“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Should Women be in Combat?

Comment and Opinion:

I do not see any reason for woman to be exposed to combat. My reasoning is basic. There is no argument that persuades me to believe that woman are better or as equally prepared for combat as men. The US military in particular is the NFL of war. When I see a woman lineman in the NFL, I may be persuaded things could be different for the military.

Woman do not belong on war ships and should not be flying combat missions. They cannot replace men in combat and when placed in mixed units, they provide a distraction. There are ample opportunities for them to serve in support units, technical and communications fields but not in near or active combat. The military should not be a social experiment.

The Washington Times takes a sober look at the consequences of woman placed in combat.

Death toll of female troops 'troubling'
By Rowan Scarborough
December 26, 2006
The number of military service women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan has reached 70, more than the total from the Korean, Vietnam and Desert Storm wars. 
 "Some have argued that the women who have died are no different than the men," according to a report noting the 70 casualties from the Center for Military Readiness, which opposes women in combat. "But deliberate exposure of women to combat violence in war is tantamount to acceptance of violence against women in general." 

The reasons for the historical high casualty rate are multiple. Women now make up more than 14 percent of the volunteer force, performing a long list of military occupational specialties they did not do 50 years ago. Women in earlier wars were mostly confined to medical teams. Today, they fly combat aircraft, drive trucks to resupply fighting units, go on patrol as military police (MPs) and repair equipment. 
 What's more, the Afghan and Iraq conflicts are lasting longer than the relatively brief Desert Storm, which featured the first large contribution of American women in a war zone. 

But the real difference in Afghanistan and Iraq is the battlefield. It is virtually every road, neighborhood and rural village. Insurgents do not just attack front-line combat troops. Suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) strike at any time, meaning that women in support units can be just as vulnerable as men in ground combat. 
 "What it means is, it's just unprecedented," said Elaine Donnelly, who heads the Center for Military Readiness. "It is something that people are not aware of, for the most part. Some of these stories are incredibly sad." 
 Her report lists names, ranks and cause of death of eight women killed in Afghanistan and 62 killed in Iraq. The vast majority are enlisted women killed by IEDs or other ambush. 
 This month, two female officers died in Iraq, including Maj. Megan McClung, 34, a Marine Corps public-affairs specialist. Illustrating there are no firm battle lines, the death happened when Maj. McClung was escorting journalists near Ramadi. Her truck was hit by an IED. 
 Paul Boyce, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, said the service has gone to great lengths to field armored Humvees that can blunt the force of an IED, as well as individual body armor. 

"Women soldiers are making vital contributions to our efforts to fight and win the war on terrorism," he said. "Recent operations in the war on terrorism consistently show that any soldier, whether performing combat or support missions, could be exposed to combat hazards." 
 More than half the 70 women killed were victims of hostile fire, as opposed to death by accident, which is added to the war's total casualty count. The 70 represents about 2 percent of the total death count of 3,253 in Iraq and Afghanistan. 
 Mrs. Donnelly said those killed include seven mothers with children 18 or younger. 
 "I think it's something that is very troubling, because it says that we as a nation are willing to tolerate violence against women as long as it occurs at the hands of the enemy," she said. 

Women are barred from land combat under federal law and regulation. But they do serve in units such as military police and combat suppliers that puts them in the bull's-eye for terrorists. 
 Part of the problem, Mrs. Donnelly says, lies in the Clinton administration's 1994 decision to rescind the so-called "risk rule." It kept females out of support units that would likely expose them to hostile fire or capture. If this rule were still in effect, female casualties would probably be lower, Mrs. Donnelly said. Women remained banned from land combat. 
 Women have been able to serve as military police for some time. But in Iraq, military police are almost as likely to see combat as an infantryman. Mrs. Donnelly said the MP mission needs to be divided into all-male units, which are the most likely to see combat.
Female Soldiers


  1. Been troubled about this for quite a while - I think you've captured my unorganized thoughts/impressions surrounding this issue nicely.

    It's my opinion (via observation only, not any hard data crunching) that part of the leftist agenda in this country has been the wussification of men and the warrior-fication of women.

    I eventually expect to see women in combat units in significant numbers, and frankly, with our population and resources, what aspect of our present existential threat makes this necessary? There are plenty of centers, guards and tackles (to use your comparison) here in the land of plenty to more than adequately stock the armed forces with the talent and muscle necessary to the grim task to which they are appointed.

    I might think differently if this were Israel, and we were outnumbered by our enemies 100 to 1... but that's not where we are at this point in history.

    Yes, I'm aware that women have played critical roles in wars past (flying completed aircraft from North America to England during WWII, for example) and will continue to do so in the future, but when it comes to clearing a terrorist stronghold house-to-house, I'd prefer to have as much beef alongside as possible.

  2. The photogs never get the ugly ones, do they?

    I recall a truck unit, had just started integrating females into the ranks, in the early '80s. The females could not, for the most part, change the tires on the trucks. Basic maintaince was physically beyond most of their abilitiies.

