The military draft and the ERA

Updated 5/14/2018 11:34 AM

Last year, I listened to a radio interview of a general who explained the following military perspective of the draft.

From WWI through the Vietnam War, the draft law allowed the military to draft men and women. Women were not drafted, only because the military chose to not draft them. Protest arose in 1970 against the sexually discriminatory application of the law. The law could only have been renewed if it was rewritten to require equal drafting of men and women. There has not been a draft since 1973. If the draft is reinstated, then modern social and legal attitudes will require women to be drafted. The ERA makes no difference.

The military does not want the draft. Huge numbers of soldiers are no longer needed and there are plenty of enlistees. Draftees make poor soldiers because they do not want to be in the military. The tremendous expense of training them is a waste. In Vietnam, the majority of casualties were draftees. Draftee casualties fuel anti-war movements. The draft is dead unless there is an all-out world war.

My comment: The draft affected me in '70-'73. Protest against discrimination was used to end the draft because the Army did not want women in combat units. The ERA will not cause women to be drafted. The existing possibility of women being drafted is reason for the ERA to be passed.

Rich Lorimer


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