|The U.S. Congress is closer than ever to underhandedly expanding draft registration to include women — with no referendum, no poll, no hearing, very little media coverage, and virtually no mention in the media of the option of abolishing draft registration for everyone rather than expanding it to women.
But there are bills now just introduced in both houses to do exactly what's needed and repeal the Selective Service Act.
Click here to email your Representative and Senators.
H.R. 2509 / S. 1139 would:
- Repeal the Military Selective Service Act (thereby eliminating Presidential authority to order men to register with the Selective Service System for a possible military draft and eliminating criminal penalties for failure or refusal to register);
- Abolish the Selective Service System (thereby ending contingency planning by the SSS for the Health Care Personnel Delivery System or any other form of special-skills draft);
- Prohibit all other Federal agencies from imposing civil sanctions (denial of federal student financial aid, federally-funded jobs, etc.) for nonregistration or using nonregistration as a basis for other adverse determinations (denial of naturalization as a U.S. citizen, etc.);
- “Preempt” (and thereby override and prohibit) all state sanctions for nonregistration (denial of drivers’ licenses, state financial aid, state jobs, etc.); and
- Preserve the rights of conscientious objectors under other laws and regulations (such as applicants for reassignment to noncombatant duties or discharge from the military on the basis of conscientious objection).
The United States had an active draft from 1940 to 1973 (except for one year between 1947 and 1948). It also had numerous wars including in Korea and Vietnam. The Vietnam War not only persisted for many years during the draft, killing far more people than any U.S. war since, but also continued for two years after the draft ended.
Wars have usually been facilitated by a draft, not prevented. The drafts in the U.S. civil war (both sides), the two world wars, and the war on Korea did not end those wars, despite being much larger and in some cases fairer than the draft during the U.S. war on Vietnam.
On April 24, 2019, the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service heard testimony from Major General John R. Evans, Jr., Commanding General, U.S. Army Cadet Command; Mr. James Stewart, Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel & Readiness); and Rear Admiral John Polowczyk, Vice Director of Logistics for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They all testified that the Selective Service System was important for ensuring and enabling their war-making plans. Stewart said that enacting a draft would show national resolve in support of war-making efforts. John Polowczyk said, “I think that gives us some ability to plan.”
Please click here to quickly email your Representative and your two Senators to urge them to co-sponsor H.R. 2509 / S. 1139.
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>> Video of David Swanon (at 1:06:40) and Dan Ellsberg (at 1:25:40) on Why to End Draft Registration
>> 14 Points Against Draft Registration by Leah Bolger
>> David Swanson: HR 6415: The Dumbest Idea in Congress
>> World BEYOND War: Statement to the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service
>> Edward Hasbrouck: Bill Introduced to End Draft Registration
>> Congress.gov: H.R. 2509
>> Congress.gov: S. 1139
>> Center on Conscience & War, Code Pink, Committee on Militarism and the Draft, Courage to Resist, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild, Resisters.info, Veterans For Peace, War Resisters League, World BEYOND War: It’s Time to End U.S. Draft Registration Once and for All
>> Bill Galvin and Maria Santelli, Center on Conscience & War: It is time to abolish draft registration and restore full rights to people of conscience
>> David Swanson: Draft Registration Will Be Either Ended or Imposed on Women
>> David Swanson: How to Oppose the Draft for Women and Not Be Sexist
>> David Swanson: 10 Reasons Why Ending the Draft Helps End War
>> C.J. Hinke: The Last Draft Dodger: We Still Won’t Go
>> Rivera Sun: It’s Time. End the Draft Once and for All
>> Rivera Sun: Women’s Draft? Sign Me Up To Abolish War