During this election year, mass e-mails and exaggerated
information are blowing around rumors of the reinstatement of
military draft is near reality and is giving people shivers.
Although many people may be unaware of it, two twin bills were
introduced to the Senate and the House of Representatives in
January 2003. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-New York) in January 2003 was
first to present a bill designed to reinstate the draft and U.S.
Sen. Fritz Hollings (D-South Carolina) followed Rangel’s lead.
Under the bills, a national service obligation for every U.S.
citizen would be required for males and females between the ages of
18 and 26 to enter selected military service authorized by the
president who will determine the number of people and by what means
they will be selected.
The bills have remained under committees.
“I will tell you right now, (the bill) will never see the light
of day. It’s never going to happen,” said Carrie Sloan, the press
secretary for the House Armed Service Committee.
Sloan said Rangel is a strong proponent behind this bill and has
introduced it many times over the years where it does not get much
If no action is taken by the end of this year, the bill will be
dissolved and no threat of a military draft will exist in 2005
unless it is reintroduced, where the process of legislature will
Ilene Zeldin, Hollings’ press secretary, spoke on behalf of him
by saying Hollings truly stands behind the idea that a military
draft is needed.
“The facts are, (the bill) has been sitting there since January
of 2003 without a hearing or a vote. The only person supporting the
bill is Sen. Hollings,” Zeldin said.
Zeldin said Hollings introduced the bill for two reasons: to
preserve the character of Americans and to eliminate the high
amount of minorities in the military fighting our battles.
E-mails and Web logs have traced their ways into the Internet
claiming that if President George W. Bush is re-elected he will
reinstate the draft and other exaggerations have been displayed via
the Net as well.
Sloan said there is too much “misinformation” out in the public
and it is important to realize that reinstating the draft is “never
going to happen.”
Bush has publicly announced he will not reinstate the draft and
has no intentions to do so. Additionally, Defense Sec. Donald
Rumsfeld has also publicly squelched rumors a draft will occur.
“I’m not supposed to get in politics, but it is absolutely false
that this administration is considering reinstating the draft,”
Rumsfeld told a Senate hearing.
Robert Lawrence, a political science professor at CSU, said it
is important to remember that it does not matter which president is
elected into office in November, but to the world events that are
to follow in the future that may require more troops.
On whether a draft will be implemented Lawrence said: “I think
it all depends; if we engage in regime change in another country,
need troops in North Korea in case of a nuclear situation or if
things change in Iraq requiring more troops.”
Lawrence also was somewhat surprised about the inclusion of
women under the proposed military draft bills.
“That is a remarkable departure, to draft women. I think
drafting women in pretty unlikely,” Lawrence said. “It’s a very
volatile and fluid world.”