A military watchdog says she was dismayed when three Republican presidential candidates voiced their support for women registering for the draft.
Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness says only one candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, later voiced opposition to the suggestion and called it "nuts."
Under current federal law, young men are legally required to register for Selective Service on their 18th birthday. The process is necessary, the Selective Service System website explains, in case of a "national emergency requiring rapid expansion of our Armed Forces."
In other words, 18-year-olds who sign up could be drafted to fight.
The question, should women sign up for Selective Service, was posed first to Marco Rubio during the Feb. 6 debate in New Hampshire. He responded that it should be opened up "for both men and for women in case a draft is ever instituted," CNS News reported.
Jeb Bush also said he supported that idea and Chris Christie suggested it would be discrimination to not allow women to register along with men.
"You don't register or draft anyone unless there is a need for combat replacements," Donnelly says of Selective Service sign-ups. "We're not talking about support troops here. We're talking about the infantry."
For years Donnelly and the Center for Military Readiness have been warning about a push to put women in front-line combat roles, a warning that has come true under the Obama administration.
Recalling the GOP debate, Donnelly says Cruz was not asked by moderator Martha Kraddatz about women and the draft, but the candidate voiced opposition in a post-debate interview.
"He stressed that political correctness in the military should be ended," Donnelly says of Cruz. "And then he said the idea that we would draft our daughters to forcibly put them in close combat, I think it is wrong. It is immoral and if I'm president we ain't doing it."
"Only a Barbaric Nation Drafts its Mothers and Daughters into Combat," reads the headline of a National Review commentary by Rich Lowry following the GOP debate.
Thousands of years of civilization have followed a "natural law," Lowry writes, which is that women and girls should be protected from - not participate in -"barbaric" hand-to-hand combat.
"Military service should not be a prerequisite for understanding morality, common sense, and natural law," Lowry wrote. "Cruz hasn’t served, yet he understood the stakes. He was right, while Bush, Rubio, and Christie were wrong."
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