Women in Combat: And Then What?

It seems that Leon Panetta is preparing to launch a very large wrecking ball of political correctness on his way out -- to lift the ban on women in combat:

Leon Panetta, in one of his last acts as President Obama's defense secretary, is preparing to announce the policy change, which would open hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war, the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday.

Reading that news immediately brought to mind some wisdom from a 2010 piece on WND by military historian/conservative commentator Resa LaRu Kirkland (aka the blogger "Warchick"). In her column, Kirkland reprinted an anonymous letter written by a soldier on the "don't ask, don't tell" policy change. The letter also included a discussion of the impact that female presence can have on combat missions. Relevant portions are excerpted below:

Despite recent mission changes that reflect a greater focus on stability operations, i.e., nation-building, the primary purpose of the military is to violently execute political goals that cannot otherwise be effected through diplomacy and other non-violent avenues of approach...

Any change to the military, whether it is in training, equipment, doctrine or social norms, should be to enhance the lethality of our Armed Forces...

Soldiers are trained to fight as a team, not as individuals...Soldiers live together -- at times in conditions that most civilians would find completely uncivilized -- sleep together, eat together, shower together and even defecate together in open slit trenches, in order to accomplish the mission...You must believe that your team members have your survival and well-being as the second-highest priority during battle. Notice that I said "second-highest priority." The top priority of any military action is to accomplish the mission...
When Congress or the military attempts to inject social engineering...in the ranks, into this relationship, it is a disaster in the making...

I have served for 26 years. One of the things I have noticed is when a female is thrown into the mix of a male-dominated world, the males naturally begin competing for her attention. It is not, necessarily, that they are trying to sleep with her, but the natural tendency for heterosexual males is to attract the attention of the opposite sex. It throws a wrench in the relationship between the males. This is why men who serve in Combat Arms branches do not prefer to have women fighting on the front lines. The presence of a female skews the male mentality. Men, by nature, choose to protect women at the expense of protecting their male counterparts. Again, this has deadly consequences when the bullets are flying...

The soldier went on to wonder whether active military were polled about the proposed change to DADT. Now we wonder -- have active combat units been thoroughly polled about placing women in combat positions? Has there been serious, unbiased and documented research into the impact on military effectiveness that the policy change will bring?

The Fox News article also stated: "A defense official told the Associated Press that the military chiefs must report back to Panetta with their initial implementation plans by May 15." Does this imply that quotas will be established?
And not to imply that either event is directly related -- but consideration of the Panetta news alongside the General Mattis "dump" discussed in
this Weekly Standard article doesn't make us feel any better about the state of our defense under this administration. The author's conclusion:

By pushing Mattis overboard, the administration is sending a message that it doesn't want smart, independently minded generals who speak candidly to their civilian leaders. The message that generals and admirals may receive that they should go along to get along, which is a bad message for the health of U.S. civil-military relations.

"Going along to get along" and its cousin, political correctness, have again clashed with military strategy and mission effectiveness. The Secretary of Defense, just before making his own grand exit, has chosen the victor. And so the "health" of our military is about to be altered in a very significant way.

As General Mattis was known to say: "And then what?" 

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