January 24, 2013

Does lifting the combat ban for women make it easier or harder to reintroduce the military draft?

Here's a story explaining the new policy change and why it was done.
In the military, serving in combat positions like the infantry remains crucial to career advancement. Women have long said that by not recognizing their real service, the military has unfairly held them back.
No mention of the draft. When I first saw this story, I assumed it meant that it would be much more difficult, in the future, to bring back the draft. I cannot believe that the people would accept forcing women into combat. But now I'm thinking that removing this barrier makes it easier to restore the draft, because women won't really be forced into combat. With neutrally designed physical tests, no woman will be forced. These tests, keyed to what strong men can do, will exclude all but the most fit and motivated woman.

You don't need discrimination against women to filter out all the non-volunteers. And it will be more acceptable to Americans to force men and women into an institution that renounces any formal, express policy of sex discrimination. A male-only draft would raise objections, and a draft that includes women, but puts them in back up positions should be a problem both for women, because they are subordinated, and to men, because they are, because of their sex, more likely to be put in life-threatening positions.

***

I've been thinking about this problem quite a bit over the years as I teach the old Supreme Court case Rostker v. Goldberg, which involved a challenge to the requirement, introduced in 1980, that males register for the draft. The draft itself had ended in 1973, but President Carter thought we should be prepared for the possibility of a draft. He wanted to include both women and men, but Congress made it male only, which was challenged as unconstitutional sex discrimination. The fact that only men would be used in combat was the basis for upholding the discrimination:
In light of the combat restrictions, women did not have the same opportunities for promotion as men, and therefore it was not unconstitutional for Congress to distinguish between them.

132 comments:

Bill Harshaw said...

Though I wish we had a draft--if it was good enough for me, it's good enough for everyone--it's never going to return. The mass army is a victim of technology. We now provide each individual in the services with a lot more equipment than we did in Nam. Look at the Seals in Zero Dark Thirty. The equipment makes them many times more effective and less likely to be killed than troops in previous wars.

Shouting Thomas said...

So, the goal is not to produce the best armed forces for fighting a war.

The goal is to give something to women... the opportunity to advance at a job. They can't do the job, which you grant. But, it would be discrimination to acknowledge reality.

The legalistic bullshit of the discrimination idiocy strikes again.

I think that you are incapable of seeing the absurdity of this, Althouse.

Larry J said...

Shouting Thomas said...
So, the goal is not to produce the best armed forces for fighting a war.


That is the bottom line, isn't it? Military readiness becomes subordinate to political correctness, and if men get killed but some women get the opportunity to advance, what's the big deal?

Question asked by someone whose son is at Camp Pendelton working up to deployment to Afghanistan next month. My son is medical, not combat but the question remains.

Marshal said...

We're never going to have another draft. Only in the most far-fetched scenarios would we ever need to expand beyond our volunteer capacity. And in those cases by the time we realize we need to expand we'll have already lost.

AllenS said...

But now I'm thinking that removing this barrier makes it easier to restore the draft, because women won't really be forced into combat. -- Althouse

Let's get something straight right now. We can't afford to have more people in the military. They make a good wage and that's why there are enough volunteers to fill the ranks.

As someone who was drafted into the Army, let me show you why we were able to have a draft back then. Money, or lack thereof. Here is what I made in 1967:

Wages paid subject to withholding in 1967 = $1622.36

Federal income tax withheld = $141.48

F.I.C.A employee tax withheld = $73.22

In order to have a much bigger Armed Forces, you'd have to reduce everyone's pay to afford it. How would you feel if your son was drafted and made this kind of wage, and your neighbor's son was able to avoid being drafted and secured a job and made good money. Would you accept this? Somehow, I doubt very seriously that you'd allow any of your precisous sons to be drafted. In fact, let me say that you'd do everything in your power so that your precious sons would never go.

I could go on, but I won't.

dbp said...

Two worries:

Women will not be held to the same strength standards as men.

To the extent that this increases the possibility of the draft, this could do substantial harm to our military's effectiveness.

Added: If there was a draft, the military would become less male dominated since half of the conscripts would be women while they make up far less than that now.

Shouting Thomas said...

Or, as Steve Sailer puts it:

But, so what? It's not like any of this matters in a practical sense. If more co-ed combat degrades American military performance, it's not like the Axis is going to win WWII, it's that a few more brave Americans will get killed in some inconclusive puttering around in Mali or wherever.

This kind of thing is like gay marriage: a symbolic war on the realities of biology.

Ann Althouse said...

"I think that you are incapable of seeing the absurdity of this, Althouse."

Please stay on topic: The political feasibility of the draft before and after removal of the discrimination.

Taunting me like that is beside the point. This isn't about me, but about an issue. If you disagree with anything I've said, simply argue that position on the substance. This post isn't about my personal capabilities.

AllenS said...

Ann Althouse said...
Please stay on topic: The political feasibility of the draft before and after removal of the discrimination.

Excuse me, but just what exactly is the topic?

dbp said...

AllenS points out why people will hate seeing their sons (or daughters) drafted.

But here is the dilemma: The Dems do not want to cut anything from entitlements, yet we have global military commitments and we can't keep borrowing at our current rate. Something has to give and screwing young people by drafting them and paying them a pittance is not beyond imagination.

Clyde said...

Israel has universal compulsory military service, including women, exempting only the ultra-orthodox religious. Their situation is a bit unusual, however. Living in a tiny country surrounded by sworn enemies, the whole country could become a combat zone at any time. I don't know how thoroughly the integrate women into combat arms units, though. It's one thing to potentially end up in combat if you are in a support unit, but it's something else indeed for combat to be your specific job, the tooth as opposed to the tail.

vet66 said...

Women in combat is already occurring as supply lines are stretched thin. Men and women truck supplies are perfect targets for terrorists. Volunteers are motivated, better educated and committed to making the military a career. Draftees are looking at surviving two years and getting out. Women in combat infantry positions should be given the opportunity to prove their capabilities the same as men. The physical rules should be the same for both sexes. Women as snipers, etc. are already in use. I don't see them as Rangers on LRP assignment.

Gahrie said...

As with reproduction, and really almost any issue today, women have rights without responsibility, and men have responsibility and no rights.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

The United States is an air, sea, and space power, not a land power. Not only that, we've never really been good at land power.

The draft is politically untenable not because of women or no-women, but because the only place to slot draftees is the Army. Navy and Air Force are out because we don't need or want -- let alone have the money for -- all the extra ships and planes required.

As we cut defense to deal with deficit and debt (believe me, we will) the only branch that can be cut hard without damaging our national security is ... the Army. Therefore the draft is politically untenable because it is not only financially untenable but militarily useless as well.

