Not mentioned in President Donald Trump's televised speech to the nation announcing a stepped up war in Afghanistan was his secret plan to restart the draft. This time, with approval from a willing Republican majority in congress, women will be required to register and to serve if called.
White House sources, leaking anonymously, quoted the president: "Why should America's freedom be left to young volunteers, nearly all male, who come primarily from working class families while young adults from more affluent homes completely escape military service? I promise you, that will change.... soon! Very soon."
Those sources also noted that the Trump draft plan calls for no deferment for college students. "It made me sick to see college students sitting in a football stadium on Saturday afternoons while other young men and women were dying in Vietnam. That's not going to happen when we up the fight in Afghanistan."
Nor will there be any draft lottery. "Guys with the right lottery numbers were given a free ride during Vietnam. Not in my war against the Taliban."
Regarding the drafting of women, Trump reportedly said: "They want equal rights? Then let them give equal service."
As to his own failure to enter the military during the Vietnam war, Trump insists that in his case pursuing an education was of greater value to the country than peeling potatoes in the mess hall.
Ralph E. Shaffer is professor emeritus of history at Cal Poly Pomona.