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Why the Defense Bill Deserves Defeat - New CMR Policy Analysis

Elaine Donnelly, President, Center for Military Readiness just sent us her latest policy analysis of the House-passed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and in the process pointed

out that Senate Committee version is not much better – meaning conservatives must burn-up the phones to Congress to stop this monstrosity before Democrats sneak it through the Senate with disingenuous claims that voting “NO” is a vote against the troops.

We’ve hit some of the high points here, but we urge you to read the entire document, because as the CMR analysis demonstrates, provisions in both the Senate and House versions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for FY 2022 are unacceptable.


Because the most objectionable proposals would be virtually irreversible, this NDAA is different from any other and it should not be enacted in law. The legislation doesn’t just authorize funding; it turns the military into an organization promoting the left’s favorite “woke” initiatives. Directives to register or draft women, meet diversity and “equity” quotas, address “climate change,” and require divisive critical race theory and “anti-extremism” programs based on racial stereotypes and suspicions do not inspire confidence in America’s ability to fight and win.

A larger defense budget won’t matter if potential adversaries, such as China or North Korea, believe they can get away with aggression against our allies because our military is concentrating on social agendas – some of which would be expanded and codified by provisions in the pending defense bills. Deterrence and serious intent to use our military force are the only things standing between the People’s Liberation Army and Taiwan. Passage of the NDAA this year would weaken deterrence by sending the message that Congress does not take national defense seriously.

It is unconscionable that radical, unjustified changes in defense and national service policies could be rubber stamped by passage of the massive defense bill, even without House or Senate hearings presenting testimony from independent witnesses who would spark an informed public discussion and debate.

Members of the House and Senate should apply the brakes and withhold support for a defense bill that suggests a shift in priorities toward woke weakness, not military strength.

The NDAA approved by the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) declares, “. . . adequate military strength [requires] a requisite number of personnel with the necessary capabilities to meet the diverse mobilization needs of the Department of Defense during a national emergency.” (Senate Sec. 511, pp. 156-160, emphasis added throughout)

Language in this bill is imprecise, but it likely would be interpreted the same way as the House-approved version, which is more specific in referring to the “mobilization needs of the Department of Defense during a national emergency and not solely to provide combat replacements.” (House Sec. 513, pp. 224-235)

It is significant to note that the House version repeats word-for-word draft legislation that the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service included in an Appendix to their Final Report. (Title IV, pp. 161-170)

Both provisions, as written, would change the very purpose of Selective Service with "blank check" language. Enactment in law would allow Pentagon bureaucrats to commandeer the lives of young people for reasons that have never justified conscription before. This is a blank check that Congress must not sign.

The pending Senate and House NDAA bills include passages that clearly reflect the grandiose Inspire to Serve Act, which the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service released with its Final Report.

Under the Senate bill, the Defense Department would designate a senior civilian official within the office of the Secretary of Defense as an “Executive Agent for National Mobilization.” This office would be responsible for producing a plan for inducting “large numbers of volunteers who may respond to a national call for volunteers during an emergency . . . It would also address scenarios that would include 300,000, 600,000 and 1,000,00 new volunteer and other personnel inducted into the Armed Forces under the MSSA.” (Senate NDAA Sec. 514, pp. 168-170, and House NDAA, Sec. 1076, pp. 1090-1092)

The recommendation for a “lead national mobilization executive agent within the Office of the Secretary of Defense,” together with the numbers of “volunteers” cited above, are straight out of the National Commission’s Final Report. (p. 183)

Never mind that talk about “volunteers” in the context of the Military Selective Service Act (MSSA) is an oxymoron. The MSSA is all about involuntary service, meaning conscription.

The proposed new language appears to be an incremental step toward the creation of a bureaucratic infrastructure to manage future national service requirements, both military and civilian. The ultimate objective recommended by the National Commission would be a permanent Cabinet-level Council on Military, National, & Public Service.


This would be a powerful bureaucracy empowered to use both economic “carrots” and penalty “sticks” to obtain two years of government directed “service” for reasons other than combat or national defense.

Once the Executive Agent for National Mobilization begins operations, after passage of the NDAA, there would be no going back. Incrementalism + Consistency = Radical Change.

Congress should consider whether Selective Service should be authorized to pursue climate change projects and other controversial causes that current Pentagon leaders are pursuing relentlessly. For example:


• Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III began his term in office by ordering military-wide standdowns to examine “extremism” in the ranks with an obvious bias against non-minorities.

• Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley and Navy Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday have vigorously defended divisive and demoralizing “critical race

theory” (CRT) instructions and reading lists.

• In addition, all branches of the service are pursuing racial and gender quotas in pursuit of “Diversity as a strategic imperative.”


Instead of proposing legislation to limit woke policies in the military, the House bill would establish an “Office of Combating Extremism,” which would “engage and interact with, and solicit recommendations from outside experts on extremism;” (House NDAA sec. 529A, pp. 303-304)


The House bill also calls for the “Expansion and Codification” of Defense Department “diversity, equity and inclusion” training programs, to include “conscious and unconscious bias” instructions that are typical of critical race theory programs. (House NDAA, Sec. 553, pp. 383-384)


Whether intended or not, a vote for this defense bill is a vote to expand and codify unacceptable woke policies in the military.


It is imperative conservatives stand against this outrageous attempt to sneak our daughters onto the front lines or to enroll all Americans of a certain age into government-directed labor. and to use the NDAA to implement other measures that could never pass on their own. The toll-free Capitol Switchboard (1-866-220-0044), tell your Senators to vote YES to strike the “Draft Our Daughters” from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and NO on the final passage of the NDAA if the “Draft Our Daughters” and “woke” language remain in the bill.


  • Draft Our Daughters amendment

  • National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)

  • Rep. Chrissy Houlahan

  • House Armed Services Committee

  • Center for Military Readiness President Elaine Donnelly

  • Rules Committee

  • Selective Service

  • Equity

  • Physical differences

  • Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin

  • Joint Chiefs

  • Chairman General Mark Milley

  • Woke culture

  • Section 401 (Title IV) of the Inspire to Serve Act

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