Larry J said...

In every draft in US history, there have been provisions for those with money and/or connections to avoid it. In the Civil War, you could pay some money and avoid the draft. In other wars, there were college deferments.

Some 3 million kids graduate high school each year. That's far more than the number of people on active duty in the military (< 2 million). Each year, the military brings in around 200,000 recruits, give or take. That's a small percentage of the number of high school graduates. Unless someone is proposing to build the size of the military up to 8-10 million, only a small percentage of high school graduates and drop outs would get drafted each year. Few if any of them would be the sons or daughters of members of Congress or other politically connected parents. There's no way they're going to enact a draft that puts their own children at risk.

AllenS said...

Right you are, Larry, about the sons and daughters of Congress. Let me also add, sons and daughters of university professors.

Colonel Angus said...

If we are going to gut military spending, why on earth would we need to reinstate the draft?

The Drill SGT said...

Althouse, You and the NYT present a number of fallacies in your story line and thinking. Multiple posts to follow. NYT #1:

In November 2012 the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit challenging the ban on behalf of four service women and the Service Women’s Action Network, a group that works for equality in the military. The A.C.L.U. said that one of the plaintiffs, Maj. Mary Jennings Hegar, an Air National Guard helicopter pilot, was shot down, returned fire and was wounded while on the ground in Afghanistan, but could not seek combat leadership positions because the Defense Department did not officially acknowledge her experience as combat.

Let's be clear, Major Hegar, is in the Air Force (Air National Guard). Women in the USAF can already do all of the jobs except I suppose the SOF Air Strike coordinators that jump in with the SF or SEALs.

She is in the Air Force. Allowing women to be Army Infantry doesn't impact the chance of a pilot to command a squadron already open and full of women. Did she not get some award for being shot down? I doubt gender plays any part of her inability to advance... Look at the USAF Colonel F-15 pilot Inga was selling last night. If you can be an F-15 pilot, your one of the boys...

AJ Lynch said...

I think lifting the combat ban will make it much harder for the military to get women to enlist. Therefore, it will reduce the number of job oportunities for among young women and increase their unemployment rate.

Darrell said...

The draft will bring back all those fuckers that Reagan kicked out--the dopers that want to sit around all day trippin'. The kind that tell officers to fuck off.

Everything to reduce the ability of our military to fight wars.

Fuck the Left with a steam shovel.

AllenS said...

Darrell just brought up a good point. The military has a very strict no drug policy in place, so if you wanted to avoid the draft, potential recruits would just turn to drugs to get out.

Once again, bringing back the draft is an idiotic idea that won't happen.

The Drill SGT said...

NYT #2.

Not being Infantryman does not restrict women's chance of advancement except at the very very highest levels. The 4 star generals. Why? In the Army and everywhere else, you compete for promotion against your branch peers. My wife competed for lawyer promotions only against lawyers. Signal officers aginst signal officers. None of them, male or female have the neat Infantry badges. My wife is a contracts attorney. They dont get promoted as far as the line generalist attorney's. Life is cruel. Could a lawyer have a Silver Star in his/her record, sure. Obtained while doing good in a convoy ambush in Iraq. The gender of the lawyer riding from point A to B is not the issue. raw chance and coolness under fire is the decider. Those promotion boards already track and have quotas for women...Yeah, chosing a non-combat field, or not being allowed into one, will most likely cap your career at 2 stars, but the Army has had female 3 and 4 stars. Ultimately all officers except 1 get passed over for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. stuff happens.

The Drill SGT said...

Althouse #1: With neutrally designed physical tests, no woman will be forced. These tests, keyed to what strong me can do, will exclude all but the most fit and motivated woman.

You understand that the Army has two different PT standards now and that the women's max score is the same as the male fail? A unitary standard applied across the board would result in women throughout the Army being in the bottom 10% for all promotions, and most would be fired...

SGT Ted said...

The opening declaration is bullshit. It is not crucial to serve in a combat MOS for career advancement. That is a feminist claim unsupported by reality. And last time I checked Military Service was supposed to be about "service" and not the career desires of the individuals, much less butt-hurt women.

It is also unstated by the feminists that currently females have an advantage over men in the career fields they are allowed to serve in because they don't have to meet the same physical standard that men do.

That the compalint comes from some a careerist woman Officer who never had to work as hard physically as the men is really chutzpah.

When these whiny women demand equal physical requirements is when I will listen to their whining about it not being fair.

Ann Althouse said...

"You understand that the Army has two different PT standards now and that the women's max score is the same as the male fail?"

I'm talking about a draft proposal. If women were drafted, and the question were about putting non-volunteers into combat, I believe this standard would be adjusted so that the daughters of America will have zero risk of being sorted into the cannon fodder pile.

Please address the hypothetical. Congress wants a draft and faces the resistance of the young women of America and their moms and dads who simply cannot believe they'd be forced to fight.

I'm saying the formal nondiscrimination policy helps the politics of it when there is the backup of a filtering physical test.

I'm not talking about the physical test that is used today in the all-volunteer setting.

Shouting Thomas said...

Althouse, you're playing games with the men here.

Abstract hypotheticals are the problem.

Abstract hypotheticals serve your purpose in advancing feminism. Abstract hypotheticals screw men.

I can see why you want to restrict the conversation to the point of view that serves your self-interest.

SGT Ted said...

I don't think it changes anything because women are still exempt from ther draft and this won't be brought up at all by those pushing for combat inclusion.

Nor will the law requiring men to register for the draft in order to be eligible to receive Federal finanical aid for college be changed to force women to do the same thing. Women are to have opportunities and men are to have obligations.

This is about pleasing the selfish feminist careerists in the Officer ranks, not the strength of the Military.

SGT Ted said...

Not only that, we've never really been good at land power.


wtf?

Are you in a foreign Army?

Colonel Angus said...

Please address the hypothetical. Congress wants a draft and faces the resistance of the young women of America and their moms and dads who simply cannot believe they'd be forced to fight.

I suspect that resistance to a draft won't be defined by young woman and her parents. I'm pretty confident most young men would be equally opposed to be forced into service.

Darrell said...

What's the physical test for LA firegighters? I think it's if someone films the clusterfuck, womens' groups scream bloody murder.

There is one area where Obama does want to shore up the US military's abilility to fight--US civilians.

On Monday, renowned author and humanitarian Dr. Jim Garrow made a shocking claim about what we can expect to see in Obama’s second term.

Garrow made the following Facebook post:

I have just been informed by a former senior military leader that Obama is using a new “litmus test” in determining who will stay and who must go in his military leaders. Get ready to explode folks. “The new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on US citizens or not.” Those who will not are being removed.


See Jeff's excellent summary at
http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=46824

Colonel Angus said...

