Draft website crashes after Soleimani's death, Selective Service says 'business as usual'

The draft has not been used since the Vietnam War.

ByRyan Shepard
January 4, 2020, 5:42 PM

The Selective Service System, which holds a list of potential recruits in the event of a draft, maintains that it's "business as usual" amid growing concerns of war with Iran.

"The Selective Service System is conducting business as usual. In the event that a national emergency necessitates a draft, Congress and the President would need to pass official legislation to authorize a draft," the Selective Service System tweeted on Friday.

Growing interest in the draft agency emerged after Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani was killed in an airstrike on Thursday, which was ordered by President Donald Trump. Following Soleimani's death, Iranian leaders stated that the United States can expect "harsh retaliation" for the attack.

During the public back and forth between American and Iranian officials, the draft agency's site revealed that it was experiencing "high traffic volumes."

U.S. troops from the Army's 82nd Airborne Division wait at Green Ramp before they head out for a deployment to the Middle East on Jan. 4, 2020 in Fort Bragg, N.C.
Andrew Craft/Getty Images

Many internet users spent their time attempting to learn more about the draft process. Google searches for the question, "Is there going to be a draft?" rose 900% in a day. Additionally, Google searches for the term, "draft lottery," rose 350% in a day. With the uptick in online interest, the Selective Service System warned against the "spread of misinformation."

"Due to the spread of misinformation, our website is experiencing high traffic volumes at this time. If you are attempting to register or verify registration, please check back later today as we are working to resolve this issue. We appreciate your patience," The Selective Service System tweeted. The agency's site experienced issues well into Saturday morning.

President Donald Trump delivers remarks on Iran, at his Mar-a-Lago property, on Jan. 3, 2020, in Palm Beach, Fla.
Evan Vucci/AP

All male U.S. residents between the ages of 18 and 25 must register with the Selective Service. Women are not required to do so, as the current language used by the Selective Service only refers to "male persons." However, registering with the Selective Service does not necessarily mean that a person will be drafted. The draft process was last used during the Vietnam War. Following the war, the United States Military pivoted to become an all-volunteer force.

U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne paratroopers march to board a civilian aircraft bound for the U.S. Central Command area of operations from Fort Bragg, N.C., Jan. 4, 2020.
U.S. Department of Defense/AFP via Getty Images

Moving forward, the United States will deploy 3,500 more troops from Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division to the Middle East.

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