Drafting women to go off to war has been unheard of since the draft the history of the draft. But, now, at a time when gender-equal policies are major issues, that idea may be one of the past.
Daily Caller says that the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) issued a report urging Congress and the Pentagon to “make women register for the draft.” BPC claims the Selective Service System is seriously outdated. It’s needs reform desperately. And, this will require the cooperation of both Congress and the Pentagon to accomplish.
The Bipartisan Policy Center report, which was released on Monday, says the biggest mistake the Defense Department can do in regards to drafting women, would be to ignore the idea and do nothing. This would also lead to the worst outcome possible, claims BPC.
The Daily Caller reports:
“Elected officials and Pentagon leadership should take meaningful action to advance personnel reform by the end of 2017. Through bipartisan cooperation and leadership from public officials, the United States can ensure that its longstanding military advantage can endure well into the 21st century.”
The report proposes to make Selective Service gender-equal and redesign the system to pay far more attention to specific skills or technical qualifications possessed by participants. In the event of a major disaster, the military would be able to institute a “smart draft,” that is, funnel in draftees with particular aptitude in a high-demand area.
Since Selective Service was instituted prior to the establishment of an all-volunteer force, the report argues that it is woefully out of date, unless modified to collect much more useful information.
“The current system is limited to males and only requires basic identifying information, making it only useful for the enhancement of military manpower through mass-conscription—which is unlikely to occur and equally unlikely to be helpful in future conflicts,” the report notes.
And of course, the first way to fix this is to require that registrants complete the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery in high school. Once permission is given, these scores would be sent to military recruiters, who could then get in touch with students and persuade high-scoring ones to join the service.
The Obama administration supported forcing women to sign up for the draft given that all combat roles were opened to women.
“As old barriers for military service are being removed, the administration supports — as a logical next step — women registering for the Selective Service,” Ned Price, a spokesman for the National Security Council, said.
But that line of reasoning didn’t persuade Congress, and instead, the defense authorization bill passed late in 2016 included language calling for a review of the rationale of the draft system altogether.
It’s likely that Democrats will attempt to bring up the issue of expanding the draft to women in 2017, but because Republicans have a strong grip on both Congress and the White House, there is little to no chance draft expansion will see the light of day.