Could Uncle Sam track down and draft a dozen 30-something computer programmers if the Army suddenly needed them?
Not yet. But the idea’s out there.
The Selective Service System should be drastically redesigned to meet the demands of modern war, according to a small but notable chorus of defense analysts and congressional lawmakers.
Leap past the latest controversy over whether young women should be registered for the draft alongside their male counterparts. What if the Selective Service was authorized to register both men and women between the ages of 25 and 45, listing them by professional or technical expertise?
Then in a national emergency, the Pentagon could rapidly find people with needed skills who were not in the ranks. After a massive cyber attack on communications systems, for instance, the military might require a fast infusion of engineers to repair satellites and rebuild software. Plus, hackers to identify and track the perpetrators and advise on counter-attacks. And social media specialists to temporarily bypass damaged systems.
Such sophisticated skills aren’t common among the military’s usual recruits. “You can’t just grab any kid out of high school and put him in charge of a $6 million piece of equipment,” said Richard S. Flahaven, associate director of the Selective Service System.
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