What’s Wrong with Registering Women for the Draft?

Reprinted from The Library of Economics and Liberty:

The National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service issued a report in March recommending that Congress “eliminate male-only registration and expand draft eligibility to all individuals of the appropriate age cohort,” because “expanding draft eligibility to women will enable the military to access the most qualified individuals, regardless of sex.” Women have been eligible to occupy all combat roles since 2015.

This is from Ella Lubell, “Senate Considers Requiring Women to Register for the Draft,” Reason Hit and Run, July 22, 2021.

Lubell also points out the ACLU’s disappointing stance:

“Like many laws that appear to benefit women, men-only registration actually impedes women’s full participation in civic life,” says the ACLU on its website. “Limiting registration to men sends a message that women are unqualified to serve in the military, regardless of individual capabilities and preferences. It reflects an outmoded view that, in the event of a draft, women’s primary duty would be to the home front – and, on the flip side, that men are unqualified to be caregivers.”

This is appalling, especially coming from the ACLU, one of whose founding members, Roger Baldwin, went to prison for refusing to be drafted during World War I. Notice that the ACLU doesn’t mention rights but, instead, wants equal oppression. What would send a message to women that they are unqualified to serve would be a policy by the U.S. military that they can’t serve. But they can. The actual message that the US government is sending to women by not forcing them to register for a draft is that the government respects women’s rights. The government should also start respecting men’s rights.

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Chuck Yeager on War Crimes

Chuck Yeager, a great American hero, died this week at age 97. He resided in Grass Valley, California.

Yeager is best known for being the first person to break the sound barrier. He was a major character in Tom Wolfe’s 1979 classic, The Right Stuff. Indeed, Wolfe devoted a whole chapter to the man. If you think the 1983 movie of the same name was good but haven’t read the book, you have a treat in store for you. The first few pages of the chapter on Yeager are informative – and hilarious. I enjoyed the book so much that I’ve read it twice.

I’ve been a fan of Yeager for a long time. But what does this have to do with Antiwar.com? Here’s what. I’m even more of a fan because of what I read on Wikipedia about his clear thinking on war crimes.

Here’s the crucial segment:

In his 1986 memoirs, Yeager recalled with disgust that “atrocities were committed by both sides”, and said he went on a mission with orders from the Eighth Air Force to “strafe anything that moved.” During the mission briefing, he whispered to Major Donald H. Bochkay, “If we are going to do things like this, we sure as hell better make sure we are on the winning side.” Yeager said, “I’m certainly not proud of that particular strafing mission against civilians. But it is there, on the record and in my memory.”

David Henderson on Why a Trade War Is a Bad Idea

Antiwar.com columnist David R. Henderson appeared this weekend on BBC World Service “Weekend” radio show. He spoke about why a trade war is a bad idea for consumers and workers on both sides of any trade war.

David R. Henderson is a research fellow with the Hoover Institution and an emeritus professor of economics in the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School.

How Economists Helped End the Draft: David Henderson at Adrian College in Michigan Nov. 9

Place: Knight Auditorium
Date: Thursday, November 9
Time: 6:00 p.m.

I will be giving my speech “How Economists Helped End the Draft” at Adrian College in Adrian, Michigan this Thursday at 6:00 p.m.

Earlier in the day I’m giving a guest lecture in a class on globalization, but I’m pretty sure that attendance is restricted to students in the class.

If you attend, please come up and say hi afterwards.

David R. Hendersonis a research fellow with the Hoover Institution and a professor of economics in the Graduate School of Business and Public Policy at the Naval Postgraduate School. He is author of The Joy of Freedom: An Economist’s Odyssey and co-author, with Charles L. Hooper, of Making Great Decisions in Business and Life (Chicago Park Press). His latest book is The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics (Liberty Fund, 2008).

He has appeared on The O’Reilly Factor, the Jim Lehrer Newshour, CNN, and C-SPAN. He has had over 100 articles published in Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, Red Herring, Barron’s, National Review, Reason, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Christian Science Monitor. He has also testified before the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources. Visit his Web site.

Jon Utley’s Trip Report: Some Hopeful Signs from Belarus

We often think of Belarus as being an authoritarian dictatorship. And it is. But there is some good news. Jon Basil Utley, associate publisher of The American Conservative, recently returned from Belarus and reports on some positive signs. While the government still owns and runs a large segment of the economy, Belarus ranks twelfth in the world for the ease of starting a business. Austria, by contrast, ranks a dismal 106th. And while President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has a bad habit of jailing political opponents, they tend to be released quickly.

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Steve Chapman on Jeb Bush’s Bromides

In fact, it would be unfair to suggest that he got all his ideas about the world from his brother and father. It would be equally off-base to suggest that he has any of his own. What he, like most of the other Republicans who may run for president, has are muscular-sounding bromides that substitute for understanding.

This is from Steve Chapman, “Jeb Bush’s Empty Indictment,” February 23, 2015. The piece is excellent.

Responding to Jeb Bush’s claim that “We definitely no longer inspire fear in our enemies,” Chapman writes:

We no longer scare our enemies? The United States is a superpower that has been at war for 13 years, has brought about regime change in multiple countries, and is currently leading an air campaign against the Islamic State while conducting drone wars in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. If those facts give our enemies no anxiety, our enemies are exceedingly dim.