After last week’s surprise statements by two top generals that women should sign up for the draft just like men, Sen. Ted Cruz has set himself apart from his Republican rivals in the race for president by saying unequivocally that the idea is “nuts.”
When questioned at a Senate committee hearing last week, the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Gen. Robert Neller and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley both said they thought women should have to register for Selective Service when they turn eighteen, just like men.
During Saturday’s presidential candidate debate in Manchester, N.H., everyone on stage who spoke seemed to be in favor of it.
“I have to admit, as I was sitting there listening to that conversation, my reaction was, ‘Are you guys nuts?’” Cruz said of his rivals at a town hall style gathering in New Hampshire the next day. At a later campaign event he addressed the issue again, saying:
Listen, we have had enough with political correctness, especially in the military. Political correctness is dangerous. And the idea that we would draft our daughters to forcibly bring them into the military and put them in close combat, I think is wrong, it is immoral, and if I am president, we ain’t doing it… But the idea that their government would forcibly put them in a foxhole with a 220-pound psychopath trying to kill them doesn’t make any sense at all.
While Cruz has come out against the idea of having women register, during the debate he was silent, and possibly as stunned anyone by the positions of his rivals. No doubt many observers were surprised at the easy acquiescence by most of the other Republican hopefuls during Saturday night’s debate. When asked about potentially drafting women into the Armed Forces, most of the candidates said this was a good thing.
Sen. Marco Rubio was first to cave:
…I have no problem whatsoever with people of either gender serving in combat so long as the minimum requirements necessary to do the job are not compromised. But, I support that, and obviously now that that is the case I do believe that Selective Service should be opened up for both men and women in case a Draft is ever instituted.
He then went on to make noises about how when he is president he will be rebuilding the military, about how small the Army and the Air Force are today by comparison. Of course, rebuilding the military will be more difficult after all the social experimentation of the Obama years, and Rubio fell right in with that. Not just the theoretical idea of drafting women—there hasn’t actually been a draft since the Vietnam War—but putting women into combat arms despite the studies shown that this won’t be a good idea.
It hasn’t worked in other countries that have tried it—while women have joined combat arms in the United Kingdom and Canada, it is only a handful. Similarly Israel, always thrown out by proponents of integration, has very limited roles for women in the infantry and rejected the idea of incorporating them as armor crew members. Women are drafted in Israel but not into combat arms.
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