Women in Combat: War for and Against Women

By:  R. Cort Kirkwood
Women in Combat: War for and Against Women

The U.S. military is planning to use women as infantry — close-quarter combat soldiers — despite the preponderance of evidence showing that the decision is a grave mistake.

In January, Obama’s soon-to-resign Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that women will be assigned to combat missions in the U.S. military. The object, we were told, was “to provide a level, gender-neutral playing field” so that women can enter combat positions, since not being permitted to fight holds back careers. This assumes that the purpose of the military is advancing careers, not defending the country. Thus, women will march alongside men into the meatgrinder of war if Congress doesn’t stop it.

Feminists have been pushing for the change for at least 20 years. In 1992, the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces decided that placing women in combat wasn’t such a bright idea. The commission proved that assigning women to combat roles was palpably ridiculous on practical grounds. Women, it was learned, to the surprise and chagrin of some, are not men. Noted commissioner Charles Moskos, the idea that women should fight alongside men suggests the opposite: Women are little men, and men are just big women.

Evidence showing the profound physiological differences between the sexes proved that to be false, and it also showed that even accommodating women on the battlefield raised profound sociological and moral questions.

Here, then, is what Panetta has done: ignored what recorded history tells us about the nature of man to accommodate feminism.

The Practical Case

Perhaps one of the most striking pieces of evidence the commission saw was a graph showing that, generally speaking, the strongest military woman is only as strong as the weakest military man. Another interesting datum showed that the average 20-something woman has the lung power of the average 50-something man. Imagine a woman combat commander in her 40s trying to keep pace with young men on a forced march, something that men who lead combat troops are required to do.

Bearing this out are data from the Marine Corps, which were presented to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS). Studies show, the Marines told DACOWITS in 2011, that women are endowed with 20 percent lower aerobic power than men, 40 percent lower muscle strength, 47 percent lower lifting strength, and 26 percent slower road-march speed. In addition, their attrition rate from injuries is twice that of men; their nondeployable rate three times higher.

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Photo: AP Images

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