Two lawmakers concerned about filling the ranks of America's fighting forces raised the prospect Friday of renewing the draft.
But military leaders said the all-volunteer force of 1.4 million is sufficient for now, though they suggested better pay, benefits and living conditions for the troops.After a House hearing on military readiness, a key defense lawmaker, GOP Rep. Stephen Buyer of Indiana, said, "A lot of young people are escaping their civic responsibilities. There are benefits to a draft."
Buyer, chairman of the House National Security subcommittee on military personnel, asked during the hearing, "Have we reached the point where we can no longer fill the ranks with the all-volunteer force?"
Rep. Norman Sisisky, D-Va., said he has been "preaching" for several years that reviving the draft might be necessary if attracting Americans to the military becomes too hard.
"The worst nightmare for a congressman is to have to vote for Selective Service. . . . But there's a possibility that that's going to happen," Sisisky said.
Male high school graduates still must register for the Selective Service, but the United States has not drafted the nation's youths into the military since the Vietnam War ended.