Speaking of hypotheticals, under what scenario would we need to resort to forced conscription?

Shouting Thomas said...

A draft presupposes the need to fight a land war that requires hundreds of thousands or millions of soldiers.

Somebody tell me how this is going to be necessary in the future.

We're in hypothetical Never Never Land here.

Colonel Angus said...

“The new litmus test of leadership in the military is if they will fire on US citizens or not.” Those who will not are being removed.

Well the litmus test should be on the individuals who will be doing the firing.

I suspect there are few who will.

SGT Ted said...

Since women are exempt from the draft, there will be no reaction by the women who don't have sons.

Darrell said...

Well the litmus test should be on the individuals who will be doing the firing.

Yes, among professional soldiers that want to be there. But what about draftees? Is this where the Dems intend to deploy women in combat?

chickelit said...

Colonel Angus said...
If we are going to gut military spending, why on earth would we need to reinstate the draft?

Bingo. Also, absent a credible threat, it just won't happen. On the other hand, signing women for selective service would be the first step. It's analogous to registering guns. The Government needs to to know something first about the resource it would tap--compliance, morale, etc.

LarsPorsena said...

AllenS said...

Right you are, Larry, about the sons and daughters of Congress. Let me also add, sons and daughters of university professors.

1/24/13, 7:53 AM
__________________________________

They're exempt. They're not male. They're not female. They're metrosexual.

The Drill SGT said...

Ann Althouse said...
"You understand that the Army has two different PT standards now and that the women's max score is the same as the male fail?"

I'm talking about a draft proposal. If women were drafted, and the question were about putting non-volunteers into combat, I believe this standard would be adjusted so that the daughters of America will have zero risk of being sorted into the cannon fodder pile.

Please address the hypothetical. Congress wants a draft and faces the resistance of the young women of America and their moms and dads who simply cannot believe they'd be forced to fight.


Draft dodgers (male) play lots of angles to avoid having to serve or avoid becoming Infantry. The Army finds ways to sort through them. In my day, there was:

- the gay route
- play pyscho
- get pregnant (didnt play in the draft, but it did in avoiding assignments)

I don't ever remember any male draftee try to avoid the infantry by whimpering on the ground during PT. In fact it was the reverse. "Fuck up, boy? we'll send you to the infantry"

In a draft situation, either standards would fall, or female shirkers would get recycled in a very stressful environment until they were discharged with negative records, forever...

Roger J. said...

I suppose the use of hypotheticals is useful in legal training. I am a bit more cynical about hypotheticals. We can debate hypotheticals all day, but at the end of the day hypotheticals may give some insights into what MAY follow, but have limited predictive value in what WILL happen. Just my .02

Roger J. said...

With respect to the professor's topic re introducing the draft: women possibly serving in combat will have no effect on a decision to reintroduce the draft. Reintroducing the draft isn't going to happen for several reasons: (1) our military has just fine on an all volunteer basis; and (2) paying draftees at the current pay and allowances for the all volunteer force would break the bank.

The Drill SGT said...

Althouse #2 Does lifting the combat ban for women make it easier or harder to reintroduce the military draft?"

It won't ever happen. Only Democrats like Rangel talk about ANY draft and only when they are pandering to the young in a GOP administration.

Since we are now going to have full gender opportunity in the Military, there is however, no excuse for women not to serve in equal numbers.

Let's link the franchise (right to vote) to Veterans status (honorable). That way, all the voters can be invested in the common good :)

Take a while to implement, so let's start with adding Vet to the list of quals for Congress :)

LarsPorsena said...

"
Let's link the franchise (right to vote) to Veterans status (honorable). That way, all the voters can be invested in the common good :)

Take a while to implement, so let's start with adding Vet to the list of quals for Congress :)"

Sounds like a plan;-)

Roger J. said...

drill: star ship troopers were mobile infantry. but they could have been cavalry just as well.
Heinlein had some good insights even though he was a naval academy grad

Scott said...

"(As of April, 2012) More than 800 female service members have been wounded in either Afghanistan or Iraq, and at least 139 have died from combat- and non-combat-related incidents. Of these, 110 died as a result of serving in Iraq, however the last thirteen have all died in Afghanistan."

The new Obama administration policy will cause many more women to return from conflict maimed, with limbs missing, or in body bags. This is progress, huh.

SGT Ted said...

The new Obama administration policy will cause many more women to return from conflict maimed, with limbs missing, or in body bags. This is progress, huh.

It IS progress. Women want full rights, they need to take full responsibilities that go with those rights, including the fighting, bleeding and dieing on the battlefield.

The next step in this true progress is to eliminate the physical requirment double standards, so that it is brought back to being fair for men.

Also, draft laws need to be rewritten so that women wanting Federal money for college have to register to get it. That will be more progress and fairness.

Brew Master said...

The draft is more likely to be removed completely as opposed to making women register for the draft. There is no political will, either by leaders or the public, to return to a forced conscription military. There is also no need to do so as the military is not short on volunteers.

The military knows the quality of a fighting force that is based on conscription so will not push for a draft, and will most likely actively oppose one. Just compare the abilities of the all volunteer force we have in place now with that of Vietnam era soldiers.

The populace is also aware of this discrepancy in quality, as well as the lack of a need for a high volume infantry based military. Wars of the future will no longer be of the variety of the past. The rest of the world has seen the futility of pitting a conventional army against the all volunteer American military. That is why all the conflicts we fight now are of the insurgent variety, against which a large standing infantry force is basicly a hinderance rather than an asset.

Who wants to return to the days of draft dodging, exemption seeking, anti-military protests? Only Democrats, as they probably view this as a way to get more support from the populace. Politicians who actually believe in a strong military (left or right) do not speak about reinstituting a draft, as they know it is counter productive. The only ones that talk about doing so are looking for ways to bring back the glory days of the 60's.

whoresoftheinternet said...

This will make the Islamic extremists respect us! This and fags in the trenches!

lmao.

The next will be when these women and child-molesters fall short of making elite units---then they can sue for discrimination! Because no matter that they can't hack it, they deserve more free stuff! Grrrl and fag power!

At least the black guys don't bother defending the country. They can't hack the special forces or the more advanced regular units, they just laze-it-up for their term and jet.

And you "righties" think you can be civil with the left. So cute.

Can't wait for the rape reports to leak out---how these little princesses and bull dykes will be captured and raped by laughing wanna-be Osamas, and the left will scramble on how it's all because of the evil Western White Male Patriarchs of America.

Enjoy the decline, fag-lovers!

SGT Ted said...

See, I'm for true equality under the law and not the phony "equality" of female supremacists claming to be feminists, who want special treatment because they are girls.

