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The Draft as a Deterrent for War

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Tagged As: Draft, Military, Politics, and Society

Charles Rangel, a New York congressmen, plans to introduce a bill for reinstating the draft. It is not yet clear what Rangel's proposed requirements are for drafting eligibility. Historically speaking, between 1948 and 1973 the draft called upon able-bodied males aging 18 through 26, including both citizens and non-citizens, that were registered with the Selective Service. Speaking Sunday, Rangel says, "There's no question in my mind that this president and this administration would never have invaded Iraq, especially on the flimsy evidence that was presented to the Congress, if indeed we had a draft and members of Congress and the administration thought that their kids from their communities would be placed in harm's way."

He first proposed reinstituting the draft in 2003, but was defeated with a 402-2 vote. This latest introduction is not expected to fare well, but Rangel intends to push the legislation anyway, possibly as a test of mettle for war supporters. Several politicians have proposed increasing the number of deployed troops despite the military's assessment that soldiers are overextended. Rangel plans to use the draft legislation as the solution to troop level requirements, "I don't see how anyone can support the war and not support the draft."

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