Allen West: “Now is not the time to play a social experiment with our ground combat forces”

posted at 1:51 pm on January 24, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

I don’t know if part of the rationale for yesterday’s kinda’-sorta’ out-of-left-field announcement that the Pentagon is lifting the ban on women serving in direct combat is supposed to be some kind of barrier-breaking, legacy-building last hurrah for Leon Panetta, but if that’s the case, I’m not sure that that legacy will be a very positive one. There’s been no dearth of criticism for the idea from veterans, including from one former Republican Congressman Allen West:

However, to make the insidious policy decision that we shall now open up combat billets to women is something completely different. GI Jane was a movie and should not be the basis for a policy shift. I know Martha McSally, have known women who are Apache and Cobra helicopter pilots, and served with women who were MPs, but being on the ground and having to go mano y mano in close combat is a completely different environment.

I completely disagree with this decision and can just imagine all the third and fourth order effects and considerations for implementation, such as standards for training. Unless the Obama administration has not noticed we are fighting against a brutal enemy and now is not the time to play a social experiment with our ground combat forces. President Obama, as Commander-in-Chief, should be focused on sequestration and the failure of his policies in the Middle East. This is the misconceived liberal progressive vision of fairness and equality which could potentially lead to the demise of our military.

The WSJ ran a pretty persuasive op-ed to a similar effect from former Marine Ryan Smith, who points out that social norms are not something you can just toss aside, especially in assessing a combat unit’s cohesion and efficiency:

We had not showered in well over a month and our chemical protective suits were covered in a mixture of filth and dried blood. We were told to strip and place our suits in pits to be burned immediately. My unit stood there in a walled-in compound in Baghdad, naked, sores dotted all over our bodies, feet peeling, watching our suits burn. Later, they lined us up naked and washed us off with pressure washers.

Yes, a woman is as capable as a man of pulling a trigger. But the goal of our nation’s military is to fight and win wars. Before taking the drastic step of allowing women to serve in combat units, has the government considered whether introducing women into the above-described situation would have made my unit more or less combat effective?

How exactly this is going to play out technically is still to be determined; lifting the ban on women in combat isn’t quite the same as instantly opening all combat roles to women. The services will have until January 2016 to defend cases in which they think women should be kept out of certain roles, but there will definitely be plenty of political fallout and intentional cultural boat-rocking in the meantime — because President Obama and the Democrats now have another specific item to tout whenever they want to revive their “war on women” meme, besides the Lily Ledbetter Act: Actual war on women.

 


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

We have yet to really feel the problems coming from openly gay soldiers mingling in combat units (with the idiots acting as if gays can control their sexual impulses more than heterosexuals can – which is beyond a joke for anyone who knows how incredibly wild gay sexual lifestyles are) and now they want to throw women in the mix so everyone can have sexual tensions all over the place …

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 24, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Gives a whole new meaning of E’ffing up the Military… O_O

SWalker on January 24, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Gives a whole new meaning of E’ffing up the Military… O_O

SWalker on January 24, 2013 at 5:29 PM

In Israel, the girls go nuts (sexually) when they have to do their mandatory military service – and that’s just being in proximity to the men, not in the same units. It’s well known that life on many bases there is a veritable fvckfest, and that is with the backdrop that women actively participated in every area of combat in the War for Independence and have always had important roles in espionage and the like – not to mention having held the highest positions in government (though Golda Meir didn’t do women any favors with her near total disaster in ’73).

This push by the stupid elitists in our society is a sort of mental illness. Title IX was a total joke and its effects (only being in an area of no consequence for our national security) are abominable. And now, we have Hollywood and the entertainment media laughingly pushing the theme of women fighters. It cracks me up every time I see some woman in a movie or show who’s beating up some guy or outrunning him. To call it “fantasy” doesn’t even come close to an accurate description. But the left pushes this obvious silliness in such dishonest earnestness. I would go on about the other laughable anti-stereotypes that Hollywood shoves into just about every cr@ppy movie but the list is too long.