SGT Ted said...

This will make the Islamic extremists respect us! This and fags in the trenches!

I rather like the idea of Islamists being humiliated by being shot and captured by women and gays that are superiorly trained and equipped.

Kinda like when the Miltary Governor, Gen Pershing in the P.I. shot all the Islamists and buried them in pigs guts and blood to humiliate them and prevent them from going to Allah and their 72 virgins. Its good psych warfare.

Lucien said...

Opening up the draft to women makes it constitutionally more sound, while the low tooth to tail ratio of our armed services means that you5 could draft 50% women and still find non-combat jobs for all of them if you wanted to, so the political drawback of having our precious daughters drafted to serve as cannon-fodder will be ameliorated. We could easily draft both genders, but limit the front-line MOS's to volunteers.

Also, combat deployments in the Navy and Air Force are a lot different than in the infantry.

But you should ask the people who would actually be subject to a draft whether they think it's good idea. It's easily for us old fogies to think it would be great character-building for the youngsters to be drafted, when we have no skin in the game.

Inga said...

Yes of course it's politically feasible to include women in the draft. And IMO if the draft was reinsted, if women weren't drafted there would be a huge outcry .... From MEN about the unfairness of it. Women can and women do jobs that many men in the military do. They have a brain, some even have more braun than small men.

Jack said...

I'm talking about a draft proposal. If women were drafted, and the question were about putting non-volunteers into combat, I believe this standard would be adjusted so that the daughters of America will have zero risk of being sorted into the cannon fodder pile.

Please address the hypothetical. Congress wants a draft and faces the resistance of the young women of America and their moms and dads who simply cannot believe they'd be forced to fight.


Napoleon said "A man does not have himself killed for a half pence a day nor for a petty distinction, instead you must speak to the soul in order to electrify him."

We are in a great change, something that we do not recognize will be a cause of change but in fact it will. If the premise behind why woman's groups are cheering this change is because of promotional opportunities than so be it, but then the military has become a job like any other. It is a job, that quite frankly I have no desire for either my sons or daughters to do. And why should they? What prey tell are they fighting for, as America ceases to be the principles that America once was, it becomes little more than a football team, a shared affinity for many due to accident of birth and residence. Sorry if dying for the KC Chiefs seems silly to me.

The issue is similar for "marriage" from Petitioner's Brief in Perry: "Concerns that precipitately redefining marriage in the absence of democratic consensus could weaken that institution are heightened by the fact that many of marriage’s most steadfast supporters hold its age- old definition dear, even sacred."

This is true, so very true. If civil marriage != marriage than why get "civilly married." It's utter foolishness. So the state can be more involved in my life? There's is no good basis for it, I can be married in the eyes of the church without needing permission from the state, and the delinking of the two will accelerate the process.

Draft...Candidly as it is structured today, the selective service requirements are plainly unconstitutional, if Republicans are smart (which they are not) they would introduce a bill today to include women for Selective Service. Arguing, that it follows from what has happened that the 1979 limitation is plainly unconstitutional, based upon the change in Pentagon policy.

As a result, this proposal makes the draft practically impossible. Absolutely zero no way, that a son should be asked to die, and not the same absolute requirement of a daughter. If Chivalry is male privilege, then there must be NO Vestige of it.

Jack said...

I agree with Inga...go figure!

Big Mike said...

I'm also agreeing with Inga.

Very strange.

Scott M said...

The fact that only men would be used in combat was the basis for upholding the discrimination:
In light of the combat restrictions, women did not have the same opportunities for promotion as men, and therefore it was not unconstitutional for Congress to distinguish between them.


It's a crap, gutless decision at it's heart. For every combat soldier in the field, there can be anywhere from 2-7 non-combat soldiers and that's just the Army. The Air Force is ridiculously in-the-rear-with-the-gear heavy. Drafting women to fill all of those rolls means they don't have to draft men into them, free up those men to be drafted into combat arms units. There's simply no logic behind it.

I don't know if this has changed, but when I went back to school in 2003/2004 and was involved in debates on this topic, we could never get but one or two die-hard feminist types (regardless of gender) to call for women to have to sign up for selective service.

As I mentioned in the first thread on this issue...having a legal requirement for women...ALL women...to sign up for selective service is the crux of the matter and will give light to the policy-maker's real intent.

edutcher said...

Only Oop (um, Inga, She Wolf of the SS) would say it's politically feasible to draft women.

Keep this in mind, however; between imposition of the peacetime draft and Pearl Harbor, unemployment dropped 10 points.

Marshal said...

We're never going to have another draft. Only in the most far-fetched scenarios would we ever need to expand beyond our volunteer capacity.

Japanese attacking our fleet from across the Pacific?

The Moslem horde bringing down skyscrapers in the US?

Never happen.

Inga said...

Also the women that would most like be the ones against the drafting of women, would be conservative women and libertarian women.

The conservative women would say, "oh no not my daughter, she needs to become a mom", the libertarian women would simply say its "tyranny".

Marshal said...

edutcher said...

We're never going to have another draft. Only in the most far-fetched scenarios would we ever need to expand beyond our volunteer capacity.

Japanese attacking our fleet from across the Pacific?

The Moslem horde bringing down skyscrapers in the US?


Neither of these events would require a draft. One has already ocurred without requiring a draft so i'm not sure what point you think you're making. And if the Japanese attacked our fleet we'd sink every ship in their navy before one single draftee made it through basic traning.

Strelnikov said...

I realize this is just a talking point here but in the real world there will never be a general draft of either sex because there will never be another land based world war requiring that type of fodder. Modern technology prevents that by guaranteeing total destruction long before that point is reached.

furious_a said...

One would think the abysmal performance of the largely-conscript Russian Army in Chechnya (fighting the kind of war against the kind of opponent the US faces now and is likely to continue to face) would be People's Exhibit One against ANY draft much less boys-vs-girls.

Larry J said...

Inga said...
Yes of course it's politically feasible to include women in the draft. And IMO if the draft was reinsted, if women weren't drafted there would be a huge outcry .... From MEN about the unfairness of it. Women can and women do jobs that many men in the military do. They have a brain, some even have more braun than small men.


Women have served well in the US military for decades. There's little debate about that. The debate is putting women in the core combat arms specialties like infantry, armor and artillery. Those jobs require a great deal of strength and endurance. A weak soldier in those jobs gets other soldiers killed. In the majority of military jobs, women can and do perform at an equal level as men. But combat arms is different. It's a bone and soul-crunching experience. I've seen it from both sides. Unless your experience is similar, you just don't know.

Former Army Airborne Infantry (11B2P)
Former Air Force enlisted (communications)
Former Air Force officer (space operations)

edutcher said...

