Women & the draft
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
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Another carbon credit scheme
- Recasting the EPA: Devolving power to the states
- School funding canard: Money isn’t the answer
- Public records: Updates needed
- Saturday essay: For the birds
- Rejecting Common Core: Flawed school standards
- The Thursday Wrap
- Sunday pops