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New Dawn

Ban on Transgender Troops to Be Lifted July 1

The Pentagon plans to announce the repeal of its ban on transgender service members July 1, a controversial decision that would end nearly a year of internal wrangling among the services on how to allow those troops to serve openly, according to Defense officials.

Top personnel officials plan to meet as early as Monday to finalize details of the plan, and Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work could sign off on it by Wednesday, according to a Defense official familiar with the timetable but who spoke on condition of anonymity because officials were not authorized to speak publicly about it. Final approval would come from Defense Secretary Ash Carter, and the announcement will be on the eve of the Fourth of July weekend.

The plan would direct each branch of the armed services over a one-year period to implement new policies affecting recruiting, housing and uniforms for transgender troops, one official said.

Carter announced last year that the ban, which affects a fraction of the military’s 1.3 million active duty members, would be lifted unless a review showed that doing so would have “adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness.”

That phrase raised concerns on Capitol Hill where a key lawmaker questioned whether an “honest and balanced assessment” could be made of the effects on “military readiness, morale and good order and discipline” under Carter’s guidelines for the review. (Read more from “Ban on Transgender Troops to Be Lifted July 1” HERE)

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Department of Defense Proposes New Military Promotion System

Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that he would end the “one-size-fits-all” promotion system for military officers, Military Times reported. This could open up more opportunities for diverse military career options.

Carter’s “Force of the Future” reform was announced June 9.

“It aims to help the military bring in more top talent, especially for high-tech career fields focused on cyber warfare and space,” according to a Military Times article. “Advocates say it will help the military fill important manpower shortfalls with highly skilled professionals and, more broadly, create greater ‘permeability’ between the active-duty military and the civilian sector.”

Many of the changes Carter intends to make will need Congress to change the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act, a law concerning most aspects of military promotion, according to Federal News Radio. Carter said the Defense Department will focus on four specific changes, “including a relaxation of the ‘up or out’ promotion process, which he said is fundamentally sound, but too rigid,” Federal News Radio reported.

Carter is requesting that the Pentagon waive all DOPMA-related rules for career fields, if necessary.

According to Carter, this will “ enable them to respond to an uncertain future, in ways that can be tailored to their unique capability requirements and particular personnel needs, without casting off a system that still largely meets our needs for most officers across the force”

One significant change is the opportunity for “lateral entry” into the upper ranks of the military. Promotions will be based on performance rather than tenure in a position. Military services would have the ability to do this, but it would not be required.

Lateral entry will also mean civilian professionals will not have to start at the bottom of the ranks, according to Military Times.

“Now, I have to say we can’t do this for every career field — far from it,” Carter said. “It will probably never apply to line officers, as they’ll always need to begin their military careers as second lieutenants and ensigns.”

These changes are not without controversy and opposition.

“For many in the rank-and-file military, it seems absurd, a bewildering cultural change that threatens to upend many assumptions about military life and traditional career paths,” wrote Andrew Tilghman for Military Times.

Military Times also reported that the U.S. Navy is the most enthusiastic about Carter’s proposal. The Army and Air Force have said they will consider lateral entries if the change is approved by Congress. The Marine Corps seems to be the most wary of the changes. One Marine personnel officer said he supports the proposal because it does not require services to make changes.

“We are prepared to observe the ‘experimentation’ efforts of other services and adopt the best practices where applicable and advantageous,” said Col. Gaines Ward, head of the service’s promotions and policy branch, as reported by Military Times.

Each military service would be able to work out which changes to implement for themselves.

“It’s up to the services. We’re not trying to bind them in, were offering to give them flexibility,” said a senior defense official. (For more from the author of “Department of Defense Proposes New Military Promotion System” please click HERE)

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Iraqi Freedom

Conservative Senator Is Trying to Keep Women out of the Draft

To Sen. Mike Lee, the battle over whether women should have to register for a draft that does not exist is more consequential than it sounds.

Though the U.S. has had an all-volunteer force since 1973, some Republicans are using this year’s defense policy bill to try to require women to sign up for the Selective Service System, compelling them to serve in the military if a draft were ever reinstated.

Supporters of the provision of the National Defense Authorization Act expanding Selective Service to women are doing so in the name of inclusivity, arguing that if women are able to serve in combat—which they can—they should naturally be eligible for the draft if it were brought back.

