Justin Bullock, FISM News
In a move that is angering a number of conservatives around the country, Armed Services Committee (ASC) chairman, Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island), has introduced an amendment to the newest Senate National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would require women, aged 18 to 25, to sign up for selective services just like men. This means that women would become eligible for the draft in the case of an extreme military conflict. The amendment is currently being stonewalled by Republican senators on the ASC, particularly by rising political stars Josh Hawley (R-Missouri) and Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas).
Both Hawley and Cotton took to Twitter to express their opposition to the amendment,
It’s one thing to allow American women to choose this service, but it’s quite another to force it upon our daughters, sisters, and wives. Missourians feel strongly that compelling women to fight our wars is wrong and so do I
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) July 23, 2021
Our military has welcomed women for decades and are stronger for it. But America’s daughters shouldn’t be drafted against their will. I opposed this amendment in committee, and I’ll work to remove it before the defense bill passes.
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) July 23, 2021
If the NDAA passes with the amendment, then women would have to begin to register with selective services within one year of the passage of the bill.
In many respects this debate has been at least six years in the making, when in 2015 women were authorized to engage in combat operations. At that time there was also widespread backlash to Obama’s decision to allow women in combat that parallels the response to the drafting question now up for debate. Democrats have typically expressed the progressive view that women should enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as men while serving in the military, while Republicans have typically adopted a more traditional understanding of gender roles particularly in regards to war.
The debate over the issues represented in this controversial bill are expected to continue for quite awhile. In fact there are some Senators who want to abolish the selective services and thereby the draft as a whole. On Friday a group of bipartisan Senators consisting of Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY), Rodney Davis (R-IL), and Ron Wyden (D-OR), sent a letter to the ASC proposing to do away with selective services entirely.
It’s time to end military draft registration altogether, not expand it. I joined @RodneyDavis @RonWyden & @RandPaul in urging the House Armed Services Committee to scrap this expensive, punitive, needless bureaucracy in the upcoming FY2022 National Defense Authorization Act. pic.twitter.com/zwXwcqNV7S
— Rep Peter DeFazio (@RepPeterDeFazio) July 23, 2021