Friday, January 25, 2013

Women in Combat?

Neither the New York Sun nor Victor Davis Hanson are against the possibility.

New York Sun:
In other words, we had no problem with the idea of women in a war zone. As to whether they should be in combat, we don’t have any objection to it in principle. It does, though, strike us as illogical to think in terms of a “right” to be in combat, whether it is a right for women, men, or anyone else. Once war has been levied, our own view is that the right policy in filling out our combat units is to give the commanders such a pick of our population as they in their best judgment reckon would be best to win the fight. If they want to include women, we’re all for it, and if not, we wouldn’t take umbrage. Victory in the war is the over-riding thing.
Victor Davis Hanson:
In a larger sense, with the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” and women in front-line combat units, we have decided that the military is one with all other civilian institutions and without a particular code or caste. Fair enough — in the past, there certainly have been excellent male soldiers who were romantically attracted to one another (cf. the Theban Sacred Band) and plenty of brave and effective female pilots, snipers, and infantrywomen (cf. the Russian front after 1942), and we shall soon discover whether our more recent reluctance to follow those clear examples was absurd.


MAX Redline said...

I rather agree with the Sun perspective that it's illogical to think in terms of there being a "right" to be in a combat zone, but this is because the term, "right" has been redefined to mean "any damn thing we want". Today, health insurance is a "right", as is abortion (something that even Margaret Sanger herself deplored).

I question, however, the compatibility of periods and combat.Perhaps women in combat should be limited to those who aren't in a reproductive state. After all, real women don't have hot flashes; they have power surges.

T. D. said...

Heh! Max, I don't know what to think. In World War II they took a lot of men who weren't in great condition--a great uncle of mine, for example, who was an alcoholic and was 36 when he enlisted in the infantry! And he served in the Pacific theater where there was some pretty mean fighting. My dad found out after the war had ended that he had helped strafe an island that uncle was pinned down on.

But, all things being equal, it doesn't say much for a nation that puts women in combat any more than putting 16 year olds or 36 year old rookies--unless it really is in a battle for national survival. Maybe with exceptions for people operating equipment that takes more skill than strength or operations where small and quick are the key.

But for regular grunt army combat operations, the case against female equality has already been made in almost all of the Olympic sports where men and women compete in separate events.

MAX Redline said...

Well, TD, they weren't very selective when it came to taking in bodies in WWII; and people lied all the time because they were really ticked off about Pearl Harbor.

But things have changed so much, it's difficult to decipher what they mean by "combat". Can women fly drones? Well, yeah. But do you want them armed with infantry weapons? Um...well, maybe if they have their own units composed of women with synchronized menstrual cycles. Kind of like synchronized swimming events at the Olympics.

T. D. said...

I give the US a pass on my great uncle because the nation actually did feel it was seriously threatened.

Which is why not only was there a universal draft, but universal strict rationing, and even President Roosevelt's decision to send all Japanese on the West Coast to relocation camps.

Taking a 36 year old alcoholic into the infantry is not that big a deal if you think it's necessary to remove all Japanese citizens and residents to guarded facilities.

No one other than those who enlist are paying any sort of price during the present Afghanistan war or the previous Iraq war. It's obviously not that serious of a national issue.