EDITORIAL: Stop calling

Nation has no good reason to keep draft registration

After the United States and Iran sent missiles at each other’s installations in Iraq, cybervandals, as they do, seized the opportunity to terrorize the general public. They sent out message to various Americans saying they had been drafted and needed to prepare for war.

The scare drives home the need to end the requirement that all American men must register for the military draft around their 18th birthday.

Our country hasn’t needed to draft people into military service since the practice ended with the Vietnam War in 1973.

If it had been true, you can bet its renewal would have been the top story for all valid news agencies. The U.S. Selective Service System says that because of its importance, any draft lottery would be highly publicized and conducted publicly, with full media coverage.

Unfortunately, enough young Americans ignore legitimate news sources that they thought the news might be true; they overloaded Selective Service internet sites after Iran launched ballistic missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq on Jan. 7 and the false text messages started going out.

The incident raised new questions as to why we still require registration.

Military conscription got this country through two world wars and unpopular aggression in Korea, Vietnam and other sites. But it became a target, and a symbol, of our military policies as public opinion turned against them. So the end of the Vietnam War brought an end to forced military service in this country, beginning in 1973.

The hiatus didn’t last a decade; President Jimmy Carter ordered the reinstatement of draft registration after Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan, in case our country might be called in to address the situation.

But times have changed: The Soviet Union has dissolved, and with it the Cold War. Our country has replaced the old Soviet forces as Afghanistan’s occupying force.

Military operations have changed also; the growing use of drones enables more to be done with fewer people, with much less risk of casualties (some drones used in the U.S. are controlled from places as far away as Missouri.) Our saber rattling, rather than justify draft registration, instead has raised concerns. The U.S. House already has passed a resolution requiring congressional approval for any act of war, and although no one expects President Trump to sign it, it should make our nation’s general attitude clear.

Another bill also calls for an end to draft registration. House Resolution 5492 would repeal the Military Selective Service Act and with it the president’s authority to impose a draft. It also would eliminate penalties for not registering, which can include jail time, loss of government benefits including college financial aid, and in many cases the ability to get a job.

No one doubts our country’s ability to wage war, and we don’t need to engage in unnecessary aggression to prove it. And no reasonable American wants to send our children to war.

Let’s prove it, and eliminate the need for our children to register for conscription that no one wants to begin.