The Draft

  • Thread starter Æshættr
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So, as many of you know, the draft is not in effect but males of age 18-25 are required by law to sign up for it in case it is ever needed. Now I wouldn't normally have a problem with this, but the thing is it's only males that are required to sign up. Women have equal rights, but not equal responsibility (under law, at least). What I want to know is: am I alone in thinking that this is just a bit unfair?


For a Free Scotland
Well here's a few statistics:

*Women in the U.S Army cannot serve in the Infantry, Armor, or Special Forces arms, and are limited in their involvement in several others

*71,400 out of 485,500 active duty soldiers are women (14.7%)

So women, if drafted, would not be able to serve in most front-line combat, which is where soldiers are dying the most and need replacement. The Army itself must be altered to best make use of drafting females in the first place.
I think the reason the army is divided like that is because of the difference in physical difference between men and women. I don't want to sound sexist or anything, but in regards to physical strength and ability, women are generally less capable then men, so they might not be as useful on the front-lines. However, there are plenty of less strenuous military positions that could be filled by women (assuming the physical difference is actually significant enough to prohibit them being on the front-lines... I'm not sure it is, but I think that's a major reason they aren't there), so the fact that they don't have to register for the draft is rather unfair.


For a Free Scotland
I think it matters on demand. If we need support positions to be filled, it seems like a good idea, but if the only sections of the Army that need additional support in times of war are the ones that are exclusive to men, than I don't really see the reason of drafting women.
In addition to the fact that equal rights should also imply equal responsibility (just getting the benefits without any of the negatives is reverse descrimination), registering for the draft serves a purpose beyond just making you eligible for draft purposes, it also provides a comprehensive list of every (at the moment only male) person over 18. It's not a lot of work... maybe 5 mins to fill out online, I don't see why women shouldn't have too fill it out as well as men.


So far the discussion has been largely about equal rights and equal responsibilities. I think we're all pretty much agreed that if you have equal rights then you should have equal responsibilities, and vice versa (which is why 18-year-olds were given the right to vote).

To make things a bit more interesting, I'd like to state that I am completely opposed to a draft. The idea of forcing people to take up harms to their fellow human beings is, in my eyes, fundamentally wrong. Not only is war an inherently authoritarian practice (war is essentially using physical power to foist one's will upon others) that necessarily involves the obliteration of innocent life; but the employment of the draft would create a military which consists of those who do not believe in that for which they fight. When this happens, and on this matter history is clear, we lose.


For a Free Scotland
Compulsory military service has only been used actively in countries that face direct danger (Israel is a good example), but America is far from that situation.

While people can be excluded from military service due to religious belief, it is often far too difficult to not be drafted simply because you oppose war as an entity.


Conscription is nonsense: if people do not want to go to war, then no war should there be. Of course, that line of logic only really makes sense in a democratic society...

As for the unequality of opportunity of women in the service, it is plainly a holdhover from the past.

(which is why 18-year-olds were given the right to vote).
Yet we still cannot drink until we're 21...

To make things a bit more interesting, I'd like to state that I am completely opposed to a draft.
I agree... if it's at the point where so many people are opposed to a war that there aren't enough volunteers to fight (or if so many people are dying that they've run out of volunteers), there's a very strong chance that a war shouldn't be going on in the first place.