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.
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