Women and the Draft

The selective service registration for American women has become a topic of much discussion and several presidential debates. There can be no debate that the most important title of the President of the United States is Commander-in-Chief. But it is important that we also understand constitutional responsibility. The enumerated power relating to raising military force is clearly delineated in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 12 of the Constitution, “To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years”. The legislative branch has the responsibility and enumerated power to deal with matters concerning the raising Armies in defense of the United States. As well, Article I, Section 8, Clause 16 addresses the relationship of the legislative branch with the Militia, “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.” In the spirit of the law, US Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) has introduced legislation that would authorize Congress (and ONLY Congress) to modify or change the persons subject to Selective Service registration. The importance of Sen. Lee doing such is to ensure that this issue does not become a politicized, ideological hot potato at a serious time for our military.

There can be no debate that the Obama administration has been more focused on social egalitarianism and “fairness” when it comes to our military and its readiness. And it is a time when our military readiness is very concerning.

The purpose of a “draft” would be to surge building combat manpower for the United States at a time of war. Regardless of what we may believe, we are enjoined in a very deliberate war with Islamic jihadism. As well, there are flashpoints with traditional state actors such as Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. Is it necessary to have a discussion about expanding the selective service obligation in America to women? If we would just focus on having a strong volunteer military that is allowed to defeat the enemy on the battlefield we would not need this debate. It would behoove any presidential candidate to examine the geographic areas of responsibility under our Combatant Commands and begin a process of building a power projection force. This is something different from a forward deployed military that defined the Cold War.

Instead of a debate on expanding the draft to women, NCPA has offered a five point national security strategy that is not rooted in political ideology but the preeminent role of the federal government.

  1. We need to build a force capable of meeting the state and non-state belligerent threats on the global stage. We need to have a force for the 21st century battlefield that can function across the full spectrum of combat operations as well as other aspects of support. It must be a force that is deployable, flexible, and provides a deterrent capacity for the Commander-in-Chief.
  1. Reduce the Department of Defense bureaucracy, this is vital in ensuring our military is focused on the warfighter and their capability and not growing headquarters. The US military is becoming far more top heavy and that has nothing to do with advanced technology.
  1. Reform our weapons procurement and acquisition process so that we seek weapons systems the force needs…not what industry demands. And we need to ensure our weapons system development process stays on track on timeline and within budget.
  1. Transform our war fighting strategies, twenty-five years ago we fought a combat operation called Operation Desert Storm. The rules of engagement enabled victory, matter of fact, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell stated, “we are going to cut it off [Iraqi Army] and kill it”. When was the last time we heard such definitive declaration of victory from senior military leaders, or even from the Commander-in-Chief.
  1. Compensate our men and women entering military service above the poverty level. It is very interesting we have the debate about a $15 “living wage” in America, yet we compensate our young Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen at an astonishing low rate.

Here are five critical issues that should be leading policy points for anyone desiring to be our President. The last thing we need is for the media and social egalitarians to advance discussion of an issue that is not necessary for the national security of the United States.

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