Bing West At The American Interest-‘Women In Ground Combat’

Full piece here.

‘In sum, the Joint Chiefs have taken a clear long-term risk for an unclear near-term political gain, perhaps hoping to diminish budgetary cuts. The question is whether increasing the individual rights of the female soldier decreases the combined combat effectiveness of the killing pack. We won’t know the answer until we fight a hard ground war sometime in the future.’

Our politics is extremely polarized and there’s rarely middle ground.

Does allowing women into combat situations make us more combat ready?  As someone who’s non-military, I’ve heard these arguments made, which I find persuasive, but they’re up for debate:

Allowing women into combat necessarily invites sexual tension into the close-knit, cohesive, adrenalin-fueled environment of combat units and infantrymen.  There’s nothing like shooting and being shot at, killing up close, and the brutal conditions that occur in combat operations.  It’s animalistic.  You truly don’t know unless you’ve been there, I’ve been told.  Men and women are both changed by the presence of women, and they get up to what nature intended with all sorts of repercussions.

Only a very few women may even physically qualify to serve in combat, often at great physical cost, including later infertility in some cases.  Many men fail to qualify, for various reasons, and failure out in the field can mean death, or the death of your brothers.  This can cost us an operation, a battle, or a war.  Inevitably this will lead to two different standards, and lowered standards all around.  As West points out, some people pushing this change want equal access, but not equal obligation (no draft for women).  It’s Title IX writ large, one more boys’ club to equalize, one more situation in which to extend the gender equity logic, often with some ideological hostility for the very organizations they want to alter, often wanting to simply extend their own political and institutional influence without always having the best reasons to do so.

Our enemies, after capturing female infantry, will not only be torture and brutalize them, hold them as hostages and POW’s as they’ve done our men, but they could also rape them, and use our obvious attachment to a young woman service member to leverage their aims and which could lead to altered outcomes.  Fewer young women serving may be willing to accept such scenarios.


Here’s General Robert Barrow, 27th Commandant Of The Marines testifying back in 1991 (Clinton administration), whose testimony was referred to in West’s piece:


Here’s a quote by Samuel Huntington (wikipedia).  The quote is from The Clash Of Civilizations and is fairly well known.

“The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.”

Do we get to extend the values of gender equality, humanism, and human rights without our military superiority?  Do we ignore violence at our peril, either organizing it or being consumed by it?  Are we inevitably drifting Europeward, accelerated under this administration?

Related On This Site:   Can you see limited government, life, liberty and property from here?:  From The Atlantic: Samuel Huntington’s Death And Life’s WorkFrom The American Interest Online: Francis Fukuyama On Samuel HuntingtonFrom Foreign Affairs Via The A & L Daily: ‘Conflict Or Cooperation: Three Visions Revisited’

Do we try and invest in global institutions as flawed as they are…upon a Kantian raft?:  Daniel Deudney On YouTube Responding to Robert Kagan: Liberal Democracy Vs. Autocracy

Repost-Revisting Larry Summers: What Did He Say Again?

Democracy as we envision it requires people to constrain themselves within laws and institutions that maintain democracy…through Mill’s utilitarianism?: Thursday Quotation: Jeane Kirkpatrick – J.S. Mill  Is Bernhard Henri-Levy actually influencing U.S. policy decisions..? From New York Magazine: ‘European Superhero Quashes Libyan Dictator’Bernhard Henri-Levy At The Daily Beast: ‘A Moral Tipping Point’

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