PoliticalNews.me - Jul 17,2010 - WASHINGTON - Congressman Charles Rangel on Thursday introduced H.R. 5741, a bill that would reinstate a compulsory military draft, or alternative national service, during times of war, for men and women, aged 18 to 42, who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
"What troubles me most about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is the total indifference to the suffering and loss of life among our brave young soldiers on the battlefield," Congressman Rangel said. "The reason is that so few families have a stake in the war which is being fought by other people's children.
"The test for Congress, particularly for those members who support the war, is to require all who enjoy the benefits of our democracy to contribute to the defense of the country. All of America's children should share the risk of being placed in harm's way.
"In other words, if you support the war, you should support a compulsory military draft," Congressman Rangel said.
The bill, which the Congressman first introduced in 2003 as the nation prepared for the invasion of Iraq, and offered again in 2004, 2006, and 2007, provides for:
A national service obligation--either military or civilian--for every citizen and permanent resident, male and female, of the U.S., aged 18 to 42.
Persons may inducted to perform military service only if a declaration of war is in effect, or if the President declares a national emergency necessitating the induction of persons to perform military service and immediately informs Congress of the reasons for the declaration.
Defines "national service" as either military or civilian service as defined by the President that promotes national or homeland security.
Give the President the authority to establish the numbers of persons to be selected for military service and the means of selection.
Requires those not selected for military service to perform their national service obligation in a civilian capacity for a period of two years.
Directs the President to prescribe the regulations necessary to carry out the act.
Deferments for education are only permitted through completion of high school, to a maximum age of 20.
Deferments may be made for physical or mental disability, or under claims of conscientious objector.
BRINGING THE TROOPS HOME
Rangel said that he was not challenging President Obama's handling of the war in Iraq or Afghanistan, conflicts with few options that the President had inherited from the previous Administration.
"I support the President's intentions to withdraw our troops, but I'd like to see it happen sooner. In my view, no additional tax dollars should be appropriated for any reason except to bring home our brave and exhausted young men and women. The loss of 5,500 lives and 38,000 wounded is enough."
A combined total of 160,000 Americans are currently deployed. More than 2 million men and women have served in the two conflicts, nearly half of them for more than one tour of duty. And because of a shortage of manpower, some