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Congressman Charles Rangel

Representing the 13th District of New York

Rangel: Reinstating The Draft Will Compel Us To Think Twice Before Engaging In Future Wars

June 22, 2011
Press Release

WASHINGTON DC - Congressman Charles Rangel issued the following statement regarding President Obama's planned drawdown from Afghanistan:

"I am pleased to see that President Barack Obama has kept his promise to start bringing our troops home. Afghanistan is now the longest war the United States has engaged in. With the death of Osama bin Laden and al Quaeda forces largely eradicated from the nation, it is past time for our brave men and women to come home.

America cannot be dragged into more endless, undeclared combat. Reinstating the draft would compel the American public, through their Representatives in Congress to think more carefully before sending our troops to war if it were their son or daughter, sibling or friend serving.

Since the end of the draft in 1973, every President, Democrat and Republican alike, has approached warfare with the mindset of invading, occupying, and expanding our nation's influence. It was this attitude that got us into the unnecessary and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has entangled us in unconstitutional combat in Libya. We make decisions about war without worry over who fights them. Those who do the fighting have no choice; when the flag goes up, they salute and follow orders.

The proposed drawdown of 10,000 troops out of Afghanistan is only the first step. We cannot rest until all 100,000 of our troops stationed there return home safely. We must make sure our elected leaders understand the shared sacrifice and moral issues at hand before sending our troops into another war. The question of whether we need a draft will be important as long as we place thousands of young men and women in harm's way."