But as senators debate the annual defense policy bill this week, conservatives like Lee are fighting back, arguing that forcing women into the Selective Service would actually restrict their freedoms.

“It’s one thing for women who want to be in combat and have earned it to do that, but forcing women to fight is a totally different matter,” said Lee, R-Utah, in an interview with The Daily Signal.

Lee added:

This has nothing to do with opportunities for women in the military. This has to do with whether we should put women in a position where they are forced to register for the Selective Service, and when you are doing that, you are submitting them to a future draft. That’s a totally different question and that’s a question that has yet to be adequately studied or considered by Congress in a manner I think it deserves. My amendment preserves choices that women currently have—choices that would be taken away if the language in the base bill were to become law.

Lee wrote an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would remove the provision that requires women to register for the Selective Service. The amendment also forces the Pentagon to prepare a report for Congress by July 2017 about whether the Selective Service is even necessary and if registration should be required regardless of gender.

The amendment, one of nearly 400 proposed to the defense policy bill, is also sponsored by GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, Mike Rounds of South Dakota, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.

Extending the Selective Service to women has powerful Republican backers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

In addition, military leaders from the Army and Marine Corps testified before Congress in February voicing support for requiring women to register with the Selective Service.

The Selective Service System was created to ensure the military has enough manpower when it is short-handed in a time of war.

The Selective Service System currently requires registration of men ages 18-25 only. But when the Obama administration opened military combat roles to women in December 2015, supporters saw gender neutrality in draft eligibility as a logical next step.

“Because the Department of Defense has lifted the ban on women serving in ground combat units, the committee believes there is no further justification in limiting the duty to register under the Military Selective Service Act to men,” wrote the Senate Armed Services Committee, which drafted the National Defense Authorization Act, in its executive summary to the bill.

When the House passed its version of the National Defense Authorization last month, opponents of expanding the Selective Service to women were successful in stripping the provision from the bill.

Lee hopes for a similar result in the Senate, and not just because he disagrees with the underlying policy.

The Utah senator is also concerned with a separate provision of the National Defense Authorization Act that would create a “National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service” to review the future of the Selective Service System. The commission would also “consider methods to increase participation in military, national, and public service in order to address national security and other public service needs of the nation.”

While backers of that provision, including McCain and Graham, say the commission is meant to increase interest in the U.S.’ system of an all-volunteer military force, Lee alleges his colleagues are trying to “open the door” to mandatory service making a comeback.

“I think the current NDAA calling for a study on national service is laying the groundwork for a mandatory national service draft,” Lee said. “Based on my reading of the language of the base bill, I certainly think that is a risk. I have some concerns about that. Voluntary service is an indispensable part of what makes America exceptional and mandatory service would destroy all of that.”

An aide to a senator who supports the commission denied Lee’s accusation.

“That’s an absurd argument,” the aide said. “No one is suggesting that we bring back mandatory service except for Senator Lee. The provision that would create the commission was included to study if we even still need a draft due to the success of the all-volunteer force.”

No matter the intent of the commission, and the push to require women to join the Selective Service, Lee agrees the nature of how the U.S. assembles its military is due for fresh scrutiny.

“One of the things facilitated by my amendment is a conversation that if you aren’t ever going to have a draft, taking a look at the need — or lackthereof — of Selective Service in general,” Lee said. “If we aren’t going to have a draft at some point in the future, it would defy logic and reason to expand the Selective Service requirement.”

It’s still unclear when — or if — Lee’s amendment stopping the expansion of Selective Service to women will be voted on. McConnell has said he hopes to finish work on the National Defense Authorization Act this week. (For more from the author of “Conservative Senator Is Trying to Keep Women out of the Draft” please click HERE)

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Photo Credit: Library of Congress

This Is the First Thing Americans Did When They Heard of D-Day Invasion

According to news reports, individual testimony, and historical photographs, the first thing Americans did when they first heard the news of the D-Day invasion, was they prayed. Nationwide stores closed and regularly scheduled prayer services were held in major cities.

Keith Huxen, a senior director at the National World War II Museum explains:

“The reaction of many Americans, whenever they found out what was happening that day, was to attend religious services. Churches and synagogues were reportedly packed across the country.”

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Many stores closed: for prayer.

