Menstuff® has compiled information on the issue of the
Will there be a draft?
(This was the spin before the
A full-scale invasion and occupation of a country such as
Afghanistan would likely result in the activation or reserves,
certainly. But remember drafted soldiers take 6 months to train
properly, and at this point no one is imagining a protracted
large-scale conflict on the order of WWII or even Vietnam. Its
just not that kind of enemy. But as weve learned this week, the
unimaginable is always possible.
Will There Be A Draft? - # 2
Are we at war?
If the latest outrage was perpetrated by Osama Bin Laden, then it
is part of an ongoing low-intensity war. Bin Laden is waging a
'jihad' or 'holy war' whose aim is to terrorize the U.S. into
withdrawing entirely from the Middle East and Gulf region. U.S.
personnel have traditionally worked with allied intelligence agencies
for years to thwart the Bin Laden threat and take down his networks.
Now the U.S. will escalate its campaign, and punish any states that
may have assisted Bin Laden. But this "war" is a complex combination
of intelligence, security, diplomatic and military maneuvers that is
unlikely to involve large-scale troop commitments or traditional
What is being done about an anti-Arab backlash in the United States?
What is Congress doing to respond to the
Why are they not issuing death toll
Women Should Be Drafted
But the debate about the draft raises a long-overdue question: What about women? Several young people in Massachusetts have recently confronted this issue head-on. In January, 18-year-old Samuel Schwartz of Ipswich, aided by his father, civil rights attorney Harvey Schwartz, filed a lawsuit in a federal district court in Boston challenging all-male Selective Service registration as unconstitutional. He has been joined by his 17-year-old sister and two male friends.
All-male draft registration is an issue that has received little attention -- surprising since it is the only instance in which federal law explicitly treats men and women differently. In 1981, the year after mandatory selective service registration for males was reinstated, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the law on the grounds that the purpose of the draft was to send soldiers into combat, from which women were barred.
In 2003, the legal and cultural landscape is very different. There are far more women in military ranks, doing a far wider variety of jobs -- including some combat-related ones. In the 1990 Gulf War, women were closer to the front lines than ever before, and were among the casualties of war. Today, women can pilot combat aircraft, serve on combat ships, and command battalions in combat areas. They are still barred, however, from direct engagement with enemy forces on the ground.
Curiously, the debate about women in combat has been framed primarily as a debate about women's rights. Feminists who champion women in the military generally talk about giving women the choice to serve in combat, and talk about career opportunities that servicewomen are denied because of the combat exclusion. Men -- those who volunteer for service under the present system, and possibly all military-age men if a draft is reinstated -- can be required to fight and risk their lives. A young man who does not register for Selective Service theoretically risks prosecution, and forgoes a chance for a student loan.
This paradox has led men's advocates such as author Warren Farrell to charge that feminism seems to give women options without obligations. Male-only draft registration, he argues, is a symbol of the longstanding attitude that men's lives are more ''disposable'' and that women must be protected from harm.
Indeed, some of the opposition to drafting women and putting them on the front lines is explicitly rooted in this chivalrous mentality. In the book ''The Kinder, Gentler Military,'' Stephanie Gutmann warns against trying to override the ''natural law'' that makes men want to protect women and makes societies reluctant to send women to die on the battlefield. Meanwhile, contemporary feminist dogma, fixated on male violence against women, largely avoids confronting the fact that especially in the West, patriarchy has involved not only women's oppression but women's protection.
Those feminists who have honestly confronted this issue have a point when they argue that chivalry is infantilizing. It's no accident that the claim for special protection lumps women with children. In a culture that has rejected the belief that ''natural law'' relegates women to subordination in marriage and exclusion from public life, public policy rooted in the notion that women's lives are more precious than men's is unconscionable.
But the combat exclusion is also rooted in practical considerations. Some leading proponents of women's full integration into the armed services, such as retired Air Force Major General Jeanne Holm, remain skeptical about putting women into physical combat -- primarily because it requires levels of physical prowess most women don't have. Even the weight of the equipment soldiers in ground combat must carry poses a problem for women.
Most military service, however, does not involve direct engagement
with the enemy. In Israel, women are currently drafted but serve in
noncombat positions. It should be up to the military, based on the
needs of national defense, to decide in what capacity women can be
best employed. In the meantime, the courts should reject male-only
draft registration as incompatible with equal citizenship.
Source: Cathy Young, Boston Globe
California Bill Designed to Force Draft
Despite objections that it would quash dissent to the draft and might be used to "flush out" illegal immigrants, the bill passed the Senate Governmental Organization Committee on Tuesday.
The little-noticed bill would have the effect of automatically registering California men ages 18 to 26 with the Selective Service System when they are issued their first driver's license or state identification card. Their names, addresses and Social Security numbers would be forwarded electronically to a federal databank, where they would be presumed to have registered. Those who fail to give their consent would be denied driver's licenses. Driver's license applicants ages 15 to 17, too young to register, would be presumed to have given their consent when they turn 18.
The draft was abolished in 1973, but since 1980, federal law has required men ages 18 to 26 to register in case the draft is reinstated. If they do not sign up, they can be prosecuted as felons, an unlikely possibility these days. More likely sanctions include loss of federal student loans, denial of federal job-training benefits and loss of ability to work for the federal government or in some state government jobs.
"Registration is the law. I think it should be made simple and
seamless for our young men and not be punitive," said Sen. Jackie
Speier, D-Hillsborough. It's interesting that the bill (SB1276) was
sponsored by a woman wanting to make only our boys responsible for
our countries security. I wonder why she is so intent on doing the
Federal Government's job for them.
Source: Carl Ingram, Times Staff Writer, www.latimes.com/news/local/la-000018512mar13.story
Courage is doing what you're afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you're scared. -- Eddie Rickenbacker