Re-established by President Jimmy Carter in 1980 in retaliation for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Selective Service program has been spending hundreds of millions of dollars over the past 36 years registering all men aged 18-26 for a military draft which not only doesn’t exist, but which the Pentagon has repeatedly expressed public opposition to.
And while the program’s website brags that “It’s What a Man’s Got to Do,” the program is about to get a lot bigger, and by extension, a lot more expensive, as the Senate Armed Services Committee has followed its House counterpart in passing the Draft America’s Daughters Act of 2016, which would expand the registration requirement to women.
If passed, the DADA would go into effect by 2018, effectively doubling the number of people who have to register for a military draft that, again, both doesn’t exist and that the Pentagon continually expresses opposition to. The House is also attempting to include the bill’s language in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
There has been opposition to the expansion of the Selective Service to women, with some bipatrisan effort in Congress to block the resolution. Those supporting the expansion are citing “fairness,” though there is a separate effort to eliminate the Selective Service outright, with advocates noting this would also be fair, and dramatically cheaper.