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And prayer services and intercession were scheduled every hour in major cities.

In New York City, several special prayers services were held at noon and later in the evening. And, New York City’s mayor, Fiorello La Guardia, led New Yorkers in prayer at a D-Day rally in Madison Square Garden. Those attending and listening at home on the radio, heard their mayor proclaim:

“We, the people of the City of New York, in meeting assembled, send forth our prayers to the Almighty God for the safety and spiritual welfare of every one of you and humbly petition Him to bring total victory to your arms in the great and valiant struggle for the liberation of the world from tyranny.”

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

The New York Stock Exchange observed two minutes of silence.

And nationwide, millions of Americans heard on the radio Franklin D. Roosevelt encourage them to pray:

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.”

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Prayer was the focus during wartime. Americans looked to God to end the war that killed over 400,000 Americans.

Even veterans who have returned to the scene of the bloodiest and largest amphibious invasion in history: return to pray.

Photo Credit: Doug Dunbar

Photo Credit: Doug Dunbar

(For more from the author of “This Is the First Thing Americans Did When They Heard of D-Day Invasion” please click HERE)

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Iraqi Freedom

Retired General Just Pointed out the Problem With Obama’s Military

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin was told not to attend a prayer breakfast to be held Monday at Fort Riley, Kansas, because of his religious views.

Radio talk host Rusty Humphries asked Boykin about the incident Monday during an interview on USA Radio’s Trending Today USA.

Boykin said, “Well, this is the condition of our military today.” He went on to say that Michael “Mikey” Weinstein, the leader of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, called for Boykin’s invitation to be “immediately withdrawn.”

Weinstein labeled Boykin a “Christian zealot” and an “Islamophobe.”

According to the retired general, the commander at the base refused to stand up to Weinstein and canceled Boykin’s appearance “on the anniversary of D-Day.”

“I’ve got to back up, I’ve got to understand this,” Humphries said. “So because you’re a Christian, you’re not supposed to speak at a prayer breakfast?”

“A voluntary prayer breakfast,” Boykin said. “And yes, according to this organization that has been … going after me for some time.”

Boykin stated that the group also has been trying to have Bibles removed from the “Missing Man” displays at VA hospitals.

To the charge of being a Christian zealot, Boykin said, “Well, I don’t know exactly what that means, but I am, in fact, an ordained minister now.”

He went on to tell Humphries that he had intended to speak to the people on the prayers of Franklin Roosevelt, Gen. George S. Patton and others during World War II and especially on D-Day.

When Humphries asked Boykin if he understands what is happening, Boykin said he understands, because, “This is exactly where Obama wants his military. There has been an all-out assault on faith in general — unless it’s the Muslim faith, and then it’s protected — but particularly the Christian faith.”

After a few more minutes of interviewing Boykin, Humphries said, “I’m so sorry you’re being treated this way. You don’t deserve it. Your service to our country needs to be applauded and saluted and not disrespected, as this one organization is doing. So, for the rest of America, I want to apologize to you personally.”

Boykin responded by saying, “Well, I appreciate that very much and things are going to get better and that’s because people are waking up and starting to take a stand.” (For more from the author of “Retired General Just Pointed out the Problem With Obama’s Military” please click HERE)

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Iraqi Freedom

What’s Good (and What’s Horrible) in the Senate Defense Bill

The Senate will soon start debating the annual defense policy bill. This bill is particularly critical now when threats are rising, from state-sponsored cyberattacks to Russian aggression, to terrorism at home and abroad.

At the same time, our military is getting smaller and weaker. Unfortunately, the Senate bill is a mix of good and bad policies, and for the sake of our national security, this bill needs to be improved.

The U.S. military today is getting smaller and is struggling to train its people and maintain its equipment due to a combination of high demand and a 25 percent cut to its budget. While we don’t yet know all the details of the recent military plane crashes and the Fort Hood tragedy, we do know that serious and fatal accidents are on the rise. While accidents always happen, senior military leaders believe the rise in the overall rate of serious accidents is due to the lack of funding for training and maintenance.

The Marines are pulling aircraft parts out of museums. The Air Force is cannibalizing planes to keep other planes flying. Three quarters of Navy F-18 fighter aircraft are not ready for combat. And only one-third of Army brigades are prepared for war. In short, our military is not prepared to defend the vital interests of the United States.

