Thread: Nat'l Security DoD lifts ban on women in combat
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:16 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post

5 silliest reactions to women in combat
Marc Ambinder
January 24, 2013, at 1:30 AM

It's going to take a while before the Defense Department truly integrates women into the hundreds of thousands of combat positions that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta opened to them Wednesday. Each service and combatant command will have the opportunity to assess the social and financial costs of the policy change, and it's safe to say that a number of jobs will remain closed to women in the United States. But given that the change was endorsed uniformly by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the same body (with different chiefs) that had trouble staying on the same page on the lifting of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell, ban, the reaction from some has been, to borrow a sexist phrase, hysterical.

1. Tucker Carlson tweeted: "The latest feminist victory: The right to get your limbs blown off in war." Note to Tucker: 130 American women have been killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. And of the several hundred who are injured, one now serves quite ably in Congress. (Rep. Tammy Duckworth flew helicopters.) I suspect that many feminists might well agree with Carlson: Women ought to have the right to get their limbs blown off if they're as qualified as men are. Duckworth, whose limbs were, well, blown off, was as good a pilot as the many more men who were injured by IEDs too. This is quaint and false chivalry.

2. It will be hard to integrate women in the special forces. I heard this argument on the radio, and it can be dismissed. There are many women who serve with distinction in the Special Operations Command. The Army Compartmented Element fields highly trained female interrogators and intelligence collectors who are forward-deployed with the Army's special forces and national missions forces. (Some actually helped with the Sensitive Site Exploitation analysis for the pocket litter collected by the SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden.) Similarly, the CIA's Global Response Staff, which provides security and does counter-intelligence for case officers, and many case officers from the agency's Special Activities Division are women. They serve side-by-side with their male colleagues, scouring Libya for militias who have stolen MANPADs, among other tasks. Most SF and SOF and NSW direct action combat roles will not be integrated, by the way.

3. It's an "untested social experiment." As opposed to what? Actually, it's been tested in plenty of countries and worked in most cases, particularly when the integration, the training, the housing, benefit schedules and other factors are duly considered. Women don't want the jobs or the risk, according to the "Center for Military Readiness," which does not speak for women. Then the argument goes: There is too much sexual assault in the military already, too much sexual misconduct; more women will only increase these pathologies. That's not necessarily so, especially if one of the causes of such misconduct is a lack of strong female role models in general/flag or command officer/NCO positions. Also, I have a feeling that most of the women who will volunteer for infantry units are going to be badass. In a good way.

4. Women are biologically different than men in significant ways, and so absolute equality of outcome is neither realistic nor desirable. This is Heather MacDonald's argument. As a statement, it is true, but it has no bearing on the decision made yesterday, which will take into account those differences and still restrict women from a range of roles that require the average upper body strength of a man. That such standards could have been influenced by social conditions rather than be a brute reflection of biological essentials is not part of MacDonald's equation. The worry that standards will be relaxed for women is more appropriately expressed as a desire to make sure that the standards for the job are exacting and right; that means that some may be relaxed, and some may be tightened. Equality of condition in the military for men and women is not a goal of this policy. An end to discriminatory policies that have no rational basis while preserving military readiness — a readiness that still does incorporate a recognition of gender differences — is.

5. This is just like wanting gender-integrated football teams! Or: Obama wants to take guns away from women to help them protect their homes but he wants to give them guns to use on the battlefield! He wants to get them killed. These are analogies in search of a common bridge. War is different than football. (And women in the military are already issued weapons.)
This move is strategic in nature for women's advocacy groups, and those serving in Combat Arms felt the push over a year ago.
Standards are already being lowered or eradicated altogether in preparation of this move.

As for Point #1 above --flying an Attack Helicopter or driving an F16 figher jet, is world's apart from being an ammo bearer in a mortar section, or an M240 machine gunner in an Infantry platoon humping the hills and mountains of Afghanistan. Try introducing a woman into a Combat Outpost in Afghanistan manned by 50 or so infantrymen ages 18-30 who haven't showered in maybe two months, who shit in a 55gal drum next to your friend inside a bunker, and when not getting shot at or actively patrolling and shooting the enemy in the face, think about sex. Not trying to insult anyone here- but out in the hinterlands right now in places such as Helmand, Ghazni, Wardak and Paktia are the few remaining bastions of manhood left- where flesh meets steel, and a woman's presence is superflous. It would destroy the intangible cohesiveness that a rifle platoon must have. If you haven't served- again no insult intended- you cannot grasp this.

What has also falsely influenced the public are silly television programs and movies that put forth the notion that women can defeat men in close combat or are 'warriors'; GI Jane, Salt, Kill Bill, Aliens, Sin City, Underworld...if you don't think entertainment has influence on cultural perceptions, you're wrong.

I have had a woman pilot an A10 Warthog over my head in combat and do great work for us- same for an attack helo pilot. Two nights ago a very professional and competent woman piloted a C130 that I parachuted out of. There are instances of women who have fought valiantly in combat in the roles they currently occupy- but the Infantry, Armor, Field Artillery and Special Forces are a profession of arms; it is not a 'one time' or singular event. It is years of training that includes carrying 100lbs rucks, 27lb machine guns, a 47lb mortar tube, loading 95lb 155mm artillery shells over and over again, breaking track on an M1A2 tank... Most MEN don't want those jobs and these are the lowest density occupational skills in the military- so now we NEED to introduce them to women? This makes us better? It is a 100% political move with little concern for what truly goes on at the cutting edge of battle. Standards (minimum accepted abilities to accomplish the mission) will and are going to be lowered. Men will end up pulling more than their fair share of women's physical tasks so these same women can check a block and move up the chain.

As for Point #3 above; the Israeli Defense Forces have integrated women in direct combat roles as well. It was and is arguably NOT a success, and fully integrated units saw male counterparts having much higher casualty rates than women due to leaders leaving them behind on combat missions (liability), coupled with the ingrained male protectiveness of women.

Hell, a man can now give birth to children- but it doesn't mean he should. We are all created equal. We were not all created the same.

Last edited by Cheater5; 01-24-2013 at 09:00 PM..
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