For those of you saying that Barack Obama has failed to provide leadership on the world stage, think again. He’s been breaking new ground right and left on the Social Justice front and other nations are taking notice. Now that we’re opening up all combat roles to women (despite the protests of the Marines and many combat troops) the rest of the western world clearly feels a need to look at similar inclusive policies. Across the pond in the UK, the Brits have begun that process, leading some of their own analysts to ask the same questions we’ve been asking here. (Telegraph)
The Ministry of Defence admits it is reviewing military physical fitness standards in preparation for the expected announcement later this year that women will be allowed to serve in all front-line combat units, including the infantry and SAS.
The MoD denies that standards will be reduced, but of course that is precisely what is going to happen. Generals – having put up a fight for many years – have been told women will join front-line units and, like the good soldiers they are, intend to make it work.
The people who have demanded this change – politicians desperate to be seen as “progressive”, feminist zealots and ideologues hell-bent on equality of opportunity without exception – would never dream of volunteering. Indeed only a very small number of women will want to join the infantry and of those only a fraction will have the physical capability. Hence the need to lower the bar.
I’ve written about my own personal feelings on the subject enough times here that we don’t need to cover that same real estate yet again (starting more than three years ago), but the author does highlight the question of physical standards in an important way here. Will the Brits (and the Americans) wind up quietly lowering the physical standards for front line combat roles in order to make this policy work? Of course they will. Despite their best, most patriotic intentions (which I have never questioned in the slightest) the fact is that the number of women who are both interested in such duty and who can also meet the same exacting, grueling standards currently set for men in combat roles is minuscule. That’s not some sort of misogynistic cut at the non-Y chromosome crowd.. it’s just physical reality.
The author of the Telegraph editorial referenced above is Col Richard Kemp. He knows a thing or two, having been the Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan back in the earliest years of the war there when the fighting was the most intense. He’s also had to deal with the government directly in terms of their military policies and they’re not all that different than our own in terms of bending to the political winds. What he recognizes is that a policy such as the one being described, where the standards are not changed at all, will likely result in few, if any, women actually making it into combat roles. That will bring the press down like a hammer, demanding to know why. Rather than explaining the realities of the situation, it will simply be easier to begin passing some women through training who otherwise wouldn’t have made it.
Do you honestly think that it won’t happen in the UK? Do you believe it won’t happen here? Good luck with that sunny disposition, folks.