If the Moslem horde ever found a way to move several million men to, say, the Rio Grande, it might.

Never say never.

Nobody thought there'd be another levee en masse after Waterloo, either.

Scott M said...

The conservative women would say, "oh no not my daughter, she needs to become a mom", the libertarian women would simply say its "tyranny".

Please explain to me how this doesn't make you a bigot?

Scott M said...

Modern technology prevents that by guaranteeing total destruction long before that point is reached.

Modern conventional warfare on the scale that would require the draft has never been fought and would eat both men and machines at a terrifying rate. Particularly those superexpensive, hard-to-replace-quickly machines.

If we ever have to tangle with a determined foe that isn't a third-world brushfire conflict, I can see a draft easily. After a good chunk of the high-tech toys are gone, the gee-whiz layer of war will come back down to what it always has been...boots on the ground.

Your modern tech war that lasted any appreciable length of time would devour manpower at a prodigious rate that would need replenishment.

edutcher said...

Keep also in mind, everybody though gas would be used in WWII because it was in WWI.

Mass weapons will get the ruling class as well as the peons.

Think about it. We have plenty of cannon fodder, but where will we find our next Moochelle?

Marshal said...

edutcher said...
If the Moslem horde ever found a way to move several million men to, say, the Rio Grande, it might.

Never say never.


Maybe they'll use the transporter so we don't see the buildup.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transporter_(Star_Trek)

edutcher said...

Maybe they'll find somebody like Hugo Chavez who will help train them to pass for Hispanics, too.

Christopher said...

I think the removal of the combat exclusion will make it marginally more difficult to adopt a draft. I'm assuming that even under the current structure, in extremis, women could be added to the draft for the purpose of fulfilling non-combat roles, which after all is the majority of occupations in the armed services. So most of the opposition would come from the shock of forcing women to submit to something men have always faced as an obligation of citizenship.

However, I'm writing all that mainly to be responsive to Althouse's desire to focus on the question she asked. Now that I have fulfilled that obligation, I want to respond to this sentiment:

A draft presupposes the need to fight a land war that requires hundreds of thousands or millions of soldiers.

Somebody tell me how this is going to be necessary in the future.

We're in hypothetical Never Never Land here.


This is hardly a unique sentiment so I'm not singling out the commenter. But I just don't get this.

So, WTF?

Read some history. Arrangements that seem settled for eternity, aren't.

I never thought I could be forced to buy insurance as a free citizen in the U.S. I never thought a lot of things would happen, but I know better now.

People my age, anyway (57) happened to have lived in a period in which the Continental U.S. has been 100% secure from war. What unique conditions have arrived, for the first time in recorded history, to make that a permanent feature of the universe?

Besides which, as small and "flat" as the world is today, our security need not be threatened only by territorial invasions.

Constantinople was the seat of an empire for what, 1,000 years? Those walls fell too. But everything happens faster now. I doubt we'll have to wait 100 or even 50 years for a mortal threat.

"It Can't Happen Here" makes as much sense as It Can't Happen Now because, you know, last 50 years of our lives = the rest of history.

Colonel Angus said...

Also the women that would most like be the ones against the drafting of women, would be conservative women and libertarian women.

Who knew Code Pink was filled with conservative and libertarian women.

Inga, you seem like a nice lady but sometimes you really do say the dumbest things.

Inga said...

"Read some history. Arrangements that seem settled for eternity, aren't.

"It Can't Happen Here" makes as much sense as It Can't Happen Now because, you know, last 50 years of our lives = the rest of history."

1/24/13, 11:09 AM

Hear, hear! Anyone unwilling to engage in hypotheticals have very closed, unimaginative minds, not the minds of great leaders.

Inga said...

Colonel, I've had some extensive conversations with conservative and libertarian women lately regarding this very issue, think again if you can't see this as a possibility.

Synova said...

"For every combat soldier in the field, there can be anywhere from 2-7 non-combat soldiers and that's just the Army. The Air Force is ridiculously in-the-rear-with-the-gear heavy."

Logically, it can't be necessary to have time in a combat type assignment in order to advance. I think that the discrimination is far more subtle than that (and probably not an issue, much, anymore) and that isn't the job that you do, it's the perception that women aren't "real" soldiers but are playing at it. And the feminists get it wrong because a "real" soldier serves as duty and honor require... which for most of everyone is support. But there is a difference in culture and in inculcating corporate identity if you're a male in a support role or a female in a support role.

It's similar to the difference if you're going through (during peacetime, at least) training as active duty (men) with "weekend warriors" (women). Everyone can be treated the same, but either group approaches the experience with an understanding that either they *are* actually in the military or that they *aren't* at the same level of commitment. And they act like it.

It's a subtle dynamic, and it's got nothing at all to do with what *particular* job a female performs.

It's also likely to have changed greatly, since I was active duty. I would expect it to have changed because female military have been routinely deployed to war zones for the last 12 years.

Scott M said...

I've had some extensive conversations with conservative and libertarian women lately regarding this very issue, think again if you can't see this as a possibility.

Did you know any one who voted for Nixon?

Big Mike said...

Also the women that would most like be the ones against the drafting of women, would be conservative women and libertarian women.

I knew that sooner or later Inga would write something that reflects her biases. Liberal women would be loudest nay-sayers by far. The main difference between them and the conservative women is that they'd say "Not my daughter, she needs to go have a career."

Big Mike said...

Besides which, Inga, liberal women would object to their daughters learning how to handle firearms. Not every liberal is as open-minded as you about her daughter qualifying with a handgun and (gasp!) a true assault rifle.

Marshal said...

Hear, hear! Anyone unwilling to engage in hypotheticals have very closed, unimaginative minds, not the minds of great leaders.

Says the person who claims those believing we don't need a draft are unpatriotic.

Imaginitive? Maybe.
Nuts? Yes.
Incapable of logic? Absolutely.

Colonel Angus said...

Colonel, I've had some extensive conversations with conservative and libertarian women lately regarding this very issue, think again if you can't see this as a possibility.

I think it is a possibility inasmuch as liberal women would be opposed equally if not moreso. Consider that your most fervent anti war protesters are composed of liberals, its a stretch to argue liberal women would be ok with a draft.

Colonel Angus said...

Says the person who claims those believing we don't need a draft are unpatriotic.

A draft by definition is unpatriotic. If the country can't produce enough willing volunteers then you're probably fighting the wrong war.

Inga said...

Were we fighting the wrong war during WW2 when many men were drafted int service?

IronwoodCO said...

I think you are asking the wrong question at this point. It is not whether or not the draft will be reinstituted, but rather whether women will be required to register with the Selective Service System. For young men that is a requirement and they must comply to participate in federal student aid programs. If combat roles are open to women and the law doesn't change, on its face it seems to make a stronger sex discrimination case.