Given the threats facing our country and the current status of our military, we should ask one simple question about the Senate defense bill: Does it start rebuilding our military?

The bill, formally known as the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017 (NDAA), doesn’t do enough. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is the primary author of the NDAA, and he is keenly aware of this gap, and he hopes to address it by offering an amendment to increase the defense budget by $17.9 billion.

If successful, this amendment would take major steps toward rebuilding the military: it would grow the size of the Army and the Marine Corps, it would buy more ships for the Navy and more planes for the Air Force, and it would provide more funding for training and maintenance for all the services.

If this amendment doesn’t pass, this bill will not start rebuilding our military. There is one problem with the McCain amendment—the defense funding increase does not come with cuts to other parts of the federal budget that are less important. To reinvest in our armed forces while being fiscally responsible, defense funding should be increased and other parts of the budget should be decreased.

While the budget is the biggest issue in the Senate NDAA, there are other provisions in this bill that are a mixture of good and bad. On the good side, the bill takes important steps in line with recommendations from Heritage analysts on military health care, reforming commissaries, and prohibiting military exercises with Cuba.

The bill also takes good steps on expanding the national missile defense policy and investing in space-based missile defense. The bill also prohibits the defense budget from being used for non-defense research, which is doubly important when the military is already short on funding.

Unfortunately, the good provisions are mixed in with a number of bad ones. Perhaps most controversially, the bill contains a provision requiring women to register for the Selective Service and be eligible for a future military draft. In parallel, it creates a national commission on public service, an idea that Heritage analysts have expressed concerns about in the past.

The bill also contains the New Balance provision to prohibit service members from buying running shoes made in other countries, which even New Balance’s hometown paper thinks is a bad idea.

The bill also opens the door to designing and planning a prison in the U.S. to hold terrorists currently at Guantanamo Bay. But the biggest problem is the one outlined above: The bill currently supports President Barack Obama’s proposal for a smaller and weaker U.S. military.

The Senate NDAA contains a number of good provisions as well as some bad ones, but it doesn’t start rebuilding the military. It will take years of strong defense budgets to properly do this. The Senate should start that rebuilding process now instead of going along with Obama’s plan for a smaller, weaker military. (For more from the author of “What’s Good (and What’s Horrible) in the Senate Defense Bill” please click HERE)

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Obama-Style Lawlessness: House Leadership A-OK With Illegals in Military

We should count our blessings when dealing with this Republican-controlled Congress. At least they did what some of us called on them to do and stripped out the provision from the NDAA (H.R. 4909) including women in mandatory registration for Selective Service. Unfortunately, they have, once again, failed to utilize the “must-pass” defense authorization bill as a vehicle to fight the broader social engineering and transformation of our military. It appears that this much-vaunted promise of an open amendment process only applies to banal “in the weeds” issues, not to some of the fundamental issues affecting the morale, security, and mission of the military.

One policy Obama has been using to promote his social transformation is opening up the military to illegal aliens he unilaterally amnestied through his DACA program. In September 2014, the Department of Defense announced a new policy allowing military recruiters to enlist illegal immigrants under the auspices of the Military Accessions Vital to National Interest, or MAVNI. This was a pilot program created in 2008 designed to recruit foreign nationals with special language skills, but the program was only opened to legal immigrants. These foreign nationals are then given citizenship in return for their service and are able to bypass the 10-year green card process. After just a few months, 43 illegals immigrants were accepted into the MAVNI program. Undoubtedly, more have enlisted over the past year.

The acceptance of DACA recipients into MAVNI was part of a broader push from the administration and allies in Congress to open up all military service to illegal immigrants at a time when soldiers are being let go in large numbers as a result of Obama’s drastic cuts to the military.

The NDAA was a perfect opportunity to explicitly block Obama’s DoD directive to open military positions to DACA recipients. Yet, rather than go on offense, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry, at the behest of Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), inserted a provision into the bill (Section 597) expressing the sense of Congress that the Secretary of Defense has the discretion to authorize the enlistment of illegal aliens when it is “vital to the national interest.” This provision passed in committee by voice vote and Rep. Gallego declared it a “victory for Dreamers.” The pride of the nation, which protects our sovereignty and constitutional republic — was allowed to be used as a conduit to repudiate our rule of law.