    In this "Long War" there are no "battlefronts", so if the ladies are in uniform they are legitimate targets. If they were there, but not in uniform, they'd be targets as well. Just like the Iraqi women and children that are dying there, every day.

  3. Saddam has lost his appeal.
    Now all that stands between Saddam and the gallows is two out of three signatures.

    Mr Talabani has said he will not sign an execution order. Perhaps he was lying.

    Will Mr Adil Abdul Mahdi, the Sjia VP sign off? One would assume so. But what of Mr Tariq Al-Hashimi, the Sunni VP? Will he sign the execution order?

    This is what Wikipedia says of him
    Tariq al-Hashimi is an Iraqi politician and the general secretary of the Iraqi Islamic Party. Along with Adil Abdul Mahdi, he is a Vice President of Iraq in the government formed after the December 2005 elections. As a Sunni, he took the place of fellow Sunni politician Ghazi al-Yawar.

    Three of his siblings (two brothers and one sister) were killed by Shiite death squads in 2006.

    In December 2006, the Iraq Study Group Report described him in this way: "Hashimi is one of two vice presidents of Iraq and the head of the Iraqi Islamic Party, the largest Sunni Muslim bloc in parliament. Hashimi opposes the formation of autonomous regions and has advocated the distribution of oil revenues based on population, a reversal of de-Baathification, and the removal of Shiite militia fighters from the Iraqi security forces. Shiite death squads have recently killed three of his siblings." The report called Hashimi one of the two Sunni leaders with broad support.[1]

    The Associated Press reported in December 2006 that Hashimi was involved in forming an alliance to topple and replace the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

    With Mr Hashimi hangs Saddams fate.

  4. Triton said, "It's my opinion (via observation only, not any hard data crunching) that part of the leftist agenda in this country has been the wussification of men and the warrior-fication of women."

    Even in Reagan's Navy we had different (lower) standards for physical training in basic training and the yearly PT test than the boys did (such as being allowed to take longer to run 1.5 miles). And I thought it was wrong. Whatever the mission is, the standards should be the same for both genders, and if Xena can meet the requirements to be a SEAL she's in.

  5. "...the warrior-fication of women."

    If only they could do that ... but it hasn't really been the case. More like just plain lowering of standards and of toughness of training.

  6. Woman should NOT serve in combat unless manpower is a serious issue. Manpower is NOT a serious issue for a country with a population of 300,000,000 people.

  7. Ahh, but there is no "combat", in Iraq, just police work.

  8. "Whatever the mission is, the standards should be the same for both genders, and if Xena can meet the requirements to be a SEAL she's in."

    That's been my opinion for many years. Get rid of the physical double standard across the board. THEN discuss the matter of opening the remaining MOSs to females. (The pregnancies which increase the number of non-deployables still has to be somehow addressed.)

    Rat is correct that, due to the nature of the conflict, there is no way to keep women from combat roles once they're in theater. Hell, there's no way to keep mild-mannered (male) Airmen, such as my cousin, from combat roles once they're in theater. You're going to deploy them and put them behind a 50 cal on convoy duty or you're going to leave them at home. I'll take a wild guess that the latter's not an option.

    This all begs the question: Is it the military's duty to make extra efforts to protect its female volunteers?

    Try telling the guys that.

  9. No. It's not police work. It's a military occupation.

  10. desert rat said, "Ahh, but there is no 'combat', in Iraq, just police work."

    Thus the Bush Administration has imperceptibly come around to the Democrat party line on the Global War on Terrorism, that it should not be seen as an existential "World War IV" but only a vast law enforcement action.

  11. Well, look at it this way, or not.

    In Full Metal Jacket when "Handjob" buys the farm and the squad is looking at his corpse,one after another offers a good-bye, "Go easy bro", "Semper Fi", "Well at least he died for a good cause"..."What cause was that?"
    "Flush out your headgear new guy, if I'm gonna die for a word make mine Poon-tang.

    Well over in Iraq our male troops,who in past wars have had "good" relationships with indigenous women are pretty much shut out. I mean we all joke about putting a bag over her head if she's a pow-wow but the ME is a new, excuse me, "ball game".

    Rosie on the crew served weapon is now saving Rosie the Palm. So women do have their place in "combat outfits". Troop morale is vital and I know the troops wood say keep it up.

  12. Habu1,

    If the troops want something in Iraq, they should simply go and take it.

  13. Hey if they can abort 60 million babies over 20 years they can sure as hell dust some muzzies.
    Plus it saves some flower arranger in SFO from the danger of Rangels "Slave" Rangers in a reinsituted draft.

    In fact the entire idead of don't ask don't tell really doesn't reflect the America we live in.
    All illegals should go directly to Parris Island, then Iraq, no advanced training.
    They can be the Wannabe Brigade and if they live they get to apply for citizenship.
    Cross dressers, tranny's, dykes on bikes, should all be's the America the "straights & cozy boys" protecting. I say if we need a bigger all volunteer force then weshould go full freak & geek.

