The United States hasn’t relied on a military draft since the Vietnam War, but that could change. With declining recruitment numbers, Congress is considering proposals to update mandatory military conscription, specifically by adding women to the US military draft registration pool and making registration automatic altogether.

Real Research, an online survey app, sought to gauge public opinion on these proposed changes. The survey revealed a majority of respondents, 64.5%, were aware of the Senate bill proposing adding women to the US military draft.

Key Findings:

  • There’s more support (56.93%) for drafting women than against (43.07%).
  • Even more people (70.87%) like the idea of automatic registration for everyone.
  • A majority (60.17%) think the current system, where only men register, is unfair.

Is there support for drafting women?

Not everyone in Congress, particularly conservative Republicans, is on board with the proposal to have women register for the draft. Meanwhile, a majority of the surveyed respondents (56.93%) expressed support for the proposal.

Respondents-stance-on-adding-women-to-the-US-military-draft
Figure 1:Respondents’ stance on adding women to the US military draft.

However, the issue isn’t without its detractors. While the idea of adding women to the US military draft garnered support, there remains a significant minority (43.07%) opposed to it.

Read Also: 57% Think U.S. Military Presence in Afghanistan Would Prevent Taliban Resurgence

Is automatic registration a better option?

In addition to expanding the registration requirement to women, the bill also contained a bipartisan proposal that would make registering for the draft automatic. Interestingly, the idea of automatic draft registration received even stronger backing, with a resounding 70.87% favoring this approach, compared to just 29.13% who prefer the current voluntary system.

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Figure 2: Should US military draft registration be automatic?

The impetus for these changes appears clear. The current system, which only requires men aged 18-25 to register, is seen as unfair by a majority (60.17%).

Furthermore, the significant shortfall in military recruitment (roughly 41,000 in 2023) fuels the belief (68.23%) that adding women to the US military draft could have a positive impact on enlistment numbers.

Read Also: Youth Enlist in the Military Out of Sense of Duty to Serve, Say 13%

Will this bill turn into a law?

In 2020, a panel of military experts advised Congress that adding women to the US military draft would serve national security. Congress has repeatedly considered proposals to make the change, but none have become law.

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Figure 3: Will the bill proposing adding women to the US military draft become law?

Despite the public’s apparent openness to including women and automating registration, skepticism remains. Only 63.73% believe the bill proposing adding women to the US military draft will actually become law.

Are young Americans ready?

A lingering concern with any potential draft revolves around the preparedness of young Americans. While not an overwhelming majority, over half (58.53%) expressed confidence that the current generation could answer the call if necessary.

Methodology

Survey TitlePublic Opinion on Adding Women to the US Military Draft
DurationJuly 1 – July 3, 2024
Number of Participants3,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.