We Waste $24M a Year on the Draft: Lawmakers
Representatives push to do away with it—as women may have to join in
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Feb 25, 2013 8:25 AM CST
In this Sept. 18, 2012 file photo, female soldiers from 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division train on a firing range while testing new body armor in Fort Campbell, Ky.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

(Newser) – Two lawmakers are battling against what they deem an unnecessary tool of war: the Selective Service System—the organization that keeps records for any future draft. Reps. Peter DeFazio (a Democrat) and Mike Coffman (a Republican) say the success of the all-volunteer force has rendered the agency moot, and that the $24 million spent annually to maintain the draft is a waste. And DeFazio argues it's only persisted this long because politicians fear they'll look weak on national security if they push for its demise. But the AP calls the men's campaign "little noticed."

With its eye on the draft, the AP today circles back to the question of whether women should now be required to sign up. Though the Selective Service System itself issued a statement saying "the law has not been changed to include this," legal experts say the law won't be on women's side for long. In a 1981 Supreme Court ruling, justices said it was constitutional to exclude women because they weren't allowed to serve in combat roles. Now that that's changed, it'll be tough to argue against women's registration, says a law professor and ex-Air Force officer. "They're going to have to show that excluding women from the draft actually improves military readiness," she notes. "I just don't see how you can make that argument."

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Showing 3 of 43 comments
Feb 25, 2013 12:38 PM CST
TRUTH BE TOLD ....... The US spends over 500 million dollars training soldiers, sailors, and airmen, and "drone pilots" for combat every year .. and they'll never ever see a combat zone. ---------- REALLY
Feb 25, 2013 11:11 AM CST
24 mil a year to maintain a list of who is eligible to be drafted? Am I not understanding what this is?
Feb 25, 2013 10:52 AM CST
Since there is no draft, such registration requirement is foolish. Even without a draft, there are enough government records to track down most individuals in the future through Social Security Records, tax (IRS) information, etc. It's amazing how those responsible for spending tax dollars have little respect for the money they put down black holes. Too bad they never think of it as "their own"! As to the benefits of a draft, that is a different issue.