  14. Women as a distraction on the front lines is known as “martial nookie.”

  15. Mətušélaḥ,
    You're talking about a fully sovereign nation that we still fully control maybe

    Wouldn't our GI's at least have to offer chocolate bars?

  16. Anon,

    I guess I just find Poon-Tang more appealing. As we know the list is endless for the wemmen folk.

    Now soon I suspect Rufus will give us the 411 on palm oil.

  17. Armies use to marshall their forces.

    Now we can marshall our corsets.

  18. Habu1,

    Please do. And also don't forget to give out the sugar coated floss.

  19. Habu, WIO accidently came up with the "m-n" term over at BC. It suits this thread far better, although really shouldn't be used in polite discussion, so you must forget you ever saw it.

  20. With PC and ROE. Diversity and compassion for combat arms!

  21. Our Strength is our Diversity.
    1st Muslim congressman thrills crowd in Dearborn

    Newly elected Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.
    Speaking in Dearborn late Sunday night, the first Muslim elected to Congress told a cheering crowd of Muslims they should remain steadfast in their faith and push for justice.

    "You can't back down. You can't chicken out. You can't be afraid. You got to have faith in Allah, and you've got to stand up and be a real Muslim," Detroit native Keith Ellison said to loud applause.

    Many in the crowd replied
    "Allahu akbar" -- God is great.

    Atta Rules!
    "Allahu akbar" --- God is great
    "Muslims can help teach America about justice and equal protection."

  22. Mainstream/Bush "Conservative" Canard:

    "GOP lost the election because Hispanics Deserted Party"

    "White" vote (80%) went from 58% to 51%.
    Had Hispanics voted 100% GOP,
    it would not have made up THAT difference.

  23. "I guess I just find Poon-Tang more appealing. As we know the list is endless for the wemmen folk.

    Now soon I suspect Rufus will give us the 411 on palm oil.
    As long as you got your DIVERSITY in women, any old Palm Oil will do just fine.

  24. With us Metros following W's lead,
    soon womenfolk'll be all we have to defend ourselves with.

  25. "THAT is Unacceptable!"
    You go git em, Condi!

  26. "bonding, bunking together, menses..."
    In Extremis, menses should not be a problem.

  27. "part of the leftist agenda in this country has been the wussification of men"
    Yeah, we blame the left for the Wussification of GWB:
    "The Devil made him do it"

  28. "Women as a distraction on the front lines is known as “martial nookie.”"
    Trannys on the frontline are known as "Decoys."

  29. Hey, Mat:
    You still got the link to those Israeli Women Warriors you so look down upon?
    Maybe you can have a virtual stoning,
    and I'll come to their rescue.
    In Reality.

  30. Go to the bottom of my distraction for Israeli warriors. They can have my immediate surrender.

  31. I donno, something about Dutch girls that always gives me a hard on. I suppose it's their long legs.


  32. Doug:

  33. 2164th wrote, "This is a distraction"

    Damn, you just gave me enough daily images for my blog to last me a month.

  34. Your a better man than me WC, that looks like more than a month's worth.

  35. Doug said, "In Extremis, menses should not be a problem."

    Back before women were common on forward-deployed Navy ships, they were usually on boats like the USS Pubic Mound and they went through toilet paper, on a per-capita basis, at a rate four times greater than that of an all-male Fast Combat Support Ship.

  36. "With a complete repair department onboard, she could repair any surface ship that did not need a dry dock for hull repairs. "
    You'd go through a lot of TP if you were a Female Boat.

  37. catherine and trish,

    It is impolite to discuss pregnant non-deployables, you know?

    Recently, I attempted to research the fertility rate among US service members since 2001 - without success. Information that used to be readily available cannot be had. Wonder why?

  38. catherine,

    Not for the life of me would I ever question the value of women in the military.


    Having covered my rearend with the Boss, it is our dirty little secret that there are some serious problems with the roles. Recently, I reported here of the award of 50,000+ Bronze Stars for Army service in Iraq since 2003. At the time I read that number, it seemed one way for deployed males to get a promotion advantage over non-deployed, never-deployed, and non-deployable females.

  39. Allen said, "Recently, I attempted to research the fertility rate among US service members since 2001 - without success."

    "U.S. Central Command is not tracking the number of troops who must leave the Iraq war theater due to pregnancy, prompting military advocates to charge the Pentagon wants to keep secret what could be an embarrassing statistic.

  40. WC,

    Somewhere is someone with the numbers. Clearly, you are onto something, hence, the denial. Not to say anyone is being dishonest, mind you, but things do turn up missing.

  41. I'd like to get to the bottom of that Trash Collector's Conspiracy in which he was "UNABLE" to return the pieces of the top secret docs that Mr. Bergler inadvertently cut up and then mistakenly left in the trash.

    Can't trust anybody to do their jobs right these days, even trash collectors.
    I'll bet Sandy's just sick about that.

  42. re: Marital Nookie

    Since first seeing that name, I haven't been able to place it with a dim, troubling memory. Then, it hit me: Martial Nookie led the Dolphin's army at Againcourt.