9:35 PM, Jan 27, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
The case for women in combat units has been, on the whole, a case made from ideology ("Equality requires it!") and from authority ("The Joint Chiefs signed off on it!"). Ideologues and authoritarians tend not to welcome debate on whatever issue it is they're applying their ideology to or invoking their authority on behalf of. The question of women in combat units is no exception, as the proponents have gone out of their way to discourage honest debate on the question.
But it is a question. It deserves to be debated. And one good thing about America is that it has lots of rebels against authority and lots of citizens who see through ideology. So there is a debate, and it's coming from the ground up. Republican elites may be intimidated, hoping they can avoid being accused of being a part of a war on women by timidly acquiescing to sending women off to war. But the public is made of sterner stuff.
And speaking of sterner stuff, there've been no better critics of the idea of co-ed combat units than several current or former female Marines. Read them all. And then read this powerful testimony (courtesy of Jazz Shaw at HotAir) from an active-duty Marine (pseudonym "Sentry"):
I’m a female veteran. I deployed to Anbar Province, Iraq. When I was active duty, I was 5’6, 130 pounds, and scored nearly perfect on my PFTs. I naturally have a lot more upper body strength than the average woman: not only can I do pull-ups, I can meet the male standard. I would love to have been in the infantry. And I still think it will be an unmitigated disaster to incorporate women into combat roles. I am not interested in risking men’s lives so I can live my selfish dream.
We’re not just talking about watering down the standards to include the politically correct number of women into the unit. This isn’t an issue of “if a woman can meet the male standard, she should be able to go into combat.” The number of women that can meet the male standard will be miniscule–I’d have a decent shot according to my PFTs, but dragging a 190-pound man in full gear for 100 yards would DESTROY me–and that miniscule number that can physically make the grade AND has the desire to go into combat will be facing an impossible situation that will ruin the combat effectiveness of the unit. First, the close quarters of combat units make for a complete lack of privacy and EVERYTHING is exposed, to include intimate details of bodily functions. Second, until we succeed in completely reprogramming every man in the military to treat women just like men, those men are going to protect a woman at the expense of the mission. Third, women have physical limitations that no amount of training or conditioning can overcome. Fourth, until the media in this country is ready to treat a captured/raped/tortured/mutilated female soldier just like a man, women will be targeted by the enemy without fail and without mercy.
I saw the male combat units when I was in Iraq. They go outside the wire for days at a time. They eat, sleep, urinate and defecate in front of each other and often while on the move. There’s no potty break on the side of the road outside the wire. They urinate into bottles and defecate into MRE bags. I would like to hear a suggestion as to how a woman is going to urinate successfully into a bottle while cramped into a humvee wearing full body armor. And she gets to accomplish this feat with the male members of her combat unit twenty inches away. Volunteers to do that job? Do the men really want to see it? Should they be forced to?
Everyone wants to point to the IDF as a model for gender integration in the military. No, the IDF does not put women on the front lines. They ran into the same wall the US is about to smack into: very few women can meet the standards required to serve there. The few integrated units in the IDF suffered three times the casualties of the all-male units because the Israeli men, just like almost every other group of men on the planet, try to protect the women even at the expense of the mission. Political correctness doesn’t trump thousands of years of evolution and societal norms. Do we really WANT to deprogram that instinct from men?
4:01 PM, Jan 24, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
President Obama has released a statement supporting Secretary of Defense Panetta's decision on women in combat units! "Today, by moving to open more military positions—including ground combat units—to women, our armed forces have taken another historic step toward harnessing the talents and skills of all our citizens." Indeed, the president is confident this decision "will strengthen our military, enhance our readiness, and be another step toward fulfilling our nation’s founding ideals of fairness and equality."
3:25 PM, Jan 24, 2013 • By JESSIE JANE DUFF
On Thursday, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the U.S. military would lift its long-standing ban on women in combat. The national media, as can be expected, is popping the champagne corks in celebration.
9:52 AM, Jan 19, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
A group of Americans is not entirely happy with First Lady Michelle Obama. They "have been vocally disappointed with her choices and feel let down by her example," according to the Washington Post.
11:40 AM, Jan 4, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Nancy Pelosi's office photoshopped four faces into this photo, which now, after the alteration, includes all the Democratic women now in the House of Representatives:
It’s embedded in the tax code.Dec 17, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 14 • By ASHLEY E. MCGUIRE
As our lawmakers—newly reminded of the power of female voters—huddle to strategize about the “fiscal cliff,” they have an opportunity to address a real threat to female prosperity: a tax code that is disproportionately burdensome to married women, especially working moms.
3:17 PM, Nov 2, 2012 • By MICHAEL WARREN
In the final days of the campaign, the Illinois Republican party and allied conservative groups are hitting Democratic congressional candidate Bill Foster over allegations he abused his former wife.
10:40 AM, Sep 8, 2012 • By KATE HAVARD
During their convention this week, as expected, Democrats concentrated on their charge that Republicans are waging a “war on women.” And the rhetoric was more extreme than ever.
Sep 10, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 48 • By KELLY JANE TORRANCE
A sea of signs proclaiming “We Built It” revealed the battle cry of last week’s Republican National Convention. We don’t need to wait for Los Angeles mayor and convention chair Antonio Villaraigosa to bring his gavel down in Charlotte on Tuesday to know the Democratic theme. It’s been clear for months: Republicans are waging a “war on women” and only Democrats can end it.
Sep 10, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 48 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
We’re at war. More than 68,000 troops are deployed to Afghanistan. More than 2,000 Americans have died in over 10 years of fighting. The war has quiet bipartisan support. Too quiet.