Kirk Parker said...

"With neutrally designed physical tests, no woman will be forced."

True, but meaningless--you can't really think the tests will be allowed to stay neutrally designed when virtually no women can pass?

" If women were drafted, and the question were about putting non-volunteers into combat, I believe this standard would be adjusted so that the daughters of America will have zero risk of being sorted into the cannon fodder pile. "

I can certainly see the forces pushing for this, but what about the opposite reaction from the disparate-impactists? The services are getting away, today with different standards for men vs women, but I just can see them getting away with different standards for draftees vs volunteers.

Trashhauler said...

The hypothetical argument is meaningless. Should we ever need a draft including women, we'll still use discriminators to decide what branch they will be assigned to. It would take nothing more than a station in the physical where the new inductees would be required to perform three chin-ups. It would eliminate 99% of all women for ground combat units. If you don't like that test, choose any of a dozen others you might think of. Alternatively, it's likely they'll just ask the female inductees what they want to do. No reason to ask the males - they aren't women, so aren't eligible for preferred treatment.

Marshal said...

http://outsidethewire.com/blog/war/elite-infantry-as-the-military-gets-smaller-it-needs-to-be-more-elite.html

Here's some interesting commentary on women serving. It'd be interesting to read a more comprehensive analysis, but I suspect women serving aren't particularly eager to discuss the difficulties.

Scott M said...

I think we would listen to anyone who is a master at a highly technical career field as to what will negatively or positively impact their ability to do their job. Doctor, carpenter, or career special ops soldiers.

I have two of the latter in my family. Both career soldiers how spent at least half of their combined 40 years in the Army in spec ops.

Both of them are thoughtful, intelligent men who can think both creatively and abstractly. Neither of them think politicians opening infantry units to women is a good idea for a myriad of reasons that go beyond whether or not the woman in question can do three chin-ups.

The Drill SGT said...

Trashhauler said...
Alternatively, it's likely they'll just ask the female inductees what they want to do. No reason to ask the males - they aren't women, so aren't eligible for preferred treatment.

The assignment stuff is not at the induction station, but rather in day 2 of Basic. just after uniforms and haircuts on day 1 :)

a zillion tests, then a quick interview.

I distinctly remember a question about whether i would enjoy hunting lions in Africa in the test. i was smart, very smart, enough to correlate between hunting lions in Africa and hunting little men in black PJ's (not Glenn)

I answered no :)

I was headed to the Signal School

Still got to hunt little men because they were slow getting my TS clearance :)

McTriumph said...

I believe we should pay slavery reparations to blacks. In the same vein of logic, women should be the only ones serving in combat units for the next 200 years. Social justice, Baby!

Colonel Angus said...

Were we fighting the wrong war during WW2 when many men were drafted int service?

I think a pretty good argument can be made that we didn't have to fight Germany. Like Iraq, they didn't attack us ;-)

My point Inga is that a volunteer army should suffice for our needs. If you have to forcibly conscript, you're probably not going to get motivated individuals, particularly today. In the 1940s, different generation and mindset.

Colonel Angus said...

I'm curious Inga, for someone who has loudly voiced your opposition for our current conflicts as well as future ones, you seem awfully, if you'll pardon the expression, gung ho, to reinstate the draft.

The two positions sure seem to be opposite.

Revenant said...

Does lifting the combat ban for women make it easier or harder to reintroduce the military draft?

It makes it much harder. For one thing, it means the current selective service law is now in open violation of the 14th amendment.

Thus, implementing a draft would requiring getting a new conscription law through Congress, and there's no way in hell that's happening.

Colonel Angus said...

Neither of them think politicians opening infantry units to women is a good idea for a myriad of reasons that go beyond whether or not the woman in question can do three chin-ups.

Aside from a normal man's instinctual nature to protect females, particularly in violent situations, I have to think that alone would jeopardize combat effectiveness.

It's bad enough we see our sons coming home in bodybags, do we really want to include our daughters? Are feminists so determined to shed away every aspect of female identity that they want them to face the prospect of death or dismemberment?

Revenant said...

Were we fighting the wrong war during WW2 when many men were drafted int service?

We were wrong to conscript men to fight in WW2. This doesn't imply we were wrong to fight the war.

Now, you like to conflate "we did it in WW2" with "we HAD to do it to win WW2". I direct your attention to the Japanese-American internment and the naval ban on combat service by black people. "We did it during the war" doesn't imply "we had to do it for the war".

Also, you appear to be ignorant of the fact that the government started drafting people during peacetime, before we entered the war. This alone handily destroys the notion that it was done out of defensive necessity. :)

Inga said...

No Revenant, we discussed this last night, I know that there was a draft BEFORE WW2, so were we a tyranny before WW2?

Trashhauler said...

"Neither of them think politicians opening infantry units to women is a good idea for a myriad of reasons that go beyond whether or not the woman in question can do three chin-ups."
________________

Do the words "irony" or "hyperbole" mean anything to you? Having been in the military (officer and civilian) for 40+ years, I can readily recall the use of more stupid discriminators than chin-ups. In any case, I did say you can pick your own.

Inga said...

No actually I'm not hung ho to reinstate the draft, Colonel. It's a hypothetical that interests me because it brings forth discussion on patriotism, tyranny, equality.

IF ever the need arose for a draft, God forbid, yes I would be in favor, but never guns ho, because that would mean a lot of death and destruction.

Revenant said...

A draft by definition is unpatriotic. If the country can't produce enough willing volunteers then you're probably fighting the wrong war.

A lot of the leftie draft supporters seem to believe that reimplementing a draft would make wars unpopular, and discourage America from fighting in them.

This is because they don't pay attention to history. Nations that use conscription are, and have always been, more inclined to war than those that do not. Once rulers no longer need to worry about recruiting willing soldiers, going to war becomes that much easier.

Revenant said...

No Revenant, we discussed this last night, I know that there was a draft BEFORE WW2, so were we a tyranny before WW2?

Well, Inga, you keep asking the same dumb question and I keep explaining what you're getting wrong. You can go back and read the earlier answers if you like. :)

The Drill SGT said...

Trashhauler said...

Do the words "irony" or "hyperbole" mean anything to you? Having been in the military (officer and civilian) for 40+ years, I can readily recall the use of more stupid discriminators than chin-ups. In any case, I did say you can pick your own.


Never could max the pull ups. My nomination for surrogate combat event went out of style in the early 70's.

150 yard 'man' carry.

pick up a man your size, run for 150 yards, for time.

e.g. one man Casevac....

Colonel Angus said...

