Skip to main content
Of Course We Will Not Draft Our Daughters
A Jumpmaster from the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School instructs Soldiers to exit a CASA C-212 Aviocar aircraft to jump over Laurinburg-Maxton Airfield March 28, 2019 (U.S. Army photo by K. Kassens)
(U.S. Army photo by K. Kassens)

Of Course We Will Not Draft Our Daughters

Rebeccah L. Heinrichs

The “enlightened” Left’s crusade for “equity” is close to hitting another milestone. Feminist-minded advocates have sought for decades to include women in a would-be draft in the name of progress and equity. Senate Democrats pushed and compliant Republicans acquiesced to an amendment in the defense bill that would require women to register with the Selective Service. Should it pass, young women would be included in the pool of Americans primed to be drafted for war should the United States ever find itself in a dire crisis that needed warfighting manpower in a hurry. The provision should be excised from the bill before it moves any further because it would harm the effectiveness of the US military, would seriously disrupt families and the domestic tranquility, and disturbingly elides the will of the American people to the point of violating the deeply held religious beliefs of significant swaths of the citizenry.

Selective Service maintains a database that currently includes American men between the ages of 18 and 26. The last time the United States used the draft was for Vietnam, making some people conclude that it is unlikely to be employed again, and therefore the amendment is not worth fighting. This is—I’m searching for an accurate word without employing hyperbole—madness. It is madness. We should not include something in law that individuals with common sense and decency can see would be regressive and destructive out of support for what we know is an erroneous idea about women’s equality and “social justice” because we are certain we know it will never come to pass.  

But of course we do not know what the future holds, and furthermore, we do know we are in a strenuous competition with the People’s Republic of China, a communist country with 1,020,000 trained ground forces, a diverse and growing missile force to hold all US bases and assets in the region at risk, and a national agenda to supplant the United States as the world’s strongest and most influential nation. Furthermore, we know that in a war with China over the geopolitically crucial democratic nation of Taiwan, the United States does not hold a clear advantage and just might lose.

In spite of the growing threats to the United States and our way of life, the Biden 2022 budget calls for cuts to the numbers of trained warfighters in every military service with the exception of the nascent Space Force. Defense expert Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute compares the numbers of active-duty military forces to civilian support staff:

The President’s proposed force mix for 2022 offers a 1.7:1 ratio of active-duty military personnel to civilian employees, the least favorable ratio since before World War II. For perspective, the Pentagon maintained an approximately 2.2:1 ratio throughout the height of the Iraq War and a staggering 4.6:1 in 1945.

It makes zero sense to cut the numbers of our all-volunteer force when we need to be recruiting to expand the number of optimally able and trained forces. But to be doing so while Democrats lead the way for expanding the pool of Selective Service members to women strains credulity.

Study after study of women in combat roles supports what all honest people see with our own eyes: men are physically stronger than women and better suited for the kinds of grueling tasks involved in combat.

 A 2015 Marine Corps study concluded that, in 93 out of 134 tasks that were tested, the all-male groups outperformed the male-female integrated groups. The units with only men were more able to get to their targets faster and were able to hit the targets more successfully. The all-male units were able to evacuate wounded Marines faster and climb over barriers with heavy packs. Additionally, the female Marines also incurred more injuries like stress fractures.

But a modern-feminist inspired supporter of drafting women might counter that modern war will not necessarily entail the grueling scenarios the Marines tested in combat. But this assertion is based on speculation and hope. Central to the purpose of a draft would be the need for an influx of support for combat, even if not every person drafted would be in a combat zone. Thus, it is a fact that should women be conscripted, the country would be sending women against their will to participate in combat. Advocating for an increase in the pool of draftees generally, let alone that these draft expanders are eager to send women to war, also ignores that our current military requirements right now need better and more manning on ships and in squadrons, readying for deployment and deployed. Presumably, a country that places a premium on maintaining American preeminence and deterring two major adversaries and a slew of rogue state actors would want the best Americans suited for those jobs—physically and mentally, and that second part should take advantage of the fact that far more young men want to join the military than women. We should take advantage of this and increase recruiting strategies geared toward those best suited for the job and most likely to be persuaded.

Currently, with an all-volunteer force, only 14 percent of our enlisted warriors are women, and 16 percent are officers. Although some women choose to volunteer to serve our country in this way and can meet the basic qualifications without needing exceptions, it is simply not true that men and women do so equally. Men and women are different, and no amount of insisting they are not will change this natural immutable reality. Again, showing a strong difference in inclination, when polled, most women in the United States still oppose the government mandating women to register with the Selective Service.

The Senate’s move to amend the law to include women in mandatory registration for the Selective Service also ignores the strong views, and even deeply held religious convictions, of US citizens. On an issue this big, we should have a robust national debate. Southern Baptists are the largest Protestant Christian denomination in the United States, and the Southern Baptist Convention in 2016 passed a resolution opposing women being compelled to a warfighting role, as did the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Americans should demand we fight to maintain the strongest military force our Republic can put together; we should be recruiting more qualified individuals with a propensity to excel and training them well in peacetime so that we deter so effectively that we do not go to war, and if we go to war, we have optimized our lethality.

Consider this. The 1992 Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces concluded:

A military unit at maximum combat effectiveness is a military unit least likely to suffer casualties. Winning in war is often only a matter of inches, and unnecessary distraction or any dilution of the combat effectiveness puts the mission and lives in jeopardy. Risking the lives of a military unit in combat to provide career opportunities or accommodate the personal desires or interests of an individual, or group of individuals, is more than bad military judgment. It is morally wrong.

Marvel at the obvious truth and conviction of this statement, penned by serious and patriotic men and women. Oh, how far down a destructive path of division and distortion have those peddling identity politics taken us. But it is not a forgone conclusion that they will take us an inch further.

All elected officials should do what is best for the entire country, including American women—and that is to build the best, most capable military to protect the country and maintain peace. Drafting our nation’s daughters to fight in a time of crisis against an enemy determined to defeat our nation is not progress, prudent, or morally defensible.

Read in “Providence Magazine()”:https://providencemag.com/2021/07/of-course-we-will-not-draft-our-daughters/

Related Articles

‘We’re Not Leaving Berlin’

Arthur Herman

When President Joe Biden compared the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan to one of the most important moments in the Cold War, the 1948-49 Berlin Airlift,...

Continue Reading

Transcript: Investigating COVID-19 and the China Coverup

David Asher et al.

Following is the full transcript of the Hudson Institute event titled Investigating COVID-19 and the China Coverup ...

Continue Reading

Defense and Aerospace Report: Washington Roundtable

Patrick M. Cronin

In an interview with Vago Muradian on Defense and Aerospace Report, Patrick Cronin discusses military tensions and defense strategy. ...

Continue Reading