Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Women in Combat

posted by Jazz at 1/19/2005 01:35:00 PM


Bush doesn't get much right, but in this case, I'm forced to agree with him.

Army affirms its ban on women in combat
Army Secretary Francis Harvey has told Congress that the service will keep the Pentagon's ban against female soldiers in ground combat, including no assignments to units that routinely embed with war fighters. Mr. Harvey sent a memo to four senior members of Congress on Thursday, a day after The Washington Times reported that the president had said in an interview that he opposes any move to change the ground combat prohibition. The president was emphatic: "No women in combat."
I've heard a lot of arguments against women on the front lines that I didn't agree with. Going back to my own Navy days there were huge fights over the idea of putting female sailors on non-combat ships. The reason, behind all of the bluster and arguments, came down to an ancient superstition. It had been held since the days of the earliest explorers in tall ships under power of sail that women on ships were simply bad luck. Horse hockey, of course, but I guess old superstitions die hard.

I've heard it said that women in fast moving combat units present a host of logistical difficulties, such as latrines and shower facilities for two genders, and similar complications. We seem to have gotten over most of those concerns.

So what's my reason for opposing women in combat? Well, to be honest, I really don't have a reason. Not one that I could logically defend, anyway. But to me, it's just wrong. I don't want our country to be a place that sends women out on the front lines to get shot. It's just not right. Plus, women in combat face additional risks that men don't. The rape of female prisoners is a pattern that goes back to ancient times... the "spoils of war" as some used to say. I've yet to see it confirmed by her or her family, but I recall reading that Jessica Lynch was raped when she was captured. That's reason enough for me.

There are plenty of career opportunities for women in the military without putting them on the front lines. I think, in this case, things should stay as they are.

Outside the Beltway contends that it's no longer possible to even define where the "front lines" are in modern warfare. A point I must also agree with.