The leftist idiots really think that they can mold society just by lying about it.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 24, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Then why are you claiming that the physical standards need to be lowered for women?

blink on January 24, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Because he doesn’t believe they are equal and he doesn’t believe in true equality.

melle1228 on January 24, 2013 at 5:50 PM

But the physical standards for entry might presently include a fat measurement test. Do you think that’s wrong? Do you think that’s an unfair physical metric for screening? Or do you think it’s ok since statistically fat people aren’t able to perform as well, and it cost too much to give fat people a slot?

blink on January 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM

blink – please read all of what I’m saying. Don’t pull one sentence out of context and respond like I’m chumpy.
I’m not on chumpy’s side on this – and if you read it all I think you’ll get that.

dentarthurdent on January 24, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Sure – give fat people a shot at the training program (initially) – if they can meet the physical standards for entry.

dentarthurdent on January 24, 2013 at 4:19 PM

But the physical standards for entry might presently include a fat measurement test. Do you think that’s wrong? Do you think that’s an unfair physical metric for screening? Or do you think it’s ok since statistically fat people aren’t able to perform as well, and it cost too much to give fat people a slot?

blink on January 24, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Make sure you read what I said –

Sure – give fat people a shot at the training program (initially) – if they can meet the physical standards for entry. But when they flunk out cuz they can’t hack it – too bad, no excuses, no changing the requirements to allow for their lack of ability.
dentarthurdent on January 24, 2013 at 4:19 PM

dentarthurdent on January 24, 2013 at 6:00 PM

For people who have never been in the military, read a book like Sal Guinta’s Living with honor or Chris Kyle’s American Sniper for an idea of the strength and fortitude required of our combat troops, elite or not. Even a lot of the men struggle to make it physically. Read Marcus Luttrell’s Lone Survivor or Fearless, about Adam Brown, for the physical toll that combat takes on the body.

Yes, there are a few women, maybe CrossFit trained, that could handle the basic physical requirements. But could they handle it for many hours per day and dozens of days on end? The Marines did a trial last summer, two women volunteered. One dropped out the first day, the other 2 weeks later for medical issues.

Read this account from a female combat Marine who has been there:
Cpt Katie Petronio

Finally, placing women in male units will damage, if not destroy, unit cohesion. Women can think they can be one of the boys, but that’s not how men think. At the least, they would be a distraction that could get people killed.

Common Sense on January 24, 2013 at 6:14 PM

chump is still a chump. Its just with the new improved version his ass is handed to him.Lol! Keep up the great trolling chump. I can always use the laughs.

Bmore on January 24, 2013 at 6:16 PM

All this social engineering crap the leftards/secular humanists try on the military contributes greatly to the elevated suicide rates we are witnessing in our men and women in uniform.

tom daschle concerned on January 24, 2013 at 6:41 PM

:Sigh:

Whats the over/under on how long before this is compared to the Desegregation of the Military in the 40′s & 50′s?

I’m guessing…by Monday the 28th, 10am.

BlaxPac on January 24, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Allen West: “Now is not the time to play a social experiment with our ground combat forces”

Our ground combat forces in Afcrapistan have already been used for years now as Lab Rats in their Mad Hatter Generals’ deadly Sociology Experiment from Hell called COIN/”Winning Muslim Hearts and Minds”/”Partners in Peace”.

VorDaj on January 24, 2013 at 7:15 PM

All this social engineering crap the leftards/secular humanists try on the military contributes greatly to the elevated suicide rates we are witnessing in our men and women in uniform.

tom daschle concerned on January 24, 2013 at 6:41 PM

There’s no quantifiable proof to back up your claim Tom. My guess is the elevated suicide rates as well as high rates in other areas (motorcycles, DUI, etc) are a product of a military filled with servicemembers who have had repeated deployments over the past 11 years. That takes a toll.

When it comes to this social engineering crap, it only has come after the filthy rat-eared traitor showed his disdain of the military and told them that they had to accept sodomy and mixed gender combat units as the new normal. The costs for this treason has yet to be tallied.

Happy Nomad on January 24, 2013 at 7:18 PM

The whole ‘elevated suicide rates’ is a fraud. THey’re STILL lower than amongst the same civilian populations. Completely inverse of what the leftist media is generating in their neverending quest to demonize our military as mental defectives.

