Thursday, October 30, 2014

With US Women Soon Eligible for Combat, the Draft Could Be Next

As Norway became the first NATO country to require women to register for the draft this month, it has American military analysts debating whether the US could be on the verge of taking the same step, too.

It was back in 1981 that the US Supreme Court ruled that requiring only men to register for the draft was constitutional, since there were US laws that banned women from fighting in combat.

Essentially, the argument went, since the purpose of registration for selective service – which all men must do at the age of 18, regardless of whether there is a draft in effect – is to prepare for combat, and women are excluded from combat, then they would not be needed in the event of a draft.

But with the Pentagon’s decision to lift the ban on women in combat by January 2016 – and its move in recent months to open a number of jobs to female troops previously held only by men – those Supreme Court arguments from 33 years ago may no longer apply, analysts note, adding that mandatory registration for the draft may be the next logical step.


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