Should young women be required to sign in for the military draft on their 18th birthday as all American young men must? Israel has had women in its military ranks for decades. How about the remarkable group of Kurdish women warriors who make up the YPJ, which stands for Women’s Protection Units?
According to The Kurdish Project, the all-female brigade of the YPG are the armed forces of the Syrian region of Kurdistan, known as Rojava (meaning Western) Kurdistan.
Members of ISIS believe that should a woman kill them in battle, it would be “a disgrace and dishonor, and will prohibit them from entering paradise.” That motivates the YPJ:
‘The YPJ have been instrumental in the battle to take back control of Kobani from ISIS. These women fighters know that, if captured, they will be raped and killed; therefore they fight knowing that they must succeed in battle or become a suicide warrior to avoid being captured. The YPJ is also thought to be feared by ISIS, who believes that if a female kills them in battle, it will be a disgrace and dishonor, and will prohibit them from entering paradise.’
Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Brett Kavanaugh released a statement, pointing to the beginning of the draft when women were not eligible for combat. That has changed dramatically today, NPR reported.
These justices referred to the hearing that the Senate Armed Services Committee just held a few months before. In it, Chairman Jack Reed, (D-RI) told The Federal Network News:
‘[The hope for a broader registration requirement will be] incorporated into the next national defense bill. It remains to be seen whether that will actually happen,” the three justices said, but “at least for now, the Court’s longstanding deference to Congress on matters of national defense and military affairs cautions against granting review while Congress actively weighs the issue.’
In 2016, Congress started the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service to study the issue. It concluded the draft registration should include both men and women between the ages of 18 and 26. Right now, all deployed military are already considered “In Harm’s Way.” However, “Direct Ground Combat” units, i.e. the infantry, fight offensively against the enemy.
Most of the 149 servicewomen killed in the War on Terrorism after 9/11 were killed in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Syria by improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Some died in military plane crashes. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) lost her legs and the use of one arm when her Black Hawk was shot down. The military code of leave no soldier behind saved her life. Her troops thought she was dead.
The Center for Military Readiness reported:
‘When two women Marines and a female sailor were killed in a Fallujah truck attack in June 2005, eleven more were sent to Brooke Medical Center in Texas, which specializes in the treatment of severe burns. Hundreds have received medals for serious injuries and for personal valor under fire.’
‘The Obama Administration pushed to implement recommendations of the 2011 Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC), a mostly-civilian Pentagon advisory group with expertise in “diversity,” not combat.’
‘Former President Barack Obama and his Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, ordered the military services to assign women to infantry units at the “tip of the spear” battalion level, overruling the Marine Corps’ request for exceptions justified by extensive research.’
‘The stated reason was to increase promotions and gender-conscious “diversity metrics” for a few female officers to three- and four-star rank, even though the Defense Department concedes that there is no evidence of employment discrimination. For decades, women have been promoted at rates equal to or faster than men. ‘
The Supreme Court considered a near-identical request in 1981. At the time, the court defined the draft as filling the military’s combat roles. But then, women could not go into combat, so the court wrote that “men-only registration was perfectly sensible.”
Now is different. The Department of Defense lifted its bans on women fighting in combat. A men’s rights group, the National Coalition for Men immediately took it to court. The group asked the high court to refrain from asking women to register for the draft. Rather, the organization asked the court to call the draft “unconstitutional” and let Congress decide how to handle the situation.
The sitting Supreme court agreed that a men-only draft was not only outmoded but also unconstitutional, because women already served in combat. The 5th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the 1981 decision. It wrote that the Supreme Court should make the call. The current Court turned the issue back to Congress where it believed the decision should be made.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) represented the National Coalition for Men even though the ALCU has criticized the group for
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