Americans to register for the military draft is merely an extension of an unjust and unnecessary policy.
“No young person, regardless of gender, should be subject to a military draft or be forced to register for a draft in the United States. The military draft registration system is an unnecessary, wasteful bureaucracy which unconstitutionally violates Americans’ civil liberties and unfairly subjects individuals who fail to register for the draft to unnecessarily severe, lifelong penalties – penalties which disproportionately affect low-income Americans. Adding women to the draft will only double the amount of Americans who are subjected to this arcane practice.
“We’ve known for decades that the military draft is an obsolete system. The Commission is kidding itself if it thinks that the simple routine of signing a piece of paper and receiving a registration card in the mail will galvanize young people into civic duty and national service.
“If a war was worth fighting and the Unites States’ very existence was at stake, we wouldn’t need to force Americans into military service – they would volunteer on their own volition.
“We should be abolishing military draft registration altogether, not expanding it. That’s why I’ve reintroduced my legislation, H.R. 5492, to finally abolish the Selective Service System.”
It remains to be seen if congress will take up the matter.