- - Thursday, June 16, 2016

From time to time, I weigh in on subjects outside of the scope of Tea Party Patriots. This is one of those times.

Should 18-year-old girls be compelled to register with the Selective Service against their will, in the event that a military draft is reinstated? The Senate, in passing its version of the National Defense Authorization Act this week, says “yes;” the House, in passing its version of the NDAA two weeks ago, says “no.” Which body is right?

First, let’s be specific about what we’re discussing.

A military draft would only be needed were the armed forces not able to recruit sufficient numbers of men and women to meet personnel requirements on a voluntary basis - if they could meet their requirements on a voluntary basis, there would be no need for a draft, now would there?

And under what calamitous conditions might the armed forces have such a problem meeting recruiting goals on a voluntary basis that its leaders feel themselves bound to advocate for the reinstatement of a military draft? Obviously, only when the strain on current manpower loads were too great to be sustained - which would likely only come in the event of new major combat deployments.

Thus, the likelihood is virtually certain that were a draft to be reinstated, it would be done so for the express purpose of recruiting front-line warriors. Let’s not be confused about this - we’re not talking about desk work here. We’re talking about front-line deployments, and the very real prospect of serious injury and death.

Consequently, a military draft is, by definition, the most coercive use of government power that can be implemented on a national level. Those drafted are required not only to interrupt their lives for years at a time, and submit to government control of virtually every waking hour of their lives, they are often required - again, at government command - to put themselves in dangerous places where they could be severely hurt or killed.

This is not the same as allowing women to serve in combat roles voluntarily. That is an entirely different discussion.

And that is the key to the real aim of the progressives who insist that women should serve in combat, and be required to make themselves eligible for a military draft - they’re not interested in integrating combat units by gender, they’re interested in seeing to it that the United States Government never again resorts to a military draft.

Because while it’s one thing to agree that women who want to serve in combat units should be able to serve in combat units, it’s quite another thing entirely to require that women who do not want to serve in combat units must, nevertheless, serve in combat units (and put themselves, and their male colleagues, at great risk) if the government tells them to.

I do not want, five years from now, to have my now-13-year-old daughter tell me she had just been drafted against her will, and would be forced by government mandate to put her life plans on hold for two years and make herself available for a combat unit that could lead to injury, capture, rape, or death.

I am not alone in my thinking on that subject. As I travel the country, talking with grassroots leaders and activists from all walks of life, I find similar views on the subject. Voluntary enrollment for women in combat units is not objectionable for most; but make it mandatory, coercive, against a young girl’s will, and you change the equation entirely.

The progressives are counting on that, and using it to achieve their real aim - the eventual and total defanging of the U.S. government’s capability to project military power abroad.

If the only way a U.S. president can achieve his or her foreign policy and national security goals is to threaten the deployment of U.S. armed forces against a hostile power, it is imperative that the threat be viewed by the hostile power as a) credible and b) achievable. By demanding the potential conscription of young women, the progressives are striking at the second aspect of the threat - its achievability. Because the American public will simply not support a large-scale draft of its daughters into dangerous combat, no threat by a U.S. commander in chief that required a renewed military draft would ever happen - and, therefore, the threat would be unachievable.

Of course, that’s only one part of the progressive agenda on this front. Requiring women to register with the Selective Service is just one step away from mandating some form of “national service” - after all, once you’ve got them registered with Selective Service, how hard would it be to draft them for community service of some kind? You’ve heard it before - everyone should, as a condition of being a citizen of the United States, give up two years of his or her life to “pay back” the rest of the community. And from there, it’s but a small step to being forced to spend two years of your life “policing” corporate interests for their environmental pollution, or their violation of “community standards” in their hiring practices, or whatever other kind of gobbledygook the progressives are pushing that week.

Let’s not go down that path. Let’s keep the U.S. armed forces the most lethal fighting machines on the planet, so that the need to actually use them is reduced. Let’s side with the House on this one, and remove from the upcoming National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report the provision that requires women to register for the draft. It’s the smart thing to do and the right thing to do.

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