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Viewpoint

In today’s media-saturated America, everyone has an opinion. From Bill O’Reilly to Chris Matthews, Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow – there is no shortage of viewpoints. But how many of those perspectives bring you back to a place of passionate, persistent prayer for the nation?

“Viewpoint” allows the expression on the political, social and moral issues of the day. At times, you may not agree. But in the end, you will be energized to pray for America, with the prism of Scripture and a decidedly Godly direction as your guide. Plus, you can blog your comments to every article, have your say.

Read – then pray with an enlightened, more informed viewpoint for your nation and its leaders. 

Fixing the “Hollowed Out” Military

View Point

Women, Selective Service and rebuilding the armed forces

By Dave Ficere

Last February, one Republican congressman accused the commander in chief of devastating the military through budget cuts:

"President Obama, with his plan of sequestration, has really hollowed out our military," Ohio Representative Michael Turner told a New York radio host. "We’ve seen our military readiness [and] the capabilities of our military decline significantly," Turner added.

Now, one year later, a new president is looking to rebuild the U.S. military as part of his campaign to "Make America Great Again." The big questions are: can he do it and at what cost? Will it entail reinstituting the military draft and would such a draft also include women?

As is the case with most government programs, much of the debate centers around how the administration will pay for its ambitious defense buildup. There is also the question of whether the Trump team can find enough able and willing recruits to meet the staffing needs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines without reinstituting the military draft.

While campaigning for president, Donald Trump called for a return to pre-sequestration force levels, including a 540,000-member Army, a 350-ship Navy and an Air Force of 1,200 fighter aircraft.

Trump’s plan for the Army alone would put the service’s total back to levels seen at the height of the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. More ambitious, is the White House plan to boost the Marine Corps to 36 infantry battalions – more than 200,000 Marines – which would put the service at force levels not seen since Vietnam.

In an effort to keep some active troop members, the Army is offering soldiers who have the option of leaving before October incentive bonuses of $10,000 or more to stay on for another 12 months. The Army Times says the incentives are partially due to the fact that the service is scrambling to meet the mandate of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which says the active Army must have 476,000 soldiers in the next eight months.

"President Trump has an opportunity to address a readiness issue that has not received sufficient attention in recent years," says retired Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense.

Where will these new recruits come from? According to the most recent assessment of possible military manpower by the nonprofit Center for Naval Analyses, only about 17 percent of all military-age Americans would be found to be physically "qualified and military available" for service.

Some have suggested either reinstituting the military draft or requiring women to register with Selective Service as men are required to do when they turn 18. While the U.S. hasn't had a military draft since 1973, during the Vietnam War era, the Obama administration last December declared its support for requiring women to register with Selective Service.

Some countries – like Sweden – are moving back toward establishing a military draft, in a move that Politico columnist Elisabeth Braw calls "a sign of more uncertain times and the result of difficulties Sweden has had in filling its military roster with only volunteer forces."

"Though armed forces are having to refocus on territorial defense, they don’t need soldiers for trenches, but highly skilled young men and women who can be trusted with expensive high-tech equipment. And the best conscripts are given positions of responsibility a 19-year-old could only dream of in civilian life," Braw adds.

One need only to look at America’s ally, Israel, to see how such a system works.

While some exceptions are made for religious, physical or psychological reasons, enlistment to the Israeli Defense Forces is mandatory for all Israeli citizens who have turned 18. The normal length of compulsory service is two years and eight months for men, and two years for women.

Should American teenagers of both sexes be required to register for Selective Service or be asked to commit two years of their life to serving the nation? Would this help many young adults become more grounded in life and acquire skills they can use in the workplace and as they take their place in society?

These are weighty questions to ponder as President Trump and his team look at rebuilding America’s military to address threats around the world. As God leads, pray:

Dave Ficere is the News Editor for the US Prayer Watch Network, a ministry of the Presidential Prayer Team. He lives in Surprise, Arizona.




Member Comments


The following expressions and comments are from our members and do not necessarily represent or reflect the biblical, world views or opinions of the Presidential Prayer Team
  1. Eddie says:

    Take a census of all the congregation of the children of Israel, by their families, by their fathers’ houses, according to the number oF names, every male individually, from twenty years old and above — all who are able to go to war in Israel. NUMBERS 1:2-3

    Service to country from the very beginning has not been a suggestion; but a command — a duty to ensure the preservation of the culture.

    Since that obligation was omitted in 1973, any sense of duty is only to self. Stubbornly resisted the command of God, we are held guilty; thus our children suffer in ignorance for generations. EXODUS 20:5

    Our best course, then, is to return to the Lord through the righteous education of our children. There are no “shortcuts.” It will be painful.

    In the interm, we seek His forgiveness, mercy & wisdom, that we may not be consumed. LAMENTATIONS 3:22-24

    PRAY for our leaders — STUDY God’s plan — ACT in accordance — PERSEVERE in difficulty — Be THANKFUL is every success — AMEN

  2. GLORIA LOYER says:

    I believe we need to stop “For Profit” medical care and go to single payer. If we cut out the insurance companies, more money could go to actual health care.

  3. Ronald Knapp says:

    Israel does both (men / women) and it works. To fight for your country is a privilege from any military service.

  4. Johnny says:

    The draft should be instituted again. When I turned eighteen I did not want to be drafted—I joined. I joined mainly because I wanted to be counted as one who loved his country. Also, I was aimless and did not know what life was all about.
    The military gave me a closeup of the ‘REAL’ world. It gave me discipline and a motivation to do more than I thought I could. It thought me respect for my country, my God and my fellow man from all races. I learned to work and depend and trust these brothers in arms.
    No, it was not easy at first, but I learned that it was an honor to be a military veteran. This was not learned until many years later.
    I am proud to be an American who believes in Jesus, God and the Holy Spitit.
    Pray that our United States will come back to God and also pray for ALL of our leaders that their hearts will be turned to do the just and honorable things they pledged to do. Thank you

  5. James Foxvog says:

    It would be helpful to redo the wording and choices on the Opinion Poll on the draft. Those who think there should be no draft, and those who believe it should continue as it is, only for men, will pick the same answer.

  6. Jo-An says:

    Women should not be forced to register for the S.S. or be drafted. It is a hard enough fact that this must be done with our young men for the protection of our nation. Enough young women volunteer now & will in the future.

    Women’s minds & bodies are inherently different. Women hold the future in their bodies.

    Being in the military changes you mentally and at least temporarily physically. Being taught to kill changes you mentally & the military MUST teach this. This hardens you, we do not need generations of hardened women. We need a strong military, we need the strongest physically to be in our military.

  7. Schley Kemp says:

    All 18 year old men required to register for military and serve two years

  8. Rose Andrews says:

    I am totally against drafting anybody much less women. If we value the lives of every person in our military, treat them right and provide them with a moral country worth fighting for, we won’t need a draft.

  9. Evelyn Ruby says:

    I agree with Eddie’s comment, above. Women do NOT belong on the battlefield, but in the home, rearing children to love and serve the Lord, and supporting their men with prayer and all the resources God has given us. We are the vital “help-meets”.

  10. As a Christian, I find it offensive that Mr. Trump calls himself a Christian. We should pray that he gives his life to Christ. The two greatest commandments are Jesus said Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Trump has failed to live by the love Jesus taught us. Our church continues to pray that he finds compassion in his heart for the poor, immigrants and those less fortunate. Pray that he remove the hate from his heart.

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