| Opinion/The Review

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Women & the draft

Daily Photo Galleries

Sunday, March 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The Pentagon's decision to allow women in combat positions gives them the right to serve their country on equal footing with men. Now, Congress must level the playing field of responsibility by requiring women, not just men, to register with the Selective Service System.

Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced the policy change in January. But because Selective Service is an independent executive branch agency, not part of the Pentagon, he couldn't — and incoming Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel can't — simply order the registration of women.

It's up to Congress to change the Military Selective Service Act by extending to women its requirement that all male U.S. citizens and permanent residents register within 30 days of their 18th birthday. It's the only way to ensure fairness and equality under the law while maintaining a sufficient pool of eligible Americans in case there's a need to resume the draft, making this a matter of national security.

It's widely believed that only a military crisis of epic proportion would trigger resumption of the draft. But in the current environment of hostile, nuclear-armed foreign nations and fanatically murderous, America-hating terrorists, such a crisis could arise at any time — and Selective Service must be ready.

Congress must ensure that America can count on its young men and women in the face of such a national-security threat — and make that change before a crisis that would dictate renewed conscription occurs.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Komen acceptance of drilling-linked money raises ire
  2. Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
  3. Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
  4. Lower Burrell man charged with shoplifting
  5. Penguins notebook: Carcillo has no hard feelings after failing to make roster
  6. Monsour hospital properties sold at free-and-clear sale
  7. Critics claim state Attorney General Kane puts politics first
  8. Pitt puts focus to test in jumbled ACC Coastal race
  9. Penn State seeks recruiting win in ‘whiteout’ game
  10. Pens look to buck shots, goals trend
  11. Corbett, Wolf resort to sticks, stones to attract attention
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.