Congress has been debating the merits of adding women into Selective Service to be drafted with men during times of national emergency.
The Libertarian Party agrees.
"The draft is simply slavery by another name. Drafting people to go abroad and kill or be killed is barbaric and a discredit to our military and country," said Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian National Committee.
If a national emergency is so severe to merit mobilizing extra troops, Americans from all backgrounds, ages, and genders should pitch in to do what is needed. However, this should not be forced. It is an insult to the idea of a "free country".
The draft, whether for military purposes or some form of “national service,” violates the basic moral principles of individual liberty upon which this country was founded. Furthermore, the military neither wants nor needs a draft.
Former President Ronald Reagan eloquently expressed the moral case against the draft in the publication Human Events in 1979: “[Conscription] rests on the assumption that your kids belong to the state. If we buy that assumption then it is for the state not for parents, the community, the religious institutions or teachers to decide who shall have what values and who shall do what work, when, where and how in our society. That assumption isn’t a new one. The Nazis thought it was a great idea.”
The Libertarian Party urges elected leaders to end the draft and also to pursue foreign policy which is less dependent on military might. The money we spend annually on our military is a waste, when we have a presence in foreign conflicts.
Economic hardship is great in all wars. War is never economically beneficial except for those in position to profit from war expenditures. The great tragedy of war is that it enables the careless disregard for civil liberties of our own people. Abuses of German and Japanese Americans in World War I and World War II are well known.
The real sacrifice comes with conscription forcing a small number of young citizens to fight the wars that older men and women promote. It's easy to promote a war for your own glory when you aren't the one being shot at. The draft encourages wars with neither purpose nor moral justification, wars that too often are not even declared by the Congress.
Without conscription, unpopular wars are difficult to fight. The Vietnam War came to an end quickly
after the draft was undermined. Most importantly, liberty cannot be preserved by tyranny. A free society must always resort to volunteers. Tyrants think nothing of forcing men to fight and serve in wrongheaded wars. A true fight for survival and defense of America would elicit the defense of those who love her. This is not the case with wars of mischief far away from home, which we have experienced often in the past century.
The United States has many tools of foreign policy at our disposal that do not require force. Military force should always be a last resort and only in defense.
The Libertarian Party is the only political party in America devoted to protecting all rights, of all human beings, all the time. The Libertarian Party also strongly condemns the use of force except in self defense.