On July 21, 2021, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted to advance a military policy bill that would require women to register for the Selective Service System.
Under current law, American men ages 18 to 25 are required to register for the Selective Service. While the U.S. has not instituted a military draft since the Vietnam War, Selective Service registration provides the government with a list of men who could be drafted. This year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)—a military policy bill that is passed each year—would require women to register for the draft as well. Now that the NDAA has been approved in committee, it will proceed to a vote on the Senate floor.
During the Obama administration, the Armed Forces dramatically changed the way it dealt with issues of sexuality and gender. First, a law was passed to allow servicemembers to engage in same-sex activity. Second, the military changed its rules to allow women to serve in combat roles. Third, servicemembers identifying as “transgender” were allowed to self-identify as members of the opposite sex—a policy that was scrapped during the presidency of Donald Trump and has been re-implemented by President Joe Biden. The proposal to subject women to the military draft is just another step in the direction of abandoning all gender distinctions in the U.S. military. This is a futile quest, and one that places a higher priority on radical leftist gender ideology than it does on military readiness.
In 2020, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service recommended that women be subjected to Selective Service registration; the Commission deemed this to be a “‘necessary and fair step.’” The Commission is wrong on both counts. The U.S. Armed Forces has functioned for over 200 years without conscripting women, and potentially requiring women to face men in combat situations is the opposite of fairness.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) recently stated, “‘Our military has welcomed women for decades and [is] stronger for it. But America’s daughters shouldn’t be drafted against their will.’” The Senator is correct. U.S. Senate Republicans should stiffen their collective spine and block the passage of the NDAA until this objectionable provision is removed.
Thankfully, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a voice of sanity in the U.S. Senate, has introduced S.Res.340, a resolution opposing legislation mandating the registration of women for the Selective Service System.