As for the real issue of women in ground combat -
http://www.thedonovan.com/archives/modernwarriorload/ModernWarriorsCombatLoadReport.pdf

rayra on January 24, 2013 at 7:21 PM

:Sigh:

Whats the over/under on how long before this is compared to the Desegregation of the Military in the 40′s & 50′s?

I’m guessing…by Monday the 28th, 10am.

BlaxPac on January 24, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Probably a good guess. The twisted irony being that it was Democrat Woodrow Wilson that segregated it in the first place.

rayra on January 24, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Women have caught up to men on lung cancer risk-Yahoo News

This hunt for “equality” is sure interesting. Death wish?

CW on January 24, 2013 at 7:26 PM

I’m not sure why anyone thinks he would have killed fewer people using the pistols instead of the Bushmaster.

Mmmmaaaannn, I CAN’T wait until some gun company starts selling the Obamamaster. After all, he IS the best spokesman for guns in the history of the United States and it would be most appropriate.

lolz

Resist We Much on January 24, 2013 at 7:59 PM

I cost money to invest in trainees. The cost of training programs on a per graduate basis increase when attrition rates rise. Why should we pay more per student just to accommodate a demographic which will statistically be more expensive to train?

blink on January 24, 2013 at 7:05 PM

I understand that – but the decision has already been made. I’m just expressing my hope they at least keep the physical requirements appropriate for the positions. Then let’s see what happens when they can’t survive the training and (hopefully) we have the overwhelming proof to have to admit that this bit of social engineering is a dismal failure.

dentarthurdent on January 24, 2013 at 8:24 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 24, 2013 at 5:45 PM

The sad thing is, with the absence of anything in the culture showing young women what real femininity is like, a lot of them are buying it. You see them in the gym, all intense and manic, burning themselves out because they think they’re supposed to be superwoman.

Cleombrotus on January 24, 2013 at 8:26 PM

Whats the over/under on how long before this is compared to the Desegregation of the Military in the 40′s & 50′s?

I’m guessing…by Monday the 28th, 10am.

BlaxPac on January 24, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Already been brought up – see page 1 around 2:30 – chumpy.

dentarthurdent on January 24, 2013 at 8:29 PM

As a military historian I recognize that combat under any circumstances is hard, both physically and mentally…some men, even the most physically fit, are just not ready to deal with the psychological impacts of seeing a friend killed in any number of devestating ways. To the degree we still have organized sports in this country men are better prepared to accept the requirements of giving up self for the team and adapting to the horrors of combat. Title IX assumed that given an “equal” opportunity to paricipate in sports women would adapt…they haven’t…softball ain’t baseball, womens basketball ain’t mens basketball and field hockey and volleyball ain’t substitutes for football.

With that said about women, I also have my doubts about this generation of male soldiers…you can’t compare Iraq or Afganistan to the rigors of WWII, Korea or VietNam…with a couple of rare exceptions, nothing that has happened in recent memoryo in either Iraq or Afganistan compares to the combat experience of those previous wars. We have had 2,000 killed in Iraq…we had that many killed on June 6, 1944…we had 57,000 killed in roughly 10 years of Vietnam…we had 57,000 killed in about 18 months in WWI.

Was there PTSS after WWI or WWII…of course there was, it was call shell shock in WWI and it got more a little more complicated in WWII…my uncle who won five bronze stars in WWII was a different man when he came home, not necessarily worse, just different. Most, including my uncle, never talked about it…maybe they should have, but in any case they came home and created a nation like no other the world has ever seen. Women in combat…be careful what you wish for…

ironmarshal on January 24, 2013 at 8:59 PM

Don’t worry this will sort itself out if we ever get in a war with Vietnam rates of casualties. Assuming we could even muster the national will to fight it. The prospects of that level of combat will greatly clarify the situation for all involved.

bluesdoc70 on January 24, 2013 at 9:20 PM

The obsession with turning jobs into a tool for breaking cultural norms instead of serving their purpose in an effective fashion is exasperating — and I don’t just mean in the military, where it risks lives and makes all of us less safe. No-one has a “right” to be on the front line, and any army that weakens itself by bowing to such political considerations is ultimately betraying the public trust.