In comes Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) last night to the House Rules Committee hearing where members teed up over 100 amendments to the NDAA. Gosar introduced an amendment to strike section 597 of the NDAA and affirm existing law explicitly barring illegal aliens from joining the military. Among all the small-ball amendments made in order last night, Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) did not approve the Gosar amendment.

It’s a shame that Thornberry and Sessions were not willing to stand up for the military and stop Obama from using it as a visa mill for lawlessness. Moreover, the presence of illegal aliens in the military represents a huge security risk. The Obama administration has approved almost every DACA application, and as Judicial Watch discovered in 2014, DHS ostensibly gutted all background checks for DACA applicants, including the requirement of a government issued photo ID. As of a year ago, 282 DACA recipients lost their status after being approved due to their affiliation with gangs.

Moreover, as Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), a co-sponsor of the Gosar amendment, observed, why would there be a need for illegal immigrants in the military when Obama is dramatically downsizing it? “At a time when we are drawing down our military forces, and unable to retain and promote the men and women who have so bravely served our country, it is irrational, demeaning and absurd to ask that we prioritize the DREAMers over our own service members,” said the Virginia congressman.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) likes to brag about his open amendment process, but that process is only truly open to either insignificant issues or bills that will never become law. As I noted during last year’s NDAA vote, Republicans have failed to use the defense bill to stop any area of social engineering, including the unilateral lifting of the ban on transgender individuals in the military, placing women into direct ground combat against the wishes of Marine commanders, and stifling religious freedom in the service. This has taken a toll on morale in the military. In addition to dealing with all the spending and procurement issues, Republicans should be using the NDAA to reverse the terrible polices Obama’s Pentagon has unilaterally foisted upon our military.

Conservatives should pick up the motto of the Army: “This We’ll Defend” and should defend the institution against lawlessness and demand that this amnesty provision be stripped from the defense bill before it receives a final vote on the floor.

“While we are disappointed by the decision to not make the amendment in order, we are actively pursuing other avenues to achieve the same policy objective,” said Gosar in a statement to Conservative Review. “We are confident that this amendment will ultimately receive a vote on the House floor in the near future.” (For more from the author of “Obama-Style Lawlessness: House Leadership A-OK With Illegals in Military” please click HERE)

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Secretary of the Air Force Eric Fanning Visits the 106th Rescue Wing

Senate Approves First Openly Gay Army Secretary

The Senate approved Eric Fanning to lead the Army on Tuesday, giving the military branch its first openly gay secretary.

The Senate confirmed Fanning by unanimous consent after his nomination had been held in limbo for months because of a fight over the Guantánamo Bay detention center.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) said Tuesday that he had dropped his hold on Fanning’s nomination because the “clock has run out” for the president to move Guantánamo Bay detainees into the United States . . .

Fanning was previously the acting secretary and undersecretary of the Air Force. The Senate Armed Services Committee, led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), approved Fanning’s nomination in March, and Roberts blocked McCain from bringing up Fanning’s nomination last month.

McCain thanked Roberts for lifting his hold and praised his work on the Senate’s National Defense Authorization Act, which largely holds the line on current Guantanamo Bay restrictions. (Read more from “Senate Approves First Openly Gay Army Secretary” HERE)

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6 Facts Highlight Why We Need to Rebuild Our Military

The U.S. military seems to be breaking. Senior military leaders have made dire statements before Congress, and story after story is revealing the potentially deadly challenges facing our men and women in uniform.

As Congress considers the annual defense authorization bill, here are six clear, real-world examples of why Congress needs to use the defense bill to start rebuilding the U.S. military.

1. The Marine Corps is pulling parts off of museum planes to keep their F-18s flying. Even with that drastic action, only about 30 percent of their F-18s are ready to fly. Not only that, but instead of getting 25 or 30 hours a month in the cockpit, Marine Corps pilots are getting as little as four hours per month of flying time.

2.
Only one-third of Army brigades are ready for combat. The Army has now fallen to the smallest level since before World War II, while the top Army general says that the Army would face “high military risk” if it were to fight a serious war.

3. The Air Force is cannibalizing parts from some F-16’s to keep other F-16’s flying and is pulling parts off museum planes to keep their B-1 bombers flying. And half of Air Force squadrons are not prepared for serious combat.

