Since tensions began rising between the U.S. and Iran, there has been a spike in Google searches about a potential draft — but here’s how compulsory military service actually works.
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In US news and current events today, rumors of war are circulating in the midst of U.S.-Iran conflict and tension. Leading people to ask the quetion: will there be another draft? The short answer is ‘no.’
Google searches for ‘conscription’ and ‘2020 draft’ spike every time international tensions are high, like between the U.S. & Iran. ‘World War 3’ memes also trend across Twitter, Tik Tok, and Instagram. The Selective Service, the government agency that manages information about Americans eligible for any future drafts, even had its website crash from an influx of people visiting it. People have reported receiving fake text messages from the [air quotes] ‘US Army’ saying they’ve been selected for a military draft.
The truth is, there hasn’t been an active draft in the United States since 1973. And there likely won’t be another one anytime soon.
In the United States, compulsory military service— also known as ‘conscription’ or ‘the draft’ — was abolished near the end of the Vietnam War.
Today, all military service in the U.S. is voluntary.
However, nearly all 18 to 25 year old men living in the U.S. are required by law to register with the Selective Service System.
High school students can postpone their induction until they graduate or reach age 20. And college students can postpone theirs until the end of the semester or academic year.
Soon, women may be required to register for the Selective Service System, too. In March 2019, a federal judge ruled that exempting women from having to register violates the Constitution. The decision defies a 1981 Supreme Court decision to uphold a male-only Selective Service system.
But what does it actually take for a draft to be reinstated? And in what situation would this be necessary?
Congress would have to pass legislation calling for a draft and then have it signed by the President. And, according to the U.S. government’s official website, this would only happen in the case of a, quote, ‘national emergency.’
Bottom line: there currently is no draft, and likely will never be another one again in the U.S.. But the international tensions that cause these misperceptions to spread remain very real.
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