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Selectiveness of Selective Service

Despite not having utilized the draft since Vietnam, America still maintains its Selective Service system through which able-bodied young men between the ages of 18 and 25 must register. Rumors have abounded over the past year of the possibility at re-instating the draft should the military draw too far below its recruiting goals in order to maintain a presence overseas. The personnel shortage has even led to the consideration of expanding the draft’s eligibility through age 34 and including women.

The Supreme Court upheld in 1981 that it was constitutional to exclude women by drafting only men. In Iraq, there is no frontline and all soldiers are exposed to the threat of insurgent violence. Is it time to recognize the modern universality of warfare’s threats and meld the women’s rights movement by requiring them to register for Selective Service?

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definitely! by Anonymous

We better start drafting women. They can do everything just as well as men including defend the country. I actually think the deal in Iraq would be better off if we had a woman in charge.

My comment here has nothing to do with the draft, but on the prohibition of women serving in combat arms positions. I can see why we have a prohibition on females serving in traditional combat jobs, like armor, infantry, etc. but I wonder why we still prohibit them from serving in a limited capacity in special operations.

Hear me out here for a minute. I’m certainly not advocating open enrollment in the SF community for the same reasons it may not be a great idea in traditional combat arms jobs. First, there are the general physical prowess differences, and of course, the SF community has grueling standards for good reasons. Secondly, if part of the prohibition also is so because of the possibility of capture by the enemy, then certainly the missions carried out in this capacity are even more risky. The capture of a female Soldier would be a very harmful source of propaganda. Then of course, there’s the personal hygene issue, which I’m not convinced is as big an issue as it’s made out to be.

However, I do think perhaps female SF Soldiers would have some distinctive edges and physical prowess is only a small element in the formula of what makes great Special Operations Soldiers (some of them being intelligence, wit, cultural savvy, etc). First of all, as seen in Iraq, female Soldiers can be a tremendous asset. They can search female foreign nationals when cultural sensitivities would cause serious problems, having them along for raids instantly calms and quells any concern in the target house that we are up to any kind of shenanigans (like rape) and they become a lot more open and cooperative. In some cases, the female foreign nationals are astounded and impressed by empowered female Soldiers and become very friendly and supportive. Females in some societies are almost invisible, so this could be leveraged to tremendous advantage.

Then again, maybe someone has already thought of this, but it’s not publicized for the reasons outlined in the second paragraph.

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Selective Service. by schinckel

Amazing. I’d never heard the term Selective Service until yesterday, when I listened to a Podcast of Richard Reeves, and he said:

…Nixon ended the war. And he ended the war by ending the draft. If we had a draft now, we wouldn’t be in Iraq. Nixon’s last trick was eliminating Selective Service.

Now I’ve heard it twice within 24 hours.

(I’m not an American, if anyone wonders).

I just listened to an NPR podcast where a bunch of psychologists and other experts discussed gender differences in learning and thought there were some salient points worth sharing here. I’m not a psych guy, nor a biologist, so bear with me. All of these points are HIGHLY generalized, and do not mean that they are true in every case. Moreover, they used the term "overlapping curves" in a lot of these, which meant that the datum was close and overlapped in a lot of areas and that over the course of time as males and females age the relationship of the data changed and one could overtake another.

First of all, the whole brain hemisphere thing (girls more one side of the brain, males the other) is a myth that they all wanted to kill. They said that if this were true, then it is very subtle.

They said that males do have better spatial cognitive abilities and females had better verbal abilities, but they were "overlapping curves". They also found that training could rectify the differences (like girls playing tetris or other spatial cognitive type activities, like putting together puzzles, etc.) and males could improve their verbal abilities too. This leads me to believe it’s more of an upbringing issue and less a hard-wired biological issue.

Interestingly they also said that females tended to do better in a classroom environment and tests based on curricula, whereas males had a better ability to do fluid reasoning (i.e. problem solving in areas not taught verbatim in the classroom, or putting together concepts), which gave the males an edge on standardized tests, like the SAT, GRE, etc. Although I’m sure this can also be rectified by training, and is a broad generalization not true of every male and female, this type of ability to figure stuff out on the fly is very important in the military.

While I am for equal treatment – I truly believe that America would not go back to draft unless some national emergency occurs. And if that happens, everything is game, of course.

Now, I applaud the acceptance of women in the military – and it’s pointless to debate its efficiency. After all, America has been winning wars for the past 20 years. Women in combat roles – the debate goes on, of course, but if they perform to the same standards as the males, why not.

An interesting argument was presented by Lt.Col.(ret) Dave Grossman in its On Killing: "The Israelis have consistently refused to put women in combat since their experience in 1948. I have been told by several Israeli officers that this is because in 1948 they experienced recurring incidences of uncontrolled violence among male Israeli soldiers who had had their female combatants killed or injured in combat, and because the Arabs were extremely reluctant to surrender to women."

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