Military Draft Expanded to Women?
Ended by President Gerald Ford in 1975, President Jimmy Carter again made registration with the Selective Service System (SSS) for military draft/conscription mandatory for males/people identified male at birth, ages 18-25. On March 25, 2020, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (NCMNPS) recommended that Congress expand SSS registration to women.
Two bills have been introduced to Congress: H.R. 5492, calls for the elimination of the SSS and of past penalties to young men who did not register, and a second bill, HR 6415, would force young women to register for a military draft, as well as further expand military recruitment and the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp (JROTC).
TIR does not believe that mandating women to register for a military draft supports equality for women. We believe that the best way to promote gender equality and fairness is to free men from military conscription and end draft registration for all.
We plan to host advocacy trainings this year for young people and their allies so that they can tell our elected officials how they want to be of service, but not be coerced into that service.
A bipartisan bill, H.R. 5492, calls for elimination of the SSS, to move beyond forcing young people into military. The main sponsor of the bill, Rep. Peter DeFazio, released this statement on the NCMNPS’s recommendation to expand draft registration to women. He says in part:
“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.”
TIR HAS CALLED FOR THE ABOLITION OF THE SSS. WE HAVE BEEN WORKING WITH ANTIDRAFT AND ANTIWAR ACTIVISTS SUCH AS THE CENTER ON CONSCIENCE AND WAR, CODEPINK, COMMITTEE OPPOSED TO MILITARIZATION AND THE DRAFT AMONG OTHERS, TO BUILD AWARENESS OF THE SSS AND THE ACTIONS YOUTH AND THEIR ALLIES CAN TAKE BOTH INDIVIDUALLY AND COLLECTIVELY. HERE ARE SOME LINKS TO HELP OPPONENTS OF THE DRAFT AND WAR UNDERSTAND WHAT IS HAPPENING:
- Statement endorsed by Antiwar.com from anti-draft and antiwar activists and organizations about the NCMNPS report and what Congress should do about the draft
- Statement by the Center on Conscience and War.
- Oped by Rivera Sun of CodePink: Four Reasons to Ditch the Draft.
- Interview with Edward Hasbrouck and Rivera Sun: Courage to Resist Podcast, 26 April 2020
- Background on the NCMNPS (What is this National Commission? Why was it appointed? What has it been doing for the last four years?)
- More information can be found at Edward Hasbrouck’s Resisters.info website.