Rumor: Congress Planning to Reinstate Military Draft
Netlore Archive: Email rumor claims Congress is actively pursuing plans to increase funding of the Selective Service System and reinstate the military draft by 2005
Description: Email flyer
Circulating since: Feb 2004
Email text contributed by B. Hawkins, June 3, 2004:
FOR AGES 18-26. MEN AND WOMEN. NO COLLEGE EXEMPTIONS. THIS NEEDS TO BE CIRCULATED AROUND ASAP.
Subj: U.S. Military Draft expected to start June 15, 2005 - READ this
Subject: Military Draft expected to start June 15, 2005
If there are children in your family, READ this.
There is pending legislation in the House and Senate (twin bills: S 89 and HR163) which will time the program's initiation so the draft can begin as early as Spring 2005 -- just after the 2004 presidential election. The administration is quietly trying to get these bills passed now, while the public's attention is on the elections, so our action on this is needed immediately.
See the following websites to view
Congress brought twin bills, S. 89 and HR 163 forward, entitled the Universal National Service Act of 2003, "to provide for the common defense by requiring that all young persons [age 18--26] in the United States, including women, perform a period of military service or a period of civilian service in furtherance of the national defense and homeland security, and for other purposes."
These active bills currently sit in the committee on armed services.
Dodging the draft will be more difficult than those from the Vietnam era. College and Canada will not be options. In December 2001, Canada and the U.S. signed a "smart border declaration," which could be used to keep would-be draft dodgers in. Signed by Canada's minister of foreign affairs, John Manley, and U.S. Homeland Security director, Tom Ridge, the declaration involves a 30-point plan which implements, among other things, a "pre-clearance agreement" of people entering and departing each country. Reforms aimed at making the draft more equitable along gender and class lines also eliminates higher education as a shelter.
Underclassmen would only be able to postpone service until the end of their current semester. Seniors would have until the end of the academic year.
This plan, among other things, eliminates higher education as a shelter and includes women in the draft.
Actions, actions, actions:
Please send this on to all the parents and teachers you know, and all the aunts and uncles, grandparents, godparents.... And let your children know - it's their future, and they can be a powerful voice for change!
Please also contact your representatives to ask them why they aren't telling their constituents about these bills -- and contact newspapers and other media outlets to ask them why they're not covering this important story.
The draft $28 million has been added to the 2004 Selective Service System (sss) budget to prepare for a military draft that could start as early as June 15, 2005. Selective Service must report to Bush on March 31, 2005 that the system, which has lain dormant for decades, is ready for activation.
Please see website: http://www.sss.gov/perfplan_fy2004.html to view the SSS annual performance plan - fiscal year 2004.
The pentagon has quietly begun a public campaign to fill all 10,350 draft board positions and 11,070 appeals board slots nationwide.
Though this is an unpopular election year topic, military experts and influential members of congress are suggesting that if Rumsfeld's prediction of a "long, hard slog" in Iraq and Afghanistan [and a permanent state of war on"terrorism"] proves accurate, the U.S. may have no choice but to draft.
WHAT TO DO:
>Tell all your friends!!!!!
>Contact your Senators & Reps and tell them to oppose these bills!!!
Analysis: In mid-2004, when the above message and others like it were making the case that the return of the military draft was imminent, the following response was posted on the Web site of the U.S. Selective Service System:
Notwithstanding recent stories in the news media and on the Internet, Selective Service is not getting ready to conduct a draft for the U.S. Armed Forces either with a special skills or regular draft. Rather, the Agency remains prepared to manage a draft if and when the President and the Congress so direct. This responsibility has been ongoing since 1980 and is nothing new. Further, both the President and the Secretary of Defense have stated on more than one occasion that there is no need for a draft for the War on Terrorism or any likely contingency, such as Iraq. Additionally, the Congress has not acted on any proposed legislation to reinstate a draft. Therefore, Selective Service continues to refine its plans to be prepared as is required by law, and to register young men who are ages 18 through 25.
Most knowledgeable observers put the chances of Congress reinstating the military draft in the near future at near zero. As noted in the Selective Service statement above, both President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld have repeatedly insisted there is no need for a draft at this time, and although there are indeed two bills before Congress calling for a revival of some form of compulsory military service, both were introduced by Democrats with neither the interest nor the support of the current administration. The bills have languished in committee for more more a year without so much as a single debate or discussion. No one expects anything to come of them, certainly not by 2005.
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Sources and further reading:
What Are the Chances of a Military Draft?
By About.com U.S. Military Guide Rod Powers
Fears of Draft Reinstatement Persist Despite Official Denials
Newhouse News Service, 25 September 2004
Could the Draft Come Back?
Newsweek, 4 June 2004
Last updated: 09/25/04