CharlesRangel.jpgRepresentative Charles B. Rangel of New York (Democrat) proposed a bill for 2003 to reinstate the military draft. This proposal came in January of 2003, before the start of the Iraq war on March 19 of that same year. His reasoning for the proposal was that if passed, the possibility of anyone withing the given age group (18-26) being sent to death would scare people away from the thought of going to war in Iraq. Rangel, a veteran of the Korean war, felt that by having a close link to the world's politics, the people of the United States would be aware of the sacrifices made in war and be wiser about their decisions. He also thought that this bill would help even out the military; statistics show that almost 35 percent of the armed forces are made up of minorities, compared to minorities contributing to only one-fourth of the nation's population. The way military today is populated, it is the poor people who are in uniform and the rich people who will make decisions about where to send them. Rangel hoped to change that before those in control could send the soldiers to Iraq. The Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, however, interpreted this as an unnecessary call for more troops and the bill was defeated.

In 2006, however, Rangel reintroduced his bill for congress to reinstate the draft . Now that the United States is in conflict with Iraq, his bill's purpose is now geared more toward supplying the American forces with able soldiers, men and women (ages 18-42). Deferments would only be given for high school students and up to the age of 20, as well as health, religion, and conscience. The need shows as the military has been forced to allow recruits with lower aptitude test scores. However, there still remains the possibility that, now that the horrors of the Iraq war have been revealed, the thought of a draft will have even more of the opposite effect of deterring further aggression and not repopulating the troops.

-by Andrew D.

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"Call to Restart Military Draft." CBS NEWS. 2002. CBS News. May 15, 2007.

"Military Draft System to be Tested." CBS News. 2006. CBS News. May 15, 2007.

"Rangel introduces bill to reinstate draft." 2003. Cable News Network. May 17, 2007.

"Rangel Reintroduces Draft Bill." February 14, 2006. House of Representatives. May 17, 2007.