Downplayed Friday headline: The draft is back

by WorldTribune Staff, June 16, 2024 Contract With Our Readers

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war has revived not only talk of a Third World War but the unannounced reality of a military draft, or at least partial conscription, as part of U.S. preparations for a major future conflict in an era in which lagging recruitment has been tied to newly-woke military policies.

The U.S. Army War College’s academic journal last year included an essay on what lessons the U.S. military should take away from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A subsection of the essay entitled “Casualties, Replacements, and Reconstitutions” directly states: “Large-scale combat operations troop requirements may well require a reconceptualization of the 1970s and 1980s volunteer force and a move toward partial conscription.”

In news from Friday that was largely downplayed in the media, the House passed its version of the annual defense policy bill, effectively clearing the $883.7 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to move forward in a 217-199 vote which largely fell along party lines. Only three Republicans opposed it.

The bill for Fiscal Year 2025 includes an amendment to the NDAA which automatically registers all draft-age male U.S. residents with the Selective Service System.

“Wow! For the first time since 1972, the NDAA bill passed today by the House would automatically register all males age 18-26 for Selective Service in the Military. For the past 52 years, males were required to register on their own, but compliance had reportedly been lagging,” independent journalist Michael Tracey wrote on X.

The House legislation means that all able-bodied males in the country age 18-26 could potentially be drafted in the scenario of a future war declaration by Congress. The selection would be based on information from federal databases.

For decades, the Selective Service program has been in effect since 1980 but has only been voluntary. The new amendment to the NDAA will make registration automatic. Critics have said that leaving it up for young men to decide for themselves whether to register has resulted in a weak and ineffective system with not enough numbers.

“The Selective Service System and the registration requirement for America’s young men provide our Nation with a structure and a system of guidelines which will provide the most prompt, efficient, and equitable draft possible, if the country should need it,” the official website explains.

The Selective Service is a government bureau separate from the Defense of Defense.

Who needs to register?

• U.S. citizens (U.S. born, dual citizens, and naturalized)
• U.S. citizens who live outside the country
• Immigrants (legal permanent residents and undocumented immigrants)
• Refugees and asylum seekers
• Transgender people who were assigned male gender at birth
• People with disabilities

If you are a military veteran or a military reservist, you are still required to register with Selective Service. However, if you served in the Armed Forces and are 26 or older, but failed to register, your DD Form 214 is evidence that your failure to register was not knowing and willful.

Several groups are exempt from registering, such as those currently on active duty, some disabled persons and those who are incarcerated. Conscientious objectors are required to register. A conscientious objector is one who is opposed to serving in the armed forces and/or bearing arms on the grounds of moral or religious principles.

If you served on active duty and were discharged before your 26th birthday, you still have to register.

If you are 26 or older, it’s too late to register.

What if you don’t register?

According to law, it is considered a federal felony, punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 or a prison term of up to five years, or a combination of both, if you fail to register with Selective Service.

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