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Women On The Front Lines

We’ll look at the Pentagon’s announcement that American women will move closer to combat roles on the front lines of war.

In this Aug. 10, 2009 photo, U.S. Marine Female Engagement Team members Lance Cpl. Mary Shloss, right, of Hammond, Ind., Sgt. Monica Perez,, center, of San Diego, Calif. and Cpl. Kelsey Rossetti, of Derry, N.H. wait for the signal to begin their patrol with Golf Company, 2nd Batallion, 3rd Regiment of the 2nd MEB, 2nd MEF in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. The team's mission is to engage local Afghan women to find out and address their concerns. On Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, Pentagon rules will catch up a bit with reality, recommending to Congress that women be formally allowed to serve in more jobs closer to the front lines. (AP)

In this Aug. 10, 2009 photo, a U.S. Marine Female Engagement Team wait for the signal to begin their patrol in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. On Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012, Pentagon rules will catch up a bit with reality, recommending to Congress that women be formally allowed to serve in more jobs closer to the front lines. (AP)

American women in the U.S. military are formally barred from being assigned to direct combat roles.  But in Iraq and Afghanistan, that line has become kind of a joke.  Women now make up fifteen percent of the U.S. military.  They are all over in wars without clear front lines.  When your transport column is under fire, you’re in combat.  When you’re on foot, in uniform and armed in Khandahar, you’re in combat country.

Now the rules are changing, slightly.  Should they change a lot?  Or not?

This hour, On Point:  women and combat in the US military.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Eric Schmitt, a senior writer who covers national security for the New York Times.

Andrew Tilghman, senior writer, Military Times.

Margaret Harrell, senior fellow and the Director of the Joining Forces Initiative at the Center for a New American Security.

Kayla Williams, served in an Army interpreter in Iraq from 2003 to 2004, author of Love My Rifle More than You: Young and Female in the U.S. Army. She is now a project associate with the RAND Corporation.

Robert Maginnis, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, he is a senior fellow for national security at the Family Research Council.

Highlights

“I took part in the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003 and went out on foot patrols with the infantry in Baghdad. I had no plates in my flack vest because they assumed that since I was a female, I wouldn’t need them,” said Kayla Williams, who served in an Army interpreter in Iraq from 2003 to 2004. “During combat operations, my gender was never an issue.”

As the military shrinks in size, commanders will need even more flexibility to move different soldiers to different jobs, relaxing the restrictions on women can do just that, said Margaret Harrell, senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. She said that none of the commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan report problems from having female soldiers on the field of battle.

Others are critical of the decision to allow women into combat. “I don’t think that we should dismiss the fact that young people bring their libidos with them into the battlefield and that becomes a factor that we have to seriously consider, said Robert Maginnis, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and a senior fellow for national security at the Family Research Council. He said that the presence of both sexes on the battlefield can lead to sex, pregnancy, and morale issues with military units.

While women in combat may be point of debate outside the military, inside things look different. “This isn’t a huge issue inside the military at this point,” said Andrew Tilghman, senior writer at the Military Times. He said that the changes would have the most impact on the Army, which has tried to maintain a ban on women in combat. But in others services, it will not mean that much change. The Marines, for instance, long ago included women in their frontline units.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times “The Army, it is said, ain’t what it used to be — and it never was. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the policies governing women in combat, whose role has increased as steadily as the military and the very nature of war have changed. ”

Christian Science Monitor “The Pentagon Thursday cracked open the door for women to serve in combat, though they will still not be permitted to fight in battle – at least officially.”

National Journal “Female troops have been informally serving alongside combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan for years, and roughly 150 have been killed to date in the two war zones. The changes announced on Thursday will still bar them from serving in infantry units or elite forces like the Navy SEALs. But they will open up more than 14,000 other positions to women, making it easier for large numbers of women to serve as frontline medics, helicopter pilots, and intelligence analysts.”

