As state and local officials across the country scramble to find additional public health workers to staff their over-burdened hospitals, the need for talented public servants has never been clearer. While this chaos began to unfold in late March, a little-known federal agency called the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service released its final report to Congress. The Commission, established by Congress in 2017, was tasked with one central question: whether the United States should retain the ability to draft Americans into the military in the case of a national emergency—and whether women should be included in a such a draft.
After months of research and engagement with the American public, the Commission—where one of us served on staff—came to a clear decision: If the United States finds itself in a crisis necessitating a mobilization of the American people, it must be able to call on the talents of the entire population, men and women alike. More than just a question of equal citizenship, we believe this recommendation to be a national security imperative. As the current public health crisis presages, emergencies of the 21st century will require a diverse set of expertise and capabilities, demanding participation and buy-in from all Americans.
Read the full article in Just Security.
More from CNAS
CommentaryWomen in Combat: Five-Year Status Update
It has been five years since the ban on women in combat was lifted in 2015 and women began integrating previously closed combat arms billets in January 2016. Five years is the...
By Emma Moore
CommentarySharper: The Next Four Years
America will face a range of national security challenges over the next four years. From sustaining military deterrence to bolstering the nation's economic leadership and more...
By Chris Estep & Cole Stevens
CommentaryJustice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the U.S. Military
Today’s military has become more equitable since the start of the all-volunteer force in 1972. Much of that progress has been due to Ginsburg....
By Emma Moore & Robert Levinson
VideoVanessa Guillen's Killing Gives Way to Claims of Sexual Harassment, Abuse in the Military, and Hope for Change
The disappearance of 20-year-old soldier Vanessa Guillén began badly and ended horribly worse. The private first class vanished on an April Sunday, in broad daylight, from For...
By Kayla M. Williams