Count to 10 on January 24, 2013 at 9:24 PM

I actually would have less of a problem with this is they were trained for sniping. That keeps them at great distance from the enemy, and at the same time gives them the “combat tours” their superiors feel they must be a part of.

nobar on January 24, 2013 at 9:56 PM

Mmmmaaaannn, I CAN’T wait until some gun company starts selling the Obamamaster. After all, he IS the best spokesman for guns in the history of the United States and it would be most appropriate.

lolz

Resist We Much on January 24, 2013 at 7:59 PM

I wouldn’t buy one – it would likely cost way too much, pull hard to the left, wouldn’t work as advertised, stop working at all every few minutes, and likely to blow up in your face.

dentarthurdent on January 24, 2013 at 10:47 PM

I wouldn’t buy one – it would likely cost way too much, pull hard to the left, wouldn’t work as advertised, stop working at all every few minutes, and likely to blow up in your face.
dentarthurdent on January 24, 2013 at 10:47 PM

You left out that it comes with free contraceptives and is made from melted down platinum coins.

nobar on January 24, 2013 at 10:54 PM

chumpThreads on January 24, 2013

verbaluce on January 24, 2013

…mom’s barking!…she wants you two back in the basement!…feeding time!

KOOLAID2 on January 24, 2013 at 11:10 PM

And the gratuitous shot at the end. Well played, Rose. I’m sure you’ll make some man a happy widower one day.

chumpThreads on January 24, 2013 at 3:25 PM

That from an idiot who can never write anything without a gratuitous, disparaging ‘shot’ at Conservatives – no matter what the subject.

Chimp-boy, you’re an idiot.

And you’re a hypocrite. (But then, you’re a leftoid drone, so that – and being a liar – is a given)

Solaratov on January 24, 2013 at 11:10 PM

The point isn’t that women are “too fragile” for combat. The point is that most humans are too fragile for combat. Suicide rates, PTSD and lifelong physical trauma are all evidence of that.

libfreeordie on January 24, 2013 at 11:23 PM

libfreeordie on January 24, 2013 at 11:23 PM

…SO?…you must have been in combat!

KOOLAID2 on January 25, 2013 at 12:04 AM

So wait till the first females get captured and raped by the enemy…oh, never mind the left has secured abortions even for the military(sarc)…silly me……..you liberals have no souls……

crosshugger on January 25, 2013 at 10:18 AM

I wouldn’t buy one – it would likely cost way too much, pull hard to the left, wouldn’t work as advertised, stop working at all every few minutes, and likely to blow up in your face.

dentarthurdent on January 24, 2013 at 10:47 PM

and with every failure you would hear BOOOOOSH whispering from the barrel end.

dmacleo on January 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Why this? Why now? There must be a back story. Nothing is
done without a political gain for the Obama thug regime.

What is their long game?

Amjean on January 25, 2013 at 10:58 AM

Just two points to add to all the obvious ones.

First – what male prisoner of war is not going to give up every last bit of intelligence information he knows to prevent his female squad mate from being gang raped every day in the open cell next to his? You can’t “train” away the natural male response to protect females – anyone who adheres to any kind of evolutinoary theory must admit that the evolutionary imperative to protect females will preclude any chance of convincing males to treat their female squad mates just like the males – just ain’t going to happen!

Second – if they would publicize the true readiness evaluations for U.S. Navy ships, after they forced them open to female sailors, they would reverse this insane trend. I was there, I saw it and as a Naval Officer I know for a fact that readiness took a nose dive. Before every single significant deployment (where we were expected to be deployed from our home port for 9 months, nearly all of it at sea), we had to address readiness issues because of the number of female sailors who suddenly became pregnant and could not be deployed!

Imagine what it will be like if a mixed infantry unit is called upon to respond to a long-term, front-line, IN THE FIELD, combat deployment?

Sacrifice the greatest fighting force on the planet to political correctness and social experimentation? It’s just plain stupid!

Fatal on January 25, 2013 at 9:18 PM

In the last 2-3 months alone there have been several incidents where Arab terrorists near Israel were shot and killed by female Israeli soldiers.

There are women in combat roles in Canada too, if I’m not mistaken.

How are American women any different?

I’m not a proponent of having women in these roles, but given how it seems to be effective in other militaries around the world, why should it not be happening in the US?

AlexB on January 26, 2013 at 1:02 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3