No actually I'm not hung ho to reinstate the draft, Colonel. It's a hypothetical that interests me because it brings forth discussion on patriotism, tyranny, equality.

I don't think the draft is necessarily tyranny but I can certainly see how it could lead to it. I don't think opposition to the draft is unpatriotic, on the contrary, in a time of war, the country should have plenty of volunteers among the 300 million populace to serve. If they have to resort to forced conscription, then you have to start questioning the war effort. If the populace doesn't think the cost is worth it, why should they be forced to bear the burden.

WW2 likely didn't need conscription, it certainly didn't if we stayed out of Europe.

Colonel Angus said...

so were we a tyranny before WW2?

FDR certainly had tyrant potential in him ;-)

leslyn said...

"Colonel" Angus said,

Are feminists so determined to shed away every aspect of female identity that they want them to face the prospect of death or dismemberment?

No "Colonel," some women are just patriotic and want to serve their country.

As a matter of fact, you're behind the times (as you avatar shows)--they already have done and do.

In 1779 "Captain Molly" Corbin became the first woman to receive a military pension, for action in combat at Ft. Washington. She is buried at West Point.

Women have served in every American war, plus several "military actions." 400,000 women served in WWII. Finally, in 1948, women were allowed to attain permanent military status.

In 1998, in the first wave of stikes against Irag in Operation Desert Fox, a woman fighter pilot delivered a payload of missiles in combat.

In 2000, the first woman commanded a Navy warship at sea.

Thirteen Silver Stars have been awarded to women. In 2005, SGT Leigh Ann Hester was the first woman to receive the Silver Star for valor in combat.

Revenant said...

FDR certainly had tyrant potential in him

Inga's having trouble distinguishing between "only tyrannies need conscription" and "only tyrannies conscript people".

She's a leftie, though, so difficulty distinguishing between what government does and what we actually NEED government to do kind of goes with the territory. :)

leslyn said...

Marshal said,

"...I suspect women serving aren't particularly eager to discuss the difficulties."

You're right, Marshal. They keep their mouths shut and do the job.

leslyn said...

Kirk Parker said...
"With neutrally designed physical tests, no woman will be forced."

True, but meaningless--you can't really think the tests will be allowed to stay neutrally designed when virtually no women can pass?

CJCS Gen Dempsey has recommended that specialties and units be allowed to apply for an exemption to accepting women in combat roles.

I think that's a mistake. I agree with Rep. Tammy Duckworth: that the military should open up every unit to women and see if they can complete the required training. "If the women can’t meet the standards, they don’t get to graduate from the program.”

You remember Rep. Duckworth: the helo pilot who lost both legs when she and her crew were shot down in Iraq? The only who, when asked if women should serve in combat, refers to her prostheses and says, “Where do you think this happened, a bar fight?”

It seems to me that with the exemption caveat the JCS are protecting that last bit of turf: leadership promotions for women, which they cannot get without combat experience.


Colonel Angus said...

As a matter of fact, you're behind the times (as you avatar shows)

That's fine Leslyn. But from what I heard, the push for combat roles seems more for personal advancement in rank than doing ones 'patriotic duty'

leslyn said...

Strelnikov said...
I realize this is just a talking point here but in the real world there will never be a general draft of either sex because there will never be another land based world war requiring that type of fodder. Modern technology prevents that by guaranteeing total destruction long before that point is reached.

We have been at continuous war for 10 YEARS. The reason we don't have a draft to relieve the multiply deployments of our fighting force, including reservists and National Guard, is because it would not be politically expedient.

Similar to having a tax to actually pay for these wars--so politically inexpedient it might actually cause us to stop fighting.

byzantinehades said...

Great read on life in light infantry.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323539804578260132111473150.html?mod=opinion_newsreel

Heh.

leslyn said...

Colonel Angus said...
As a matter of fact, you're behind the times (as you avatar shows)

That's fine Leslyn. But from what I heard, the push for combat roles seems more for personal advancement in rank than doing ones 'patriotic duty'

Then perhaps you should spend some time around active duty men and women.

Interesting that you're now insulting the patriotism, honor and duty of our deployed women, when you earlier professed a distaste for body bags. Since women are already coming home in body bags, did you feel the need to switch objections?

Colonel Angus said...

Then perhaps you should spend some time around active duty men and women.

I have two brothers that are career Marine Corps

Interesting that you're now insulting the patriotism, honor and duty of our deployed women, when you earlier professed a distaste for body bags. Since women are already coming home in body bags, did you feel the need to switch objections?

Spare me your patronizing. You claimed combat was because of patriotism. To me they displayed that when they enlisted. Is the supply clerk any less patriotic than the infantryman? The support for women in combat is self serving so quit pretending otherwise. I don't want to see any of our troops in bodybags, I just don't see the need to up the ante for women.

Forgive me for giving a shit about your gender although I confess people like you are making it harder to care.

Scott M said...

CJCS Gen Dempsey has recommended that specialties and units be allowed to apply for an exemption to accepting women in combat roles.,

I would suggest Infantry, Field Artillery, Armor, and Air Calvary. I'd let them slide on Air Defense Artillery.

But then we're right back where we started.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Exactly Leslyn. Some of these guys act as if they haven't seen what real women troops are doing in today's military and today's war zone.

BTW Leslyn, my daughter just got back to Camp Pendleton, while she was in Afghanistan she won the Navy Commendation medal and earned the FMF warfare device, so now she is a FMF Corpsman.

Trashhauler said...

"...more for personal advancement in rank...."
______________

It does seem that most of the proponents of women in combat actually want credit for whatever duty they have already performed. And most seem to be officers, who flew aircraft, rode out and back to combat in vehicles, never dug in, never humped up and down hills day after day, and who otherwise were not subjected to the weeks or months-long deployments in forward combat posts without sanitation, privacy, or any period of safety.

Odds are very long that there won't be many female privates volunteering for the nasty work that their female officers can generally avoid.

I give all honor to our women warriors, whatever they do. I'm sure most can kick my 62-year-old butt. But I learned long ago that becoming a casualty takes no particular skill. Being ready to sacrifice their safety says absolutely nothing about how effective they'll be in close killing.

The Drill SGT said...

It seems to me that with the exemption caveat the JCS are protecting that last bit of turf: leadership promotions for women, which they cannot get without combat experience.

God, let's start again.

I'm sorry, if you haven't been there, don't try and conflate "in combat" with "combat arms"

In theory, everybody in the combat zone is in combat more or less. A rocket attack, an IED, a convoy ambush even kills lawyers if they are unlucky and klutzes.

