February 12, 2016

The Hard Questions about the Selective Service Have Nothing to do with Women in Combat

By Katherine Kidder

Representative Duncan Hunter’s proposed legislation requiring women to register for the draft is intentionally provocative. It comes in the wake of both the chief of staff of the Army and Marine Corps commandant’s testimonies on women in combat before the Senate Armed Services Committee. A brilliant political move on Hunter’s part, the legislation, which he plans to push for a floor vote — and is likely to vote against himself — would force a needed conversation about women in combat. Specifically, it drives questions regarding issues of both standards and equity associated with opening all combat positions to women — a decision Hunter, a former Marine with multiple combat tours, strongly opposes. His motivation to introduce the legislation is clear from his recent comments: “Let’s see if the American people want their daughters and sisters drafted, if it ever came to that.”

Read the full op-ed on War on the Rocks.