“The biggest piece of opposition” to extending draft registration to women, former Nevada Congressman Joe Heck told The New York Times, “was, we are not going to draft our mother and daughters, our sisters and aunts to fight in hand-to-hand combat.”
Yet, that seems precisely what the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service, chaired by Heck, called for in its just released report, urging Congress to make our daughters sign up for the military draft and to be equally conscripted in any call-up.
Or in a new compulsory military will draftees be able to say, “No thanks, I don’t feel like engaging in hand-to-hand combat”?
Today, women comprise nearly 19 percent of 1.2 million active-duty soldiers. They rightly have all combat jobs open to them — the very positions a draft has traditionally been used to fill.
So, in the name of equal rights are we forcing mom into a foxhole or not?
It seems . . . complicated.
“Women bring a whole host of different perspectives, different experiences,” offered Debra Wada, a commission member and former assistant secretary for the Army.
Since when does the military conscript people for their “perspective”?
“[B]eing drafted does not necessarily mean serving in combat,” The Times paraphrased Wada. “In a time of national crisis, the government could draft people to a variety of positions, from clerical work to cybersecurity.”
This doesn’t seem to be about actual equality of service —or equality of risk — at all, but instead about a bigger pool of possible forced labor.
“If the threat is to our very existence,” Wada rhetorically inquired, “wouldn’t you want women as part of that group?”
But as volunteers, not as conscripts — and the same for men.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.