But while the Senate’s desire to end sex discrimination in military policy is commendable, they have chosen the wrong way to do it. It would be far better to end draft registration for both sexes than to extend it to cover women. That would simultaneously end one of the last vestiges of open sex discrimination in federal government policy, and free young Americans of both sexes from the potential imposition of forced labor. While we do not currently have a draft, the continued existence of mandatory draft registration makes it politically and administratively easier to reinstitute it in the future.
In addition to promoting liberty, a military staffed by volunteers rather than forced laborers is also likely to perform better on the battlefield and make generals and politicians more careful about wasting lives. Both men and women should be eligible to serve in the armed forces in any positions they are qualified for. But neither should be forced to do so. By abolishing draft registration for both sexes, Congress could simultaneously enhance gender equality, liberty, and national security. Hard to top that!