Lots of women have performed well in combat. SGT Hester, the Silver Star MP, being one out there on the end of the curve, but SGT Hester was NOT in a "combat arm". She is an MP, doing a road platrol from a Hummer with AC. reacting to an attack, driving up and dismounting with weapons only a couple of hundred yards from the attackers. She and another SGT flanked the enemy and killed them.

This is imprtant, at most, she was carrying 20 pounds of load for 20 minutes across flat ground. After the action, she, like Tammy and the helo jocks go back to base for three hots, and a cot with AC.


That is NOT the same as carrying 100 pounds for 20 days, up and down 10,000 ft ridges.

This Panetta thing puts women at the extreme end of the spear. It's nasty out there, brutish

Revenant said...

We have been at continuous war for 10 YEARS. The reason we don't have a draft to relieve the multiply deployments of our fighting force, including reservists and National Guard, is because it would not be politically expedient.

The military doesn't want a draft, the public doesn't want a draft, and there is no rational need for a draft. The only people who want a draft are people dumb enough to think that'll end the war.

Political expediency has nothing to do with it.

The Drill SGT said...

It seems to me that with the exemption caveat the JCS are protecting that last bit of turf: leadership promotions for women, which they cannot get without combat experience.

PS: the not getting promoted without 'combat experience' is horse crap. My wife was a Full Colonel lawyer competing for promotion with a bunch of lawyers. She never deployed into a combat zone, much less into a combat arm. Officers compete against others in the same branch. The Army prevents a bunch of excess LTC Infantry types from being promoted with their CIBs and Silver Stars to command Logistics Brigades. Commanders of Logistics Brigades are chosen from the best of the female and male combat support Bn Cdrs. No grunts need apply. except of course the females and minorities get an extra bonus look by the board to meet 'goals'

as usual.

Smilin' Jack said...

If women were drafted, and the question were about putting non-volunteers into combat, I believe this standard would be adjusted so that the daughters of America will have zero risk of being sorted into the cannon fodder pile.

I'm saying the formal nondiscrimination policy helps the politics of it when there is the backup of a filtering physical test.


I'm all for it, since there's zero risk of me being sorted into the cannon fodder pile either. I never met a physical test I couldn't fail if I tried hard enough.

leslyn said...

The DRILL SGT said,

"...don't try and conflate "in combat" with "combat arms"....In theory, everybody in the combat zone is in combat more or less."

Yes. Everyone in a designated "combat zone" is, for instance, entitled to the tax exemption for serving in a combat zone.

Yes, not the same as "combat arms." To perform such service one has to have the training, be in a designated unit, and perform, at least nominally, "in combat." some are not designated "in combat;" some have it thrust upon them. This is what is happening to many women, first in Iraq, now in Afghanistan. We are not in a traditional front line war, and perhaps (many say probably) never will be again.

Without combat arms training and experience, you will not see, for example, a woman promoted to Commandant of the Marine Corps. Or to the JCS, for that matter. That's the "brass ceiling."

Who's to say they're not capable of such leadership? They need the experience, and if they can perform the tasks of a combat arms unit, let them.

There's some nice pictures of USMC Sgt. Savanna Melandoski on patrol in Helmand province at Getty Images, in the Editorial section, if you're interested in what today's combat zone servicewoman looks like.

leslyn said...

Revenant said,

"...there is no rational need for a draft."

There may be if you want to change the culture of unending multiple deployments, combat exhaustion, and resulting problems of reintegrating into home life.

Anyone can experience these problems as the result of a combat zone deployment, but it is a definite problem of multiple deployments.

The spirit indeed is williing, but the flesh is...just human.

The Drill SGT said...

i found no images at getty for Savanna Melandoski


leslyn said...
Without combat arms training and experience, you will not see, for example, a woman promoted to Commandant of the Marine Corps. Or to the JCS, for that matter. That's the "brass ceiling."


I am pleased to see that you agree this is all about ticket punching for careerist female officers, not for making the army more effective :)

Trashhauler said...

"We are not in a traditional front line war, and perhaps (many say probably) never will be again."
______________

Those who say that are ignoring the very traditional fighting being done by the infantry far from the FOBs. Places like Combat Outposts Keating, Lowell, Restrepo, and countless others. The kind of combat in and around such places is so traditional that, except for airpower, the fighting would be recognisable to the British redcoats who were doing the same thing about 160 years ago.

Colonel Angus said...

That's exactly what I said Drill Sgt. and was castigated for questioning their patriotism.

Mary said...

If we ever get hypothetically invade, will there be an all-women guerrilla defense unit? I'm down with that.

(maybe we could all go our own ways, and just check in every few months or so to report on how we're doing...

You can even pay me later, after we win and help eject the enemy from American soil.)

Mary said...

"I got a dog, eats purple flowers...
Aint' got much, but we what we gots ours
We dig snow and rain, even sometimes muck...
Humping the ruck (humping the ruck)..."


This one goes out to you, allen s.

Mary said...

If we ever get hypothetically invadeD, rather...

Mary said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Revenant said...

There may be if you want to change the culture of unending multiple deployments, combat exhaustion, and resulting problems of reintegrating into home life.

There's already a solution for that problem: not re-enlisting. Taking the money you would have spent drafting people and using it to hire a smaller number of full-time volunteers would also work.

Revenant said...

Without combat arms training and experience, you will not see, for example, a woman promoted to Commandant of the Marine Corps

So what?

leslyn said...

I am pleased to see that you agree this is all about ticket punching for careerist female officers, not for making the army more effective :)

Obviously I don't; but I don't see why they should be denied the opportunity.

Synova said...

"There may be [reason for a draft] if you want to change the culture of unending multiple deployments, combat exhaustion, and resulting problems of reintegrating into home life."

New recruit or conscriptee... makes no difference. That new warm body can't replace someone with years of experience.

If the problem could be solved by adding people, new recruits could solve it without a draft.

Gene said...

Dear Ann

Congress and the current administration will never allow the Defense Department to actually use gender neutral physical tests for combat. It would weed out too many women, resulting in too many lawsuits and the courts would void the policy in the name of equality of outcome.

I say this because a similar situation arose a couple of decades ago when the San Francisco Fire Department tried to use gender neutral tests for hiring firefighters. Many women couldn't haul the heavy canvas fire hoses up stairs in the required time or handle the department's 35-foot wooden ladders. As a result, the courts ordered the SFFD to adopt lower standards for women and, consequently, a friend of mine suffered a permanent back injury when a 105 pound Asian woman let the ladder fall on him.

Equality of outcome is the name of the game in today's federal courts. They've done it with race and they are about to do it with gender.






MarkD said...

One can argue the standards will be kept. Have you learned nothing from a lifetime of affirmative action? The thumb will be placed on the scale to ensure equality of outcome.

There's my reality based hypothetical.

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