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  • Roy Mac

    I hope this isn’t going to be some kind of F v. M debate.  Both are capable of violence, which is the primary ingredient of combat.

    • Worried for the country(MA)

      Yeah, look at Lorena Bobbett.

  • U.S. Vet.

    I’m 100% in favor of equal opportunity.

    If women want to join the military and make the ultimate sacrifice for the United States of Halliburton, then more power to them.

    • Zing

      Just say….” Bleat #1 ”

      • Yar

        Zing, your multiple personalities are showing through.  Isn’t bleat one a Moda ism?
        Or is that still here? 

        • Modavations

          Listen dude.I never intentiionally lie.I never use a phantom

          • Yar

            Did I accuse you of lies? Zing is Still Here. It says so when you look at the  profile. Me thinks you protest too much.  Register and claim your comments.  There is truth in transparency.  Enjoy the day.

          • Modavations

            You accused me of being Zing.This is typical Leftist intimidation.Listen,to the left…I’m a socialist,no Communist,no Democrat,no Liberal,no Unionist,no Progressive,no,no,no
            You’re existence is in the shadows,because you know the majority of the world has turned their backs.

          • Yar

            I am only pointing out that you have used the word bleat over thirty times in the last month. If it quacks like a duck?  How have I used intimidation?  I don’t understand what you mean that the majority has turned their backs.

          • Modavations

            Look at what we’re talking about. TTT is a freak.Zing was in agreement with my idea of giving his diataribes a #,so we don’t have to listen to the endless,repetition.Do you like a nut case screaming the same thing over thirty times in one day,without making a point.

          • Yar

            You all may actually know each other, I only know what I see on the blog, why pick on TTT. There are many who have ideologically driven postings. My question is: has our country quit listening to each other, other than use a person’s own their words against their opponent. I don’t think the country will survive as a divided nation. My goals in posting is to exercise my brain, and to communicate my concerns that I think our path leans toward civil war. I am happy to engage in dialog, however it often denigrates into name calling, and I don’t take pleasure in being on either side of that.
            Thanks
            I still wish you would take the time to register with Disqus, You probably have more likes than me and would push me off the most liked list. Maybe it is worth it to you just to do that.

          • Modavations

            Answer above

          • Modavations

            You lad,are anoffender in my opinion

          • Modavations

            He’s a stalker.Read him on Friday alone.Endless repitition(over thirty posts)about Pervert Priests,Child Pedophiles,Homo depredations.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Moda transfers his faults to others?
               Don’t let it bother you, please?

          • Modavations

            You wanted war,you got war

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Shades of General Smedley Butler, U.S.Marines!  Corporate warfare, by U.S. millitary?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘War is a Racket’, by General Butler, may open the eyes of some that can read?

    • Modavations

      The contractor was a subsidiary of Halibuton,KBR.Kellogg,Brown and Root is owned by the heirs of Lady Byrd Johnson

  • Nancy

    Listen to Rick Sanatorium:

    “Women will get men killed in combat because men will be distracted due to worrying about the women.”

    Anachronistic religious FREAK!
     

    The American Taliban is resurgent!

  • Yar

    SEAL Team 7, an all women group?  I wouldn’t want to be hunted by a group of highly trained women.  By all means, keep that secret.  Isn’t time to require all women to register for selective service?  I am for two years of public service by all citizens. Registering is the first step.

  • Brett

    It is a mark of valor for men to protect other men in their own platoon. We give medals of bravery and sacrifice over incidents where male soldiers and marines put themselves in harm’s way intentionally–sometimes even endangering the whole squadron–to save the life of one of their own. 

    If a male in the military puts himself in harms way to protect a female fighting along side of him, is that so different than the aforementioned? Is it different enough to make it an arguable neocon talking point?

    • Jake

      ‘Leave no man (or woman) behind’

  • Brett

    Between all of the gay male soldiers playing with boa feathers in the foxhole and all of the straight male soldiers stopping to lay down their cloaks for the female soldiers every time a mud puddle is approached, