The Selective Service System is planning a comprehensive test of the military draft machinery, which hasn't been run since 1998.
The agency is not gearing up for a draft, an agency official said Thursday. The test itself would not likely occur until 2009.
Meanwhile, the secretary for Veterans Affairs said "society would benefit" if the U.S. were to bring back the draft and that it shouldn't have any loopholes for anyone who is called to serve. VA Secretary Jim Nicholson later issued a statement saying he does not support reinstituting a draft.
The Selective Service "readiness exercise" would test the system that randomly chooses draftees by birth date and the network of appeals boards that decide how to deal with conscientious objectors and others who want to delay reporting for duty, said Scott Campbell, Selective Service director for operations and chief information officer.
The Bush administration has for years forcefully opposed bringing back the draft, and the White House said Thursday that its position had not changed.