Mark Cancian (Colonel, USMCR, ret.) is a senior adviser with the CSIS International Security Program. Previously he worked on budget strategy, war funding, and procurement programs at the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Defense. In the military, Colonel Cancian spent over three decades in the U.S. Marine Corps, active and reserve, serving as an infantry, artillery, and civil affairs officer and on overseas tours in Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Iraq (twice). Since 2000, he has been an adjunct faculty member at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, where he teaches a course on the connection between policy and analysis. A prolific author, he has published over 40 articles on military operations, acquisition, budgets, and strategy and received numerous writing awards. He graduated with high honors from Harvard College and with highest honors from Harvard Business School.
The integration of women into all military specialties has raised the question of whether women should also register for the draft. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley both recently recommended women be required to register. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter deferred to Congress, letting it take the unpopular action of instituting registration. Given the military opportunities now open to women, it is hard to think of a good reason why women should continue to be exempted from the draft. Avoiding this question, some observers instead question the whole enterprise. Is draft registration worthwhile at all?
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.