The United States military is one of the largest and strongest militaries in the world. By the end of 2021, there was about 1.2 million active personnel in the military.
However, with such a large and powerful military comes controversy with its personnel and policies. One of these controversial topics involves a US military draft.
In the event of a military draft, the debate continues if there should be women included in the said draft. Last year, the NDAA balked on this topic and had this decision delayed another year.
What is the controversy? Will a military draft in 2023 happen? What are the options to change the current policies?
This is your guide.
What Is a Military Draft?
Before we can talk about the current controversy surrounding this topic, you must first understand what a military draft is. A military draft is essentially a mandatory registration of personnel within a country’s military force.
In the past, this has been used in desperate times of war. Examples can include the Vietnam War and the Civil War. A draft forces you with no choice about whether you can serve or not.
How Do Military Drafts Work?
Refusing a draft notice can have severe penalties. Most of the time, this includes jail time.
One of the most famous cases of this was Muhammad Ali during the Vietnam War. He was drafted into the US military. However, he refused to serve in the military and, because of this, suffered big consequences.
During the initial period of refusal, Ali was hit with a five-year prison sentence and ordered to pay a fine of $10,000. On top of this, he was suspended from boxing and was stripped of his heavyweight title.
While a normal individual may not have the same consequences as a famous boxer, they can still expect to serve time in prison and pay a hefty fine if they refuse the call.
Who Can’t Be Drafted in the US Military?
The most controversial topic on the slate of the 2023 Defense Authorization Bill is whether or not draft orders should include women or not. Currently, a proclamation by Jimmy Carter all the way back in 1980 is the only legal enforcement of a draft on the record.
This record states that men need to register with the SSS within 10 days of their eighteenth birthday. From there, if there ever was a draft, any man between the ages of 18-26 could be eligible.
So, where is the controversy here? The controversy here is that the proclamation only includes men. There is currently no requirement to make women register for the draft.
Some people believe that women should be included in this proclamation to make it an “equal draft,” and there has been a debate for years about whether to change this proclamation. However, at the time of writing, the issue remains at a standstill.
Will There Be a Military Draft in 2023?
Now, there have been a few proposals on what to do about this subject. One involves what we described above in terms of altering the proclamation to declare women eligible for a potential draft. Others look at compromises that can see some sort of benefit for both sides.
Let’s take a closer look at what some of these other proposals are:
Keeping the Proclamation the Same
The first option that is on the table is to keep the proclamation as is and maintain the status quo. Essentially, this means keeping a possible draft exclusive to men or just not making any further decisions on this proclamation for the foreseeable future.
People that believe in traditional warfare and old school philosophies may be in favor of going this route. However, it certainly would not be a compromise and would leave one side clearly dissatisfied.
Suspend Draft Registration
Another alternative that is on the table is to temporarily suspend any draft registration policies that were on the table in the first place. This would be somewhat of a compromise compared to the first option because it means that the current proclamation would not be in effect.
However, some would argue that this proposal would also mean dragging feet when it comes to making a final decision about this issue. The reason for this is that eventually, a decision would have to be made on whether women would be eligible for a possible draft.
Historically, this would not be the first time something like this took place. A standby to draft registration policies took place in 1975, up until Jimmy Carter made the proclamation above in 1980.
End Draft Registration
Last but not least, an option that is on the table for this situation is to end draft registration entirely. Truthfully, enforcement of the current draft laws is rare, so this proclamation would not be missed.
On top of this, going this route would allow every citizen in the United States the freedom to avoid a potential draft. Out of all of the options presented here, this one has an argument for both sides.
While women would not be called to duty in the same way as men, this option would achieve the accomplishment of having no legal right to require military service from any citizen.
Find Out More About the US Military Draft
These are some of the hottest topics and the biggest controversies when it comes to the US military draft. While one is not expected any time soon, there is a big debate about how far some people are willing to go with the letter of the law.
Do you want to find out more? See the latest Military News here.