What is the draft? Conscription, or "the draft," is compulsory military service. Compulsory means just that: If you're drafted and fail to secure an exemption, you must be prepared to fight and die -- or face a lengthy prison term. The US hasn't drafted citizens since the end of the Vietnam War, but current law requires virtually all male citizens aged 18 through 25, as well as male aliens living in the US, to register with the Selective Service – the federal agency that manages conscription.

How do we know a new draft is in the works? A consensus behind conscription is building on Capitol Hill. Senators Chuck Hagel (R-Neb) and Joseph Biden (D-Del), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, are among many prominent politicians suddenly calling for a "national debate" on the draft (Washington Post, Apr. 22, 2004). Open supporters of the draft range from Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-SC) to retired General Wesley Clark. (The Hill, July 2004). Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) intends to reintroduce legislation, voted down last term in an election-season parliamentary maneuver, that would reintroduce conscription. Although Rangel insists his bill is a symbolic protest, many see it as a crafty way of selling the draft to progressives.

About Us: People Against the Draft is a non-partisan, grassroots organization of concerned parents, students, educators, and others based in New York City. We have already established chapters throughout the New York metropolitan area and intend to expand further. Our purpose is to educate and lobby against the military draft. We think and act independently -- which could be why a New York Post editorial called us "political malcontents with an ax to grind." More broadly, we intend to help build a movement against reinstatement of the draft and in favor of a peaceful, rational foreign policy. If you want to join us, or start a chapter in your own neighborhood, let us know. We'll try to help.