The House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Thursday night after a lengthy amendment debate that took up most of the day. This annual bill is considered “must pass” legislation as it reauthorizes and funds the military. This summer, the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) marked up its version of the legislation and it’s expected to come to the floor of the U.S. Senate for a full vote later this fall.
Before this year ends, President Joe Biden will undoubtedly sign it into law. This is all exceptionally bad news for both America’s defense posture and for anyone who has a daughter or granddaughter.
In an unbelievable move, both House and Senate Republicans, many of whom view themselves as “defense hawks,” voted to add far-left language to the bill that would draft our young daughters in a time of national emergency. In the House, 135 Republicans voted last night to do just that.
It remains to be seen how many Senate Republicans have the spine to oppose this disgrace on the floor, but the outlook thus far does not look promising. Only five SASC Republicans opposed drafting our daughters during the committee mark-up. Those five were Sens. Tom Cotton, James Inhofe, Roger Wicker, Mike Rounds, and Josh Hawley.
Among those who proudly voted to put the onus of defending our nation on the shoulders of our daughters was first-term Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville. Indeed, after I heatedly spoke with members of his staff, it was stated outright the freshman senator felt that drafting women was the right call to counter the increasing threat of communist China. Tuberville’s office did not respond to a request for on-the-record comment on this article.
As the father of a one-year-old little girl, the flippancy with which alleged conservative staff addressed this issue was infuriating. This is foolishness of the highest order and displays an extreme lack of sound judgment.
The draft exists because it serves as a backstop to quickly replenish combat losses and add manpower to our Armed Forces amid a national emergency. God forbid we ever need to use the draft again, but should it come to that, doubling the pool of draftees, many of whom will not meet the physical demands of front-line hand-to-hand combat, is precisely the opposite policy one would want.
In 2015, the Pentagon decided to elevate “equity” over warfighting prowess and opened all combat roles to women. Now, thanks to many Republicans’ views on national defense, there is no backstop to prevent our daughters from going to the frontlines were a draft to be reinstated in a time of national emergency.
I’m a proud third-generation Auburn graduate who had some cautious optimism for the newly elected Tuberville. But one will forgive me if I don’t recall my alma mater’s former head football coach trying to recruit girls to go toe-to-toe with All-American running backs Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams during his time on the Plains.
Apparently, despite empirical study after empirical study showing men as physically superior to their female counterparts, coach-turned-senator Tuberville, along with a host of his House and Senate Republican colleagues, has no problem forcing my daughter into an environment of bombs, bullets, and bayonets with violent, battle-hardened men seeking to kill her.
Politicians can repeal and amend statutory language, but they cannot repeal and amend basic biology. The fact is, my daughter, your daughter, your granddaughter, does not have an equal opportunity to survive on the battlefield.
Indeed, a 2013 Marine Corps study showed that all-male units have a higher performance than mixed-sex units in 70 percent of combat tasks. Women have far higher injury rates than men when undergoing the same training, sometimes ten times the injury rate. And when the Army opened its both-sexes fitness standards and issued its findings in 2019, it showed that 84 percent of women could not meet the minimum standard, compared to 30 percent of men.
This is not to say that women have not valiantly bolstered the efficacy of our military in some roles. They have and they will continue to do so. That stated, given the biological and empirical realities that separate men and women, the Pentagon should rescind its opening of combat roles to women, especially considering the congressional effort to draft our daughters.
Should my daughter choose to voluntarily serve her nation in a support capacity, I will proudly back her in that decision. But forcing her to sign up for mandatory conscription in an environment where she may be sent directly to the combat frontlines is an appalling breach of the oath these self-proclaimed “conservatives” took when they assumed office. It is a policy failure of the highest order. Short of a full reversal, it is also not forgivable.
Any Republican who puts his or her stamp of approval on this policy reveals that he or she is simply out of his or her depth at representing their constituents and effectively ensuring the defense of the nation.
America’s enemies are rising and growing bolder — in Beijing, in Tehran, in Moscow. The catastrophic way the United States withdrew from Afghanistan has only made a future major war more likely. Therefore, lawmakers must be focused on ensuring our military is ready to win a major war as such a conflict will almost certainly pose an existential threat to our way of life.
We cannot risk our very civilization for the hollow approval of coastal elites who largely look down on the very people who have sacrificed to make America free and strong, the very people alleged conservative and defense-minded Republicans are supposed to represent.
So, to the Washington elites in both parties who abrogate their duties and play political games with total disregard to the well-being of our young women, understand something loud and clear: you will not draft my daughter, regardless of what laws you think you are passing today or plan to pass tomorrow.
And you will pay a steep political price for thinking you can do so without consequence.