Friday, May 31, 2013

At the dawn of the 21st century, the military’s primary concern seems to be “diversity”, not winning wars

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, the military’s primary concern seems to be “diversity” with all of its hideous hydra heads, not winning wars
writes Iraq War veteran Benjamin Duffy in his post on Barack Obama's Recipe For A Weaker Military.
 The Pentagon continues to charge full speed ahead toward integration of women into combat roles by 2016. If you harbored any doubts that standards will be lowered in order to achieve the goal, rest assured that they will be.

Perhaps you’ve heard otherwise. In January, then-Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told reporters,
”If members of our military can meet the qualifications for a job — and let me be clear, I’m not talking about reducing the qualifications for the job — if they can meet the qualifications for the job, then they should have the right to serve, regardless of creed or color or gender or sexual orientation.”
Panetta summed up the classic argument in favor of allowing women to serve in combat roles: If standards remain the same, why shouldn’t a woman be allowed the opportunity to meet them? Good question, though I’d suggest that anyone who asks it doesn’t know the state of today’s military. This isn’t your daddy’s army, or even your older brother’s.

 … We now know that efforts to lower standards are already underway. The US Army’s Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) is currently conducting a scientific review to determine gender-neutral physical standards for the co-ed combat units of the future. Why is a fancy study even necessary? Won’t women be expected to meet the same old standards that men always had to? Well, no. If that were the case no study would be needed to formulate new standards because they would simply apply the old ones.

The newly minted gender-neutral standards will likely fall somewhere between the current “gender-normed” separate standards of today’s military. … Combat effectiveness will thus suffer on two fronts—units will be forced to include both males and females who otherwise wouldn’t be qualified. The standards will be the same for both genders, only lower. If a woman is too weak to throw a grenade sufficiently far to avoid blowing herself up, that’s fine because a man who does the same will also pass. Equality is a wonderful thing.

How difficult it can be to explain this to people who think that the current policy is just petty sexism. Proponents of women in combat roles like to tug at our heart strings with emotional appeals to fairness, insisting that gobs of women who are both qualified and patriotic are simply not permitted to do the most for their country because male chauvinists won’t let them “try out for the team.”

The number of women who are truly qualified is probably paltry, hence the lower physical standards already in place across all services. Yes, a few exceptional superwomen may be able to make their male counterparts look like chumps. I met a handful of these women during my army years. The military will not however, formulate policy with only the top one tenth of one percent of womankind in mind.

The new policy of women in combat arms is not about allowing women the opportunity to meet the same standards; at least not the current standards. It’s about lowering the bar for both sexes, a recipe for a weaker fighting force.