For more than 60 consecutive years, Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to set the nation’s defense policies and priorities. The ultimate goal of this annual legislation — along with any other piece of defense-related legislation — must be to strengthen the common defense. Policies that do not advance that goal have no place in the NDAA. Yet both the House and the Senate versions of this year’s NDAA include a provision requiring women to register for Selective Service, which will do nothing to promote the common defense.
The Selective Service itself does nothing to improve military readiness, so expanding it to include women is doubling down on bad policy. The draft is outdated and contributes nothing to deterring China, Russia, North Korea, or Iran. It does nothing to build patriotism or citizenship, as the only thing it requires of young people is to fill out a form. In fact, most current registrants would not qualify for military service whether they were drafted or not. Instead of forcing women to register for the draft, Congress should end Selective Service and replace it with something that better serves modern national security needs.
This effort to “draft our daughters” is an empty gesture to bow to the wokeness that has gripped much of the present day military leadership. Fortunately, Senators Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Mike Lee (R-Utah) have all recognized that this is bad policy and have introduced separate amendments to remove the provision from NDAA, and several more Senators have signed onto these amendments in support. Members should demand that this issue receive a vote on the Senate floor, as it is vital that voters understand where their Senators stand on this critical issue.
Heritage Action encourages all Senators to vote in favor of Senator Hawley, Inhofe, or Lee’s amendments to strike section 511 should they receive a vote on the Senate floor.