Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) has reintroduced legislation to reinstate the military draft.
“I oppose the war in Iraq, but I support the military and the men and women who serve in it,” Rangel said. “What is happening now indicates to me that the entire volunteer system is in danger of collapse under the weight of the burden being placed on those who are serving.”
Under Rangel’s bill all men and women between the ages of 18 and 26 would be required to serve in the military. The length of active duty service would be reduced to 15 months. And deferments for education would be permitted only for students under the age of 21 still finishing high school.
“The longer we stay in Iraq and the more Americans are killed, and the less attractive military service appears to potential recruits, the closer the country will move toward a decision on the draft,” Rangel said. “The American people lost confidence in this war long ago, and now that parents are discouraging their children from volunteering, we are faced with a situation in which the most disadvantaged young people from areas of high unemployment will be even more likely to carry the greatest share of the burden.”
Last year the House overwhelmingly rejected Rangel’s proposal by a vote of 404-2.