Ditch the Draft, Once and for All

It’s outdated. It’s dysfunctional. It’s hated by most of the populace. No, we’re not talking about the line at the DMV. We’re talking about the Selective Service and the military draft. For decades, young men have had to register. Now, congress is considering expanding draft registration to women.

Here’s a better idea: let’s abolish the Selective Service and end draft registration for everyone.

A new bill in congress calls for the repeal of the Selective Service Act. Introduced by a bipartisan group, it eliminates this outdated, immoral, and unpopular system. The Selective Service Repeal Act would repeal the Military Selective Service Act in its entirety; repeal presidential authority to order registration for a military draft; abolish the Selective Service System, including the data center, national and regional offices, and local draft boards that have been appointed and trained for every county in the US; and end all federal sanctions for nonregistration with the Selective Service System.

Politicians from across the aisle are acknowledging that it’s time to end the draft system.

"The military draft registration system is an unnecessary, wasteful bureaucracy which unconstitutionally violates Americans’ civil liberties. We should be abolishing military draft registration altogether, not expanding it,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), co-sponsor.

“If a war is worth fighting, Congress will vote to declare it and people will volunteer,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), cosponsor

"(The US Selective Service) has far outlived its expiration date, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars per year." – Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Even the former head of the Selective Service testified to a congress-appointed commission on the draft that the current database is so incomplete and inaccurate that it would be “less than useless” for an actual draft. Rather than continuing this system – or expanding it to young women – the option is on the table to get rid of it.

If you hate the idea of a military draft as much as the next American (and most of us do), find out how to organize to keep young women – and young men – from having to deal with this. Tell your congresspersons to cosponsor or support the new bill to abolish the Selective Service. Now is the time to end this unjust, unnecessary, outdated system, once and for all.

Rivera Sun, syndicated by PeaceVoice, has written numerous books, including The Dandelion Insurrection. She is the editor of Nonviolence News and a nationwide trainer in strategy for nonviolent campaigns.

6 thoughts on “Ditch the Draft, Once and for All”

  1. We don’t have the “draft”, but kids have to sign up for one when they turn 18.

  2. People of honor and decency have been trying to end this obscene variety of slavery for more than 370 years; see extract from “An Agreement of the Free People of England” (May 1649)

    XI. — We doe not impower them to impresse or constraint any person to serve in war by Sea or Land every mans Concience being to be satisfied in the justness of that cause wherein he hazards his own life, or may destroy an others.

    It is long past time for this assault upon an individual’s self propriety to be ended.

    1. It is comforting to know that efforts have been made to eliminate this involuntary servitude dating back to the 17th century. It is not comforting to know that no permanent progress has been made in doing so for that long.

  3. “If a war is worth fighting, Congress will vote to declare it and people will volunteer,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), cosponsor

    I knew Rand Paul was an idiot, but this is beyond-belief stupid even for him.

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