published Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

Women and combat

What is lost on activists who insist that front-line combat roles should be opened up to women in the U.S. armed forces is the fact that our military does not exist to foster "gender diversity" and career advancement. It exists to defend the United States and to win wars.

If women's direct, deliberate combat participation were indispensable to those purposes, it would make sense to open such positions to them. But obvious differences in strength and physiology between men and women -- to say nothing of how much worse female prisoners of war are apt to be treated by unscrupulous enemies -- suggest the opposite.

Nevertheless, the Pentagon recently opened up more positions that would put women closer to -- if not directly on -- the front lines. And that was followed by a lawsuit by two women who contend that limits on women in combat "restrict their current and future earnings, their potential for promotion and advancement, and their future retirement benefits."

They say that their right to equal protection under the Fifth Amendment is being violated, Reuters news service reported.

They also point out -- correctly -- that the nature of war against terrorists means women may face combat situations even if they are not on the increasingly hard-to-define front lines in a given conflict.

But that, too, misses the point.

It is true that terrorists can strike anywhere. But to suggest that there is no greater risk to soldiers in relatively protected areas versus those who are doing, say, building-to-building sweeps hunting terrorist enemies is absurd. The numbers seem to bear that out. While women today make up around 15 percent of active-duty military personnel, only about 2 percent of the troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq have been women.

That comparatively low percentage doesn't diminish their sacrifice in any way. It is, in fact, a tragic reality that male and female soldiers alike have died in terrorist bombings and other attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq. And it is equally true that the U.S. military would be in a heap of trouble without the work of highly qualified women in a wide range of positions.

But there is no reason to enact policies that would increase the number of women killed in combat. And most assuredly career advancement prospects and social engineering do not justify that.

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Easy123 said...

This is blatantly sexist.

June 3, 2012 at 12:06 a.m.

An American military force that does not reflect American values may win wars, but it will not be defending the country. See racial segregation in the military.

That said, you do not understand the problem. It is as much due to the Good 'Ole Boys network as anything else. As long as the gung-ho combat guys get promotions and advancements first, it will lead to friction.

Just take the Navy or Air Force for example. Look at the high-rank officers. If you don't see a skewing, you are blind.

But go ahead, wax poetically about how you don't want the women killed, your patronizing attitude won't get you far with many of the women in service.

June 3, 2012 at 12:27 a.m.
nucanuck said...

I would argue that women are the stronger gender in many ways.

June 3, 2012 at 12:28 a.m.
conservative said...

The writer is 100% correct, " our military does not exist to foster "gender diversity" and career advancement. It exists to defend the United States and to win wars."

Winning wars is the ultimate priority of our military. Why can't Lieberals understand that? Or do some understand that and just want us to lose?

June 3, 2012 at 8:44 a.m.
Easy123 said...


Why can't women aid in "winning wars"? Why can't you understand that this author and yourself are misogynists. Are you truly this sexist? I feel sorry for your wife.

June 3, 2012 at 11:48 a.m.
conservative said...

The writer noted the "obvious differences in strength and physiology between men and women" but why is that not obvious to most Lieberals?

They seem to get it in the area of competive sports, so if they can't compete there how could they possibly believe a woman could prevail over an enemy whose mission is to kill her and not just score points?

June 3, 2012 at 2:12 p.m.
Easy123 said...

How much strength must one possess to pull the trigger of an automatic weapon? Do you think there is a lot of hand to hand combat going on during war? Conservative, you are a blatant sexist.

Watch this:

June 3, 2012 at 2:32 p.m.
conservative said...

I love it when Lieberals go out of their way to display their ignorance. They like to portray war today as just pulling a trigger implying that it is not necessary that a soldier have strength, agility and endurance.

Why we could save a lot of time and money if we just did away with basic training and put everyone on the rifle range!

June 3, 2012 at 3:37 p.m.
Easy123 said...

I love it when YOU show your ignorance everyday. War is pulling a trigger. It is necessary for soldiers to have strength, agility and endurance. That is why female soldiers have to go through the same training as men. They don't have to lift weights. They just have to do pushups and run long distances. You are crazy if you think that every person in the military is really strong or supremely agile. If a female can do the training then why can't she be on the front lines?

Basic training gets you in shape. And the rifle range teaches you how to shoot to kill. All of these things are within the capabilities of women.

June 3, 2012 at 3:54 p.m.
conservative said...

You obviously have never been in the army. The standards and requirements have been significantly reduced so as to allow women to pass. Women could never pass the physical requirements of the special forces in the Army, Navy and Marines.

The tests are different for the two sexes.

Women still have many back, knee and ankle problems in training. These problems will only show up and be prevelant if they were to be tested in combat such as in past wars.

It would be incredibly stupid for our military leaders to assume future wars will just be shooting wars.

June 3, 2012 at 4:26 p.m.
Easy123 said...

You're wrong. Army, Navy, and Marine PT tests are the same. The Army standards are slightly lower for pushups and the 2 mile run but the standards for situps are the same. These women aren't asking to be special forces. They want to be able to be on the front lines like any other soldier.

