Thursday, June 16, 2016

Abolish registering for the draft or make it equal

The requirement that all males who turn 18 have to register for the draft is stupid. My understanding is that the registration requirement was a compromise between the people who wanted to end the draft and those who wanted to keep it in which the draft would end, but, as a sop to the pro-draft faction, males would have to register when they turned 18 so it would be easy to find them if the country later decided it had to reinstitute the draft.

These days, there is no politically significant pro-draft faction. Even warmongering politicians never propose bringing back the draft because of the widespread belief that a draft would make their wars less popular. As long as the country has enough people in its all-volunteer military and is willing to hand a shitload of money to private contractors to do all the stuff that the drafted U.S. army used to do for itself, the country will be free to pursue its pointless wars and the draft will never be reinstated. The registration requirement is a now-mooted compromise and it is highly likely that the registration requirement is completely unnecessary and pointless.

But if we are going to continue to force boys/men to register when they turn 18, we should impose the same requirement on girls/women. To do otherwise would undermine women's equality in the military by suggesting that males are more valuable as soldiers.

UPDATE (6/17/16): Snarki points out in the comments that "my understanding" in the first paragraph is wrong. And Snarki is right! The Vietnam-era draft ended in 1975 with no registration requirement. In 1980, in response to the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan, President Carter issued Proclamation 4771 which began the requirement that males register for the draft when they reach age 18, so they could be called up more easily if a draft were re-instituted. It was not a compromise when the Vietnam-era draft ended as I had thought. I that doesn't change the overall point of this post.