Sign the Petition: End Draft Registration Once and for ALL!
To: National Commission on Military, National, & Public Service
To: Members of the US Congress
I join many in voicing my opposition to extending mandatory military conscription registration to include women. Now that the men-only registration requirement has been ruled unconstitutional, I urge that mandatory draft registration be ended for everyone, once and for ALL!
A Federal District Court judge issued a declaratory judgement on Friday, 22 February 2019, that the current requirement for men, but not women, to register with the Selective Service System for a possible military draft is unconstitutional. Read more
What should happen next?
Congress should not expand mandatory draft registration to women in order to “fix” the unconstitutional nature of the current men-only requirement, but end it for everyone, once and for ALL!
Consider making a tax-deductible donation towards our efforts to finally end draft registration.
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US Senate looks to expand Selective Service to women
We don’t have a draft today because widespread, visible, and widely supported resistance forced an end to the draft before the end of the US war in Vietnam.
Expanding Draft Registration to Women is Progressive, Right? Guess Again
Rosa del Duca on the “Intersectionality & the U.S. Military Draft” panel at the recent Peace and Justice Studies Association.
Women and the Future of Selective Service (Video)
A discussion of legislation that will require women to register with Selective Service hosted by the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee.
House and Senate Committees vote to make women register for the draft
House Armed Services Committee joined Senate Armed Services Committee in voting to expand registration for a possible military draft to include young women.
As a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War I fully support ways for anyone to avoid military service. However, I also believe having a draft of all young men and women is an important way to keep the US away from engaging in war. It was the draft that forced me to make a choice about my own participation in war. It’s easy to be against war in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Venezuela, etc. when all it means is showing up for a demonstration. When all young men and women are required to participate in war (i.e. draft not volunteer), then they and their families must recognize their risk and complicity. The efforts of drafted service men were key to ending the war in Vietnam.
Hi David. You make great points and I know your view is widely shared among supporters of Courage to Resist. I’ll register my disagreement, briefly: 1) Mandatory conscription registration exists primarily as a “Plan B” for military adventurism and/or unpopular wars (otherwise, you’d have plenty of volunteers). As such, if you’re against war, you should be against enabling war, 2) If we say that we’ll support future war resisters, what moral authority would we have if we supported the laws that criminalized their acts of conscience? 3) Should we really make the present situation worse for some people, in the hopes that those people will rise up against that situation (that we helped bring about)?, 4) Why is it taken for granted that overwhelmingly older people feel justified in making these decisions and laws that only apply to young (18-24) people? If there’s to be a draft system, then let’s make sure it’s in reverse age order! I bet that would really spark some protest 🙂
The Draft is human sacrifice, with the possibility of reprieve. Never again!
I totally agree with Jeff’s statement above. I did extensive military, draft & vets counseling, counselor training, etc. etc. from the Viet Nam thru Gulf War eras.
A very widespread misconception is that draftees were the force behind GI resistance, which was one of the major factors in bringing the VN war to an end. But this is completely false. GI resistance was virtually 100% from enlistees. This was my experience with everyone I counseled – CO’s, AWOL/UA’s, every kind of GI dissenter or resister. And read the history of GI resistance – all enlistees. Check out the writings of David Cortright, who brought these facts to light. At the time I wondered why this was so, but it was the experience of other counselors nationally as well.
There are many reasons for this & I’d be glad to elaborate.
However, every time some liberal says he’s “for the draft” I sense the same manipulative reasoning which assumes that men (and maybe now women) are born to provide cannon fodder for whatever military adventure the govt. cooks up. “Manpower makes war power.” The draft is what brought you the Viet Nam war. It could not have been carried out w/o the draft.
The United States had an active draft from 1940 to 1973. It stop zero wars. The US war in Vietnam continued for two more years after the end of the draft. Someone recently told me that they favored the draft, from an allegedly anti-war position, because we’d basically be transported politically back to 1969! Yet the parents of most of the young people facing a draft in the near future were not alive in 1969. Young people will find their voices soon enough as old people continue to screw over Earth and pretend that mass shootings are normal. They shouldn’t have to face death in their schools here in the US, and then be forced to kill and die abroad too.
It’s no accident that previously, a bill to extend conscription for women was introduced by a Member of Congress who didn’t want that at all but, rather, hoped to force a reconsideration of allowing women to serve in combat roles. He was wagering on the fact that we cherish women’s lives more than men’s — and he was right. Removing the discriminatory language from the current law, or simply ceasing to act on it since it’s been ruled unconstitutional, will make it much easier to mobilize opposition to mandatory registration, conscription, and any act of war-making because people don’t want to see women get killed.
Someone I used to work with on an anti-militarist project told me that in the Vietnam era, he and like-minded activists had opposed the college deferment on the grounds that it was in effect an exemption for white, middle-class men. If it’s right to oppose an exemption for being racist and classist *de facto*, how much more obviously right is it to oppose one that’s sexist *de jure*?
Yes, on this debate those of us who want to abolish mandatory conscription registration will have odd bedfellows indeed. Many rightwing religious types are already screaming about how this will undermine a woman’s traditional biblical place in the home, or whatever. Meanwhile, joining the Pentagon’s side will be liberals who believe that this will somehow recreate the spirit of 60’s activism and make the government “think twice” about waging war.