Women in Front-Line Combat

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Air Date: June 19, 2013

Host: Jim Schneider

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Elaine Donnelly is president of the Center for Military Readiness, and independent, non-partisan public policy organization that specializes in military/social issues. Founded in 1993, CMR advocates high, single standards in all forms of military training and sound priorities in the making of military/social policies.

Currently the Selective Service exemption that women have with regard to a future draft is tied to the fact that women are not used in direct ground combat. The Obama administration appears to be establishing an atmosphere that would allow for women to be combat replacements in a future war, just as men are. In other words, there may come a time when high school age girls will have to register for selective service. If it does happen, it may take place due to litigation that leads to a federal court order and not necessarily an act of Congress.

What’s behind this move? Elaine pointed to diversity-metrics. She noted that his is explained in the Military Leadership Diversity Commission. This commission feels that the only way to obtain full respect for women in the military is to bring in large numbers of women with the hope that some of them get appointed to 3 and 4-star rank.

Elaine is concerned about this because she feels that in a direct combat situation, women do not have an equal opportunity to survive or to help fellow soldiers to survive. She sees only three ways to set it up so women can succeed. They include:

1–Pick out, omit or phase out the toughest elements of Ranger training, Special Operations training, Navy Seal training, etc. that people might question.

2—Make it necessary for men to do more to get the same grade. For example, have women do 8 pull-ups to get an “A” while men must do 20 to get the same grade/score. The logic here is that a woman exerts just as much effort to do 8 as it does for a man to do 20. This is called “gender norming” where equal effort is somehow viewed as equal performance/results.

3—Go for a minimal standard. If there’s even one woman that can meet that standard, then she’s accepted along with 10 or 20 men that otherwise would have “washed out”. This would be an equal standard but a lowering of the current one. Elaine feels that this is the option that’s most likely to occur.

Also discussed was the fact that statistics show an alarming number of sexual assaults along with other forms of inappropriate behavior among the sexes with the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and there’s good reason to believe that additional women in the military will only exacerbate the problem.

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