Zinke bill would open draft to U.S. women

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WASHINGTON — Two Republican congressmen who are military veterans have introduced a bill that would require women to register for the military draft.

Reps. Ryan Zinke of Montana and Duncan Hunter of California announced Thursday that the Draft America’s Daughters Act is aimed at provoking a fuller discussion of the Pentagon’s decision to open all combat jobs to women.

Hunter and Zinke say the decision ignores research from the Marine Corps and special operations forces. They also say the decision was made without considering whether women should be drafted and potentially serve on the front lines.

“I know women play an invaluable role in war,” Zinke said in a news release. “My daughter was a damn good Navy diver. Many times women can gain access to strategic sites that men never could. However, this administration’s plan to force all front-line combat positions and Special Forces to integrate women into their units is reckless and dangerous.”

Zinke, from Whitefish, is a former Navy SEAL commander.

“This is a very important issue that touches the heart of American family, and I believe we need to have an open and honest discussion about it,” Zinke said.

Hunter said it’s unfortunate the legislation had to be introduced and he might even vote against his own bill.

Hunter served in the Marine Corps with tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The legislation would require registration for women no later than 90 days after the enactment of the measure or 90 days after the Secretary of Defense opens all combat specialties to women.

Zinke and Hunter introduced the legislation after a House Armed Services Committee hearing where leaders of the Marine Corps and the Army made statements that women should register for the draft.

 

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