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EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., praised reports that drafting women had been removed from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) on Monday, but warned that the Left’s apparent gender obsession is endangering national security.
“I think this is tremendous news,” Hawley told Fox News Digital regarding the compromise defense policy legislation that will not require women to file for the military draft.
A House panel voted 35-24 on Sept. 1 to approve an amendment introduced by Rep. Chrissy Houlahan, D-Pa., that would effectively require women ages 18-25 to register for the Selective Service System like their male counterparts. The Senate Armed Services Committee made a similar vote in July to expand any potential draft to women.
Hawley was among the leading voices in the Senate who joined the House Freedom Caucus in speaking out against the female draft provision.
‘Victory for common sense’
Leaders of the House and Senate Armed Services committees left the female draft provision out of the NDAA, according to a Monday report from Politico.
“This is obviously something I fought since the committee stage,” Hawley said of the provision. “I forced a vote in the committee on this provision and forced a roll call vote on it and have obviously been prepared to force a vote on the same provision on the Senate floor.
“If this is accurate, I think that this is a big victory for common sense. And I’m glad to have helped lead the charge on this,” he added.
‘They’re trying to create a culture war’
Despite the fact that the United States has not instituted a draft since the Vietnam War, Hawley explained why he believes the female draft proposal is indicative of a wider cultural war that has profound geopolitical implications.
“The West clearly has made a culture war their priority across a lot of fronts,” he said.
Touching on the gathering storm of potential global threats arising from Russia, China and Iran, Hawley said he is amazed that the Biden administration decided to focus on drafting women.
“I just think it’s unbelievable,” he said. “And it really shows that they have been hijacked by these cultural issues.”
“They’re trying to create a culture war and I think it’s one that they are going to lose because the American people like our culture,” the senator continued, noting how many of his constituents in Missouri were “flabbergasted” by the idea of drafting women.
“I’m not in favor of using the military as a social experiment. And I think they need to get back to focusing on defensive security issues when it comes to our military,” he added.
Describing the withdrawal from Afghanistan as “an absolutely horrifying debacle” that proved to be “the worst foreign policy crisis since Vietnam,” Hawley believes America’s enemies are taking note of both the Biden administration’s failure and the country’s internal conflicts.
“I just think the Biden administration is projecting weakness everywhere,” Hawley said. “I think our enemies saw that, and they saw a president who cannot lead.”
“We’re seeing our enemies emboldened and thinking that they can take advantage of a very weak administration and a very weak president,” he continued. “That’s dangerous.”
“I think what is plain for everybody to see is that the administration and the Left are more focused on their gender issues and on their culture war issues than they are on actual national security issues.
“We’ve got a lot of security threats, and they’re growing worse and the Biden administration is making them worse,” Hawley added.