This week the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service (NCMNPS) plans to release its final report including recommendations to Congress on whether Selective Service registration should be ended or extended to young women as well as young men.
Whatever the NCMNPS recommends, the release of its report is unlikely to get much attention this week in the news or from Congress. But it will be one of the most significant events in decades in relation to military conscription, setting the stage for a Congressional debate about the future of the Selective Service System that can no longer be postponed indefinitely in light of ongoing court cases, and that is likely to occur sometime in the next year or so.
I and other antidraft and antiwar activists will be responding to the NCMNPS report as soon as it is released. In the meantime, here are some links to help opponents of the draft and war understand what is happening and be prepared for this week’s announcement:
- Statement endorsed by Antiwar.com from anti-draft and antiwar activists and organizations about the NCMNPS report and what Congress should do about the draft
- Background on the NCMNPS (What is this National Commission? Why was it appointed? What has it been doing for the last four years?)
- Records of NCMNPS meetings and activities released in response to my FOIA requests (The NCMNPS has been unable to tell me when it plans to complete its responses to these requests)
- The Health Care Personnel Delivery System (Ongoing contingency planning by the Selective Service System, as mandated by Congress, for conscription of workers in 57 categories of health care occupations — doctors, nurses, physical therapists, medical equipment technicians, etc. — men, and women ages 20-44, in the event of war or other “national emergency”):
What will happen next?
The NCMNPS has said it will release its final report and recommendations sometime on Wednesday, March 25th, on its Web site.
The deadline set by Congress for the NCMNPS to release its report was last Friday, March 20th. But long before the coronavirus outbreak, the NCMNPS, had announced plans to ignore that statutory deadline and stage-manage the release of its report a week later.
The NCMNPS hasn’t done well with deadlines. Many of the appointments of members of the NCMNPS weren’t made until months after the deadline in the law that created the NCMNPS, and the NCMNPS didn’t begin meeting until months after another deadline in that law. Almost two years later, Congress enacted a new law retroactively ratifying the late appointments of members of the NCMNPS and pushing back the deadlines for its meetings and reports by nine months.
A Senate hearing on the NCMNPS report has also been postponed, although it still likely indicates which Subcommittee will be the first to eventually consider the NCMNPS recommendations. Only members of the NCMNPS, and not any of its critics or those with other views, were invited to testify.
Stay tuned for more news about the draft and draft registration, most likely Wednesday morning.
Edward Hasbrouck maintains the Resisters.info website and was one of the expert witnesses invited to testify before the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. Reprinted with permission from Edward Hasbrouck’s website.