Men have back, knee and ankle problems too. And they show up for men just the same.

It would be incredibly stupid for you to assume that wars are fought hand to hand. Wars are shooting wars. Bombs, missles, and guns. What don't you get about that? This isn't American Gladiators.

Your misogyny and sexism is unbelievable. Once again, I feel sorry for your wife.

June 3, 2012 at 4:42 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Your slippery slope argument isn't valid.

June 3, 2012 at 5:05 p.m.
Easy123 said...

15% of casualties? That makes no sense.

Who said anything about a draft? You're adding variables that aren't in the equation. It's called a slippery slope argument.

No, fair isn't fair. Sport and war have nothing to do with each other. Competing against someone of your same sex in an athletic event and being on the front lines in a war zone do not correlate.

With that said, I'm sure there are some female athletes that could compete very closely with men in nearly any sport you could name. But war is not about the best athlete. Sports and war do not correlate.

What justification would there be to not allow women, that can pass all the physical tests, to serve on the front lines? I can't wait to hear this.

June 3, 2012 at 5:18 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Your scenarios are asinine.

June 3, 2012 at 5:21 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Why are there men and women? Why are there cats and dogs? What kind of question is that?

Do you really not understand why there are men's and women's sport? Like legitimately not understand why the two sexes would have individual sports for each sex....

JonRoss has his/her/it's head in his/her/it's rectum.

June 3, 2012 at 5:27 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Title IX introduced educational/athletic/etc. equality in schools. For every male sport, there has to be a female equivalent or at least the same number of male and female sports. Before Title IX, most women/girls weren't given the option to play a sport. There are separate sports because that's just how things went. There are co-ed teams in many youth leagues, middle schools and a few high schools. The middle school and high school I went to had a co-ed soccer team. As a matter of fact, the best player on my middle school soccer team was a female.

There doesn't have to be separate teams for men and women. I know of several cases where girls have played on the football team as kickers. This is not particularly uncommon.

June 3, 2012 at 5:35 p.m.
conservative said...

No, you are wrong either because you don't know or because you just like to lie.

It is a fact that the test are different for men and women and have always been. They are a joke in comparison to the Army PT test of 40 years years ago.

When different standards are applied to the sexes in these PT tests that is a recognition that there are differences between men and women. This is reality not sexism.

Jon Ross.. I was going to get to your valid points in time. I like to string Lieberals out so they will hang themselves with their own words. I believe this guy is either effeminate or fat and couldn't even pass the watered-down female test in any branch of service.

June 3, 2012 at 5:41 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Because of Title IX.

June 3, 2012 at 5:41 p.m.
conservative said...

JonRoss... If you want to have some fun just ask him why women don't play quaterback or any other position but I digress.

June 3, 2012 at 5:45 p.m.
Easy123 said...

The tests aren't different. Look it up. The PT test is the same for men and women in the army. The standards are slightly lower but the tests are not different.

Yes there are obvious differences. But it should not keep women from being able to perform the same duties as men. Physical stature is not an indicator of a "good soldier".

I KNOW both of you are idiots. It is obvious by ALL of your posts. Once again, I feel sorry for both of your wives. Dealing with dimwitted, misogynist bigots like you two all day must require a feat of extraordinary strength and mental fortitude. And Conservative, your overall ignorance is second to none. AND you are a sexist too! You are the total package!

June 3, 2012 at 5:48 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Once again, your scenarios are asinine. And sexist.

June 3, 2012 at 6:11 p.m.
Easy123 said...

No. I've explained it 2-3 times now. If YOU don't understand it then I think you might have a reading problem or some type of learning disability.

June 3, 2012 at 6:14 p.m.
conservative said...

So you admit that the standards are LOWER on an Armed Forces Test for a female than a male but the test is the SAME and somewhere out there in vast football land a girl in the puberty years can compete with boys is a sure indication that women are fit to fight along side men in combat.

See,I told you that Lieberals will hang themselves with their own words if you can just get them to talk.

June 3, 2012 at 6:20 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Good for you.

June 3, 2012 at 6:21 p.m.
Easy123 said...

Slightly lower for the 2 mile run and pushups. Standards for situps are the same. I have said that the whole time.

I didn't say sports was any indication. I said that women compete with men in athletics. I prefaced that by saying sports and war are not correlated.

You have hung yourself on EVERY word you have said because you were wrong the entire time about the PT test and you have provided no evidence or even a cogent argument as to why women shouldn't be able to fight on the front lines.

Women are fit to fight alongside men in combat. It's apparent.

June 3, 2012 at 6:24 p.m.

Speaking of Sports, a private school in Arizona or New Mexico recently forfeited a championship because their boys wouldn't play against a girl.

Baseball I believe was the sport.

It works.

BTW, in terms of seeing people's bits, some folks in the military are sensitive about it, some aren't. It's not really a gender-based matter. I've seen many male soldiers not wanting to shower with a bunch of naked guys.

But I see everybody missed the point, which is the promotion. And I don't know about you, but I see few generals in combat or on the front lines.

Most are REMF.

June 6, 2012 at 10:35 p.m.
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