Harvard Journal on Legislation
[Vol. 41because no one would be forced to shoulder the responsibility. Therefore,although the Uniform National Service Act seeks a just end, it employserroneous means. A return to the draft is not the way to redress either theproblems faced by minorities that force them into military service or thereluctance of other young Americans to represent their country.The possibility of war with Iraq brought this debate over militaryservice to the center of the political stage, and Representative Rangelintroduced his bill in response to the impending war.
He wrote that “if we are going to send our children to war, the governing principle must bethat of shared sacriªce . . . . That’s why I will ask Congress next week toconsider and support legislation I will introduce to resume the militarydraft.”
War began two months later.
At that time, minorities consti-tuted about 30% of the enlisted force,
which is a higher percentage thantheir representation in the civilian population.
The percentage of mi-nority new recruits had reached 37% in 2000, up from 23% in 1973.
Bycontrast, white enlistment has decreased over time and whites serve atpercentages much lower than their representation in the civilian popula-tion.
These ªgures suggested that the impact of an Iraq war would befelt disproportionately by minorities, and Representative Rangel urged amore equal distribution of the burdens.
Representative Rangel admitted
Charles B. Rangel,
Bring Back the Draft
, Dec. 31, 2002, at A19 (“Presi-dent Bush and his administration have declared a war against terrorism that may soon in-volve sending thousands of American troops into combat in Iraq.”).
, Dan Balz & Mike Allen,
‘No Outcome But Victory,’ Bush Vows; President Pledges Maximum Force and Warns Public of Difªculties
, Mar. 20, 2003, atA1.
Inst. for Def. Analysis, Ofªce of the Sec’y of Def., Changes in Force Com-position
3 & ªg.3,
The Nation: For Job and Country; Is This Really an All-Volunteer Army?
, Apr. 6, 2003, § 4, at 1 (citing statistics showing that whites make up63% of enlisted military personnel but 70% of the civilian population; blacks make up 22%of enlisted personnel but 12% of the population; and Hispanics make up 9% of enlistedpersonnel and 13% of the population).
Inst. for Def. Analysis
note 12, at 4 & ªg.4.
David M. Halbªnger & Steven A. Holmes,
A Nation at War: The Troops; Military Mirrors a Working-Class America
, Mar. 30, 2003, at A1.
Inst. for Def. Analysis
note 12, at 3–4.
note 9. The war in Iraq required a large ground component suppliedby the Army.
Iraq Stabilization Impinges on Army Rotation, Re-building
, June 6, 2003, at A21. The overrepresentation of minorities in thearmed forces is most pronounced in the Army. Halbªnger & Holmes,
note 14(showing that Army males are 58% white, 26% black, and 9% Hispanic compared with70%, 11%, and 14% of the civilian population respectively, and that Army females are38% white, 46% black, and 9% Hispanic compared with 69%, 14%, and 12% of the civil-ian population respectively; that Navy males are 62% white, 19% black, and 10% His-panic, and that Navy females are 50% white, 31% black, and 11% Hispanic; Air Forcemales are 75% white, 16% black, and 5% Hispanic, and that Air Force females are 62%white, 28% black, and 6% Hispanic; that Marine males are 67% white, 16% black, and13% Hispanic, and that Marine females are 56% white, 23% black, and 16% Hispanic.).