America Prepares for Global War and Restarts the Draft for 18-26 Year Olds

by | Jun 14, 2024

Our government is planning a big draft, conscripting millions of young Americans for an even bigger war!

I call to your attention a Democratic amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was slipped into the almost trillion-dollar Pentagon war spending bill, by voice vote, in the House Armed Services committee.

The Democratic Amendment to H.R. 8070, the National Defense Authorization (NDAA) reads:  

Section 531. Selective Service System:  Automatic Registration.  SEC. 3. (a)(1) “Except as otherwise provided in this title, every male citizen of the United States, and every other male person residing in the United States, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-six, shall be automatically registered under this Act by the Director of the Selective Service System.” 

This amendment is in the NDAA legislation and there is no pending amendment to strip it from the bill.  So, when the NDAA passes, as early as this week, Congress will have taken steps to make automatic conscription the law of the land.

Why an automatic draft?  Members of Congress and the President have an obligation to explain to the American people to which foreign land will their sons, and perhaps their daughters, be sent to die?

The U.S. has been in a continuous “State of Emergency” since September 11, 2001, which provides a president with over 100 powers he would not ordinarily have.   Notwithstanding that the automatic draft provision will go into effect in a year,   a presidential order invoking emergency powers and/or an Act of Congress, could readily move millions from their civilian lives to the front lines of a war.


We know that America is fomenting wars around the world

We know that the military industrial complex controls our government

We know that we are on the precipice of a global war, provoking aggression rather than resolution with Russia, China and in the Middle East.  

The only winners in these wars are the war profiteers.

They’re now going to take our children to fight in unnecessary, destabilizing, dangerous, debt-creating wars.

Just today President Biden committed the U.S. to an additional decade of support for Ukraine’s war with Russia.

 There is no other conceivable reason to require more than 16 million American males to be automatically registered for the draft, other than to prepare for a large-scale war. 

The Selective Service System is the vehicle by which individuals are inducted into the armed forces.  This NDAA Automatic Registration amendment facilitates an efficient, large-scale draft.

The new law will automatically register all males between the ages of 18 and 26.  Selective Service will notify in writing every young American male that they have been registered and will prescribe regulations which can require the registrant to provide “date of birth, address, social security account number, phone number and email address….”

There are members of Congress who advocate that young women also be included in any draft, which could bring to 32 million the number of Americans of draft-eligible age.

The U.S. currently has over 1,300,000 men and women, career soldiers, as well as volunteers, serving in the all-volunteer armed forces.  

According to the new automatic draft law, undocumented immigrants, between the ages of 18 and 26, numbering at least 1.5 million, could also be conscripted, if it were to apply to women as well as men.

A government conscription edict covering the undocumented could ironically do damage to the so-called “replacement theory,” where draft-eligible undocumented immigrants could decide to retreat to the other side of the border.  Military service may appeal to others as a path toward citizenship, since immigrants serving during “period of hostility,” can seek immediate naturalization.  

The last time a draft was instituted in the United States was during the Vietnam War, when 1.9 million Americans were conscripted.  

A total of 8.7 million Americans served during the course of that war, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, including married men, who were subject to the draft by Presidential order.

Of 58,220 U.S. service fatalities in the Vietnam War, 17,671 were draftees.  

President Biden’s recent D-Day speech, quoted in Politico, contained this noteworthy warning for young Americans: “The price of unchecked tyranny is the blood of the young and the brave.” 

Years ago I had a conversation with then-Vice President Biden, who mused, painfully, about his own sons’ lives potentially being at risk in combat.  His deep love for his sons is reflective of all Americans’ love for their children.  Those parents and grandparents with a first-person understanding of the human cost of wars in Vietnam and Iraq may have a powerful  aversion to exposing their children and grandchildren to deadly conflict, unless there is a direct threat to the territory of the United States.

Ukraine understands the price paid for war, having lost hundreds of thousands of its courageous sons and daughters in the ongoing war with Russia.  

As Ukraine turns to conscription, there is push back coming from those who are subject to service but who understand they could well be facing a death sentence.   

In Israel, the growing ultra-orthodox worshippers have been exempt from military service since the founding of Israel, but the government is being pressed to expand its military ranks creating a political squeeze on the Netanyahu ruling coalition.  

Conscription is under discussion in Germany and Italy, while at least nine other European Union countries already use the practice to replenish their armed forces.

Resistance does occur during a draft.  I well remember anti-Vietnam war rallies with the cry “Hell, no, we won’t go!”   But for a heart murmur and a high draft number, I would have joined my brother Frank Kucinich, Jr. on the battlefield in Southeast Asia.

During the Vietnam war, an estimated 60% of all draft-eligible young men found a means to avoid getting conscripted, (including future a President by the name of Bill Clinton).  Some, fearful for their lives, fled to Canada or Sweden.  

The Vietnam War ripped apart the country.  The protests over the war, fueled by compulsory service and rising casualty numbers of US troops, led President Lyndon Johnson to decide, on March 31, 1968,  not to run for reelection.  The draft was ended in 1973 and was reinstated by President Carter on January 23, 1980.

We must have a national debate over America’s forever wars which have led to the automatic draft.    Just what, exactly, are America’s interests?  Our nation’s leaders’ diplomatic skills seem limited to putting a gun on the table and saying “Let’s talk.”

Why does our government choose war over diplomacy?  As directly-elected representatives of the people, Congress, a co-equal branch of government, has a responsibility under Article One, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution to decide to formally take  this nation to a state of war.  Yet this congress, and others, have been content to appropriate money for war and then let the President take the responsibility, something the Founding Fathers sought to avoid in devising a system of checks and balances.

Congress must take up the question of war, long before the country institutes an automatic draft. An automatic draft is a preparation for war, dramatically altering the lives of young Americans.   They deserve an answer.  We all deserve an answer. America’s future is literally on the line.

Postscript:  For my part, as a former member of Congress who is seeking re-election to the House of Representatives in November – –  upon my return to Congress, I will  bring forth legislation which will abolish automatic registration for the draft.  I believe it is honorable, a sacred obligation, to serve in defense of one’s country.   But our leaders have a deeper obligation, a solemn duty to explain why. They have not done so.

Reprinted with permission from The Kucinich Report.
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  • Dennis J. Kucinich

    Dennis John Kucinich is an American politician. A U.S. Representative from Ohio from 1997 to 2013, he was also a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in 2004 and 2008.

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