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America Preparing for War? Automatic Selective Service Registration Bill

In what I would call a significant and somewhat alarming move, the House of Representatives passed a bill on Friday mandating the automatic registration of 18-26 year olds in the Selective Service System. It now heads to the Senate where it’s not expected to be acted on due to other issues in the bill. This development has sparked a variety of reactions across the nation, raising important questions about its implications in the current global context.

 

The Selective Service System is a government agency that maintains information on those potentially subject to military conscription. While the U.S. hasn’t had a draft since the Vietnam War, all male U.S. citizens and male immigrants, regardless of documentation status, between the ages of 18 and 26, are currently required to register. Registration is a civic duty and ensures that the nation can mobilize manpower efficiently in times of national emergency.

 

The bill recently passed by the House seeks to automate this registration process. Upon turning 18, individuals will be automatically registered for the Selective Service, eliminating the need for manual sign-ups. This legislative change aims to streamline the process and ensure higher compliance rates.

 

What makes this move so interesting is that the AP published a fact checking article in October 2023, which can be found here.  The AP attempted to address the claim that the U.S. military is planning to reinstitute the draft and ultimately ruled the claim as false.  However, it feels more like a play on words and given the action of the House on Friday it seems like work has started to rebuild a war ready military.  It should be noted that this discussion appears to have originated from a Mises Institute article (found here) from September 2023 that covered a US Army War College’s academic journal essay on lessons learned in Ukraine.  The part of the essay which you can read for yourself here that many are pointing to mentions that the US may “require a reconceptualization of the 1970s and 1980s volunteer force and a move toward partial conscription.”

 

Again, with the play on words and given the current geopolitical landscape the move to automatically register young adults for the Selective Service raises questions about America’s preparedness for potential conflicts. With China’s assertive stance on Taiwan, Russia’s aggressive actions in Ukraine, and the ongoing violence involving Israel and Hamas, it appears the U.S. might be bracing for a significant military engagement. This legislative change could be viewed as a strategic step to ensure that the nation is ready to mobilize quickly if the situation escalates.

 

The decision to pass a bill for automatic Selective Service registration marks a significant shift in how the U.S. approaches civic duties and national preparedness. As this bill moves through the legislative process and potentially becomes law, it’s essential to stay informed and understand both its practical and ethical implications. At “Tools, Tactics, and Timing,” we emphasize the importance of preparedness in all forms—personal, community, and national. This development is a reminder of the interconnectedness of civic responsibilities and preparedness strategies.


Stay Prepared, Stay Resilient

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