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Um, yeah, about that...

I get pimped by pubs for linkage to their stuff, and today it was the Washington Post.  Hey, they've linked me before, I'll reciprocate.

Here's what Jennifer sent me today:

A big majority of Americans support having women fight in combat roles in the U.S. armed services, and more see improved than compromised military effectiveness as a result of the change, according to a new poll by The Washington Post and Pew Research Center.

Last week, the Obama administration opened up combat roles to women in the military, and fully 66 percent of all Americans back the idea. Most men and women alike support the idea, as do majorities across party lines.

Most of those in military households — including veterans themselves — see the policy shift as a “major change,” and they too are largely supportive of the move. In parallel, few, just 15 percent, see the shift as undermining military readiness, something critics of the move envision.

About twice as many, 29 percent, see improved military effectiveness as a result of having women in combat roles. More, 49 percent, see no discernible change. Among those who have served in the military, 30 percent see better military operations, and 19 percent see diminished capacity; again a plurality, 46 percent, anticipates no change.

For more including analysis by Jon Cohen and Scott Clement: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/01/29/most-back-women-in-combat-see-no-harm-to-military-effectiveness/

While I'm one of those retired soldier vets who says "go for it" regarding the change (if we truly maintain gender neutral standards of sufficient toughness) - the fact that a big majority of people with absolutely zip-zero-nada experience of infantry combat except from movies, TV and video games is not persuasive.

Interesting, but otherwise... so what?

I don't really care what my barber's opinions on brain surgery are, either.

Sadly, I don't trust the Generals on the issue of standard setting.  Oh, we'll get "gender neutral" standards.  But we won't get the bar set to get the toughest and smartest, we'll get it calibrated to ensure we have a statistically representative sample.

I wish they'd apply that standard to college and pro athletics. 

Snerk. 

Then I wonder how the opinion ratings would shift.

4 Comments

Having read stuff from the Washington [Com}Post for years, I pay close attention to what they say, and compare it to real world facts and the consequences of their recommendations being implemented.

They have a superb track record of being wrong on just about every issue.  And, also hostile to the military, and a reliable propaganda arm for any loony leftist ideas.

Therefore, a very good rule of thumb is "If the Washignton Post supports it, I am against it."

While I disagree with the whole women in combat unit thing as being bad for the inevitable outcomes, I am not too upset if the Army wants to see if they can get a suitable number of gals trained up WITHOUT CHANGING THE STANDARDS FOR MEN.  Otherwise, their zeal for getting more women killed in combat in the name of "equality" will end up with more women AND MEN being killed in combat, and losing wars.

But, at our present rate of self destruction of our economic and military foundations, the whole women in combat thing is moot. I think we have already lost the next war, and our nation is in an irrecoverable downward spiral.  Thank you liberals- you won.
 
Does anyone seriously think that the standards for initial entry training are the same at Ft. Jackson as they are at Ft. Benning? Those who do are likely to work for the Washington Post and live in D.C. Of course they are different, and must be to obtain the required graduation rates for female soldiers at Ft. Jackson. Airborne School is not the same as it was before female paratroopers.  Infantry training will not emerge intact from this change.

Beyond training, infantry units at the rifle company level will be less capable than they are today.  They will not be able to move on foot and sustain themselves in combat to the same degree that they can do now.  The wars of Afghanistan and Iraq are not good measures of requirements for the entire spectrum of warfare that we may have to face:  you must look to the jungles of New Guinea, the beaches of Normandy, and the hills of Korea to grasp what infantry units must be able to do for sustained periods.  At the battalion level, women can be very effective and bring some unique and useful skills to the fight.  They are demonstrating this every day in Afghanistan.  But their's is a specialist role in an Army that has more specialist roles than it ever has and that trend will continue.  We don't need many infantry soldiers, but we need them to be every bit as physically capable as their predecessors in past wars.
 
As a female who served in the military for nine years (albeit in the Air Force Reserve as the weather officer on a hurricane hunter) I don't believe that job standards should be modified to accommodate any social goal.  All positions should be filled with individuals of any race,religion, or gender based on their ability to best perform the required tasks.  The physical qualifications for my position weren't very significant (the ability to continue to perform complex mental tasks while vomitting in severe turbulence being the most limiting), but the technical qualifications required substantial education, training, and experience.
There may well be rare females that can meet the rigorous standards of forward combat troops, just as there are rare males that meet them now.   Lowering those standards to ensure a greater possibility of success by unqualified people (of any race, religion or sex) only increases the likelihood of failure of the ultimate mission.  That's not such a big deal if the mission is filing papers, but life or death in combat.
Then again, in the current world, that death will only involve the less than 1% that actually serve and we have seen that the rights of the 1% aren't that important as long as social justice is achieved.
 
 Social justice - the most important thing about the military these days.