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Yes, women should be part of the military draft 

“You’ve come a long way, baby.” But Democrats in Congress say it’s still not enough.

Senate Republicans are Democrats Proposed amendments The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed last week, requires women between the ages of 18 and 25 to automatically register for the Selective Service Program (commonly known as the draft).

The NDAA, passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, requires all men between the ages of 18 and 25 to vote in the U.S. Automatically registered Senate Republicans opposed a Democratic proposal to extend the selective service system to women.

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) called the idea “insane” and said, “They [women] “Men should not be forced to serve in the military if they do not want to,” but this overlooks the fact that men may be forced to serve in the military if they do not want to. (Divided, 2021) supreme court It ruled that male-only conscription was constitutional.

Hawley successfully led two previous efforts to defeat a similar amendment in 2021 and 2022, so he will likely again lead an effort to remove the language from the bill along with Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Whether this amendment survives remains to be seen, but the time has come to prepare for the conscription of women in times of war or national emergency.

In 2013, all combat roles were opened to women. Currently, the commanders of both the Navy and Coast Guard are women, as are the commanders of U.S. Southern Command and U.S. Transportation Command, both of which are four-star general positions.

In 2022, National Commission on Military, National and Public Service “The time has come to expand selective service registration to all men and women between the ages of 18 and 26. This is a necessary and just step that will allow us to draw on the talents of a unified nation in times of national emergency,” the committee wrote in its recommendations.

According to a 2021 Ipsos poll Declining support 55% of male respondents and 36% of female respondents supported female conscription. Women under 30Forty percent supported conscription of women as well as men.

With fairness all the rage these days, maybe it’s time for the country’s leaders to heed the commission’s advice and start a conversation.

The US military can’t recruit enough people. The military is down in personnel by 2023. 41,000 Shortage According to the goal, Department of Defense investigations; Only 9 percent of young Americans who are eligible to serve in the military intend to do so.

The military is unable to attract enough recruits, in part Declining social cohesion Thanks to social media Lack of trust in national institutionsThe trend began in the wake of the Vietnam War, and according to the Pew Research Center, “the percentage of people who say they can trust their government all or most of the time has not risen above 30% since 2007.”

Young men feel alienated from society. High Interest Rates They have a lot of problems, including suicide, drug abuse, and poor academic performance. If half the population drops out because women are not included in the draft, they’ll (rightly) feel the game is rigged. Unless they head to Canada or Mexico, they’re likely to have disciplinary problems after they put on the uniform, especially if they feel they can eventually join the military. Presidential pardon.

Many people feel obligated National Service It forces young people to “take risks” and promotes civic consciousness, but unless it’s done during a mandatory, agreed-upon national emergency, it may backfire — a belief remnant of the military’s role in helping to end racial segregation after the death of President Harry Truman. Ordered the abolition of racial discrimination He retired from the military in 1948.

Since then, the military has emerged as a useful tool for enacting social change without the hassle of convincing the American public that it’s a good idea.

Speaking of emergencies, a hiring shortage is not an emergency. It’s a feeling of alienation and Distrust in public institutions After Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s understandable. Many senior officials I learned the reality His failure to communicate this to his people while talking about America’s longest war in Afghanistan justifies distrust and skepticism.

So what should the nation’s leaders do about the conscription of young women?

First, they should announce that female conscripts are eligible to serve in all services (Army, Navy, etc.) and all branches (infantry, logistics, cyber defense, etc.) By placing female conscripts in positions where they can be productive without being involved in ground combat (unless they volunteer and are physically qualified), perhaps enough Americans will support an expanded draft.

Second, we need to stop the epidemic of sexual assault and harassment in the military. May 2024 Report The report on sexual assaults in the military noted a downward trend starting in 2021, saying, “This is the first time in nearly a decade that the Department of Defense has seen a decrease in the estimated incidence of sexual assaults.” This is hardly reassuring news. Nor was it that it was quickly overtaken by allegations that Coast Guard leaders had tried to solicit sexual assaults within the military. Concealing the report About decades of sexual assault at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Third, Congress must ensure that the next time we are forced into a war, we call it a war. Congress must avoid the cowardly act of: Authorization for the Use of Military ForceThis law allowed members of Congress to “do something” about the September 11 attacks without incurring the responsibility of declaring war or asking the public for the necessary mobilization support. A formal declaration of war would convince Americans that this time it was serious, and not just another overseas adventure in support of vague and shifting “American interests.”

Finally, leaders must make it clear what conscripted soldiers are fighting for: in response to an attack on the homeland, in defense of Ukraine, Israel, or Taiwan, or to punish bad actors who don’t bow to America’s will?

It is past time for young American women to accept the heaviest burden of citizenship — military service. But first, our leaders must demand honorable and responsible behavior from themselves and their colleagues in the public and private sectors to halt the erosion of faith in American institutions.

James Durso He served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years, serving in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.