Women have been serving honorably in the armed forces for as long as the armed forces have existed — they’ve either hidden their gender, seen combat “unofficially,” or served in “support” roles — an increasingly blurry distinction. The renewed debate on the draft is an important step forward in ensuring that the United States maintains its immense military advantage even in the face of a global conflict requiring a draft.
The opening of all combat specialties in the military to women has been a contentious issue, leading Rep. Duncan Hunter to introduce legislation to modify the Selective Service Act, saying “If you’re going to have women in infantry units, if a draft ever occurred, America needs to realize that its daughters and sisters would be included.” Though introduced as an objection to combat integration, thethoughtful consideration of the costs of war is an important obligation of citizenship. With all due respect to the congressman, the daughters and sisters and wives and mothers of many are already choosing to serve, along with the sons and brothers and husbands and fathers.
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