The rumors that Defense officials were opening up dangerous new positions to women have been swirling around the Pentagon for months. And yesterday, they became much more than rumors. In another triumph of political correctness over common sense, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the worst kept secret in the military: that all combat roles will be open to women in 2016.
For the Obama administration, which has spent the last seven years playing sexual politics with national security, this was another blow to the longstanding tradition and efficacy of our fighting force. No one is suggesting that women are not capable or have not served their country with distinction. They are and have. FRC’s Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (U.S. Army-Ret.) knows several of them. But much like the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (and soon, we’re told, the ban on transgenderism), the risks of this integration (physical stamina and injury, emotional stress, sexual assault, pregnancy, adultery, unit readiness, family breakdown) seem secondary to the administration’s radical agenda.
“There will be no exceptions,” Carter said firmly. They’ll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars, and lead infantry soldiers into combat. They’ll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers, and everything else that was previously open only to men.” How much national security is our President willing to forgo to promote this kind of progressive feminism?
A lot, according to veterans like Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), who chairs the chamber’s Armed Services Committee. “[This] decision to open all combat positions to women will have a consequential impact on our service members and military’s warfighting capabilities,” McCain warned.
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That matters little to the Obama administration, where military readiness is already a distant second to this president’s misguided notions of parity. And despite the very serious concerns from inside the ranks, the Defense Department is racing ahead anyway. After a year-long study showed that the integration would hurt its fighting ability, the Marines requested an exemption from some jobs. The political appointees at the DOD just shrugged, insisting that efficiency matters less than “equality.”
Paul Davis, one of the scientists responsible for the study, could only shake his head. “The practical reality is that even though we want to knock down this last bastion of exclusion, the preponderance of women will not be able to do the job.”
General Boykin, who knows the gravity of commanding Special Forces in battle, was clear about the consequences of this kind of social experimentation. “Some units, like infantry, Special Forces, SEALs and others, are not suitable for combining men and women. It has nothing to do with the courage or even capabilities of women. It is all about two things: the burden on small unit leaders, and the lack of privacy in these units,” he explains.
“Leaders of these units must be focused like a laser on keeping their soldiers alive and defeating the enemy. It is unreasonable to encumber them with the additional burden of worrying about how they provide privacy for the few women under their command during stressful and very dangerous operations. It is not the same as being a combat pilot who returns to an operating base or an aircraft carrier after the fight, where separate facilities are available.” It’s the absolute wrong policy for America, Boykin went on, because it “ignores fundamental biological differences between the sexes, and the natural implications of those differences.”
Isn’t the goal be to have the most lethal fighting force in the world? The military isn’t — and should never be — the great societal equalizer. Already, the effects of this decision are rippling through the courts, as groups challenge whether this would force women to register for selective service (read: the draft). When the DOD removes the barriers to women serving in all positions, it removes most barriers to drafting them as well. That’s a frightening proposition — not just for our homeland, but for our home fronts.
Families have already endured the loss of tens of thousands of brave Americans in one of the most prolonged wars in U.S. history. Will their daughters, sisters, and mothers be next? By now, the president should understand: the military isn’t a level playing field. It’s a battlefield. One that women should be protected from — not ordered to.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.