4. The Navy keeps extending deployments of its ships, but still doesn’t have enough to meet demand. While the Navy needs about 350 ships, today it only has 273.

5. Serious crashes of Marine Corps planes and helicopters are nearly double the 10-year average.

6. The Air Force’s B-52 bombers are an average of 53 years old. Most Americans would not want to drive across the country in a 53-year-old car, let alone go to combat in a 53-year-old airplane.

These six facts show the consequences of cutting the national defense budget by 25 percent over the last five years.

At the same time, threats are growing. Russia has invaded Ukraine and threatens more. China is building illegal islands. Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon and North Korea already has one. And we also face the real threat of terrorism and the growing threat of cyberattacks.

The bottom line is that Congress needs to start rebuilding the U.S. military. We can’t let this go much further. (For more from the author of “6 Facts Highlight Why We Need to Rebuild Our Military” please click HERE)

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Four-ship fini flight

McCain Slips Provision to Draft Women Into NDAA

Pregnant, female, Navy SEALs was something many of us used to joke about as a way of exaggerating the absurd social engineering in the military. Yet, placing women in special operations and direct combat units has now become a reality under the Obama-led Pentagon. Sadly, not only have Republicans like John McCain refused to use their perches on the Armed Services Committees in the House and Senate to block this social engineering, they are now codifying it with a provision that could lead to a mandatory draft of all women.

Earlier this week, I noted that the final House version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) contained a provision for the first time ever including young women in the requirement to register for Selective Service. However, this provision was only added because of a strategic mistake of the committee chairman who thought the members would vote down this absurdity. He was just trying to make a point. John McCain, on the other hand, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, deliberately placed that provision in his chairman’s mark of the NDAA, according to a Senate staffer.

I am further told by Senate staff that it is unlikely an amendment to strike this provision will even succeed on the floor of the Senate, which means a majority of that body now supports drafting women. The only hope to stop this is on the House floor. Have we gone mad as a society?

Any vestige of GOP opposition to Democrat social transformation is now gone. There is no floor. Battle lines that used to hold for decades are now plowed through by Democrats in a matter of one committee markup. A party that stands for nothing, indeed.

Update: A Summary of the NDAA from McCain’s office defends the provision to include women in Selective Service as follows: “Because the Department of Defense has lifted the ban on women serving in ground combat units, the committee believes there is no further justification in limiting the duty to register under the Military Selective Service Act to men.” Thus, McCain believes that because a few liberal social groups and Obama’s politically appointed generals want to include women in combat on a voluntary basis, the Senate should therefore require all women to potentially register for the draft. And instead of debating this earth shattering social transformation publicly in a standalone bill, McCain decided to slip in the provision to a 1,000-page bill authorizing all defense programs.

Another disturbing provision in this bill establishes an independent National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service. The commission is tasked with, among other things, to “consider how to foster a sense of service and civic responsibility among the nation’s youth, improve military recruiting, and increase the pool of qualified applicants for military service and their propensity to serve.” While this provision sounds innocuous, some conservatives might be concerned that given McCain’s long record of support for Americorps and other public service programs, he will use this program to compel young adults (now including women) into some sort of public service.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), who sits on the Armed Services Committee, was so vehemently opposed to this provision that he voted against the underlying bill. In a statement provided to Conservative Review, the Texas senator noted that although the committee adopted 12 of his amendments related to an array of foreign policy and national security issues, he could not “in good conscience vote to draft our daughters into the military, sending them off to war and forcing them into combat.” “I will continue my efforts to speak out against the effort to force America’s daughter into combat,” wrote the former presidential candidate in a statement.

Update: Sens. Mike Lee and Deb Fischer also voted against final passage. Sen. Lee called this provision “misguided and ill-advised” in a statement he released tonight. He also opposed the bill because it continues the program funding the Syrian rebels. “The bill authorizes the continuation of the Syria Train and Equip program, which was suspended last year after expending hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money to train only four or five fighters and finance the purchase of weapons that were ultimately seized by Al Nusra, the Syrian Al Qaeda affiliate,” wrote Lee. “I firmly believe that the American counter-ISIS strategy must be reconsidered from the top-down and that we should not fund failing programs.” (For more from the author of “John McCain Slips in Provision to Draft Women in Defense Bill” please click HERE)

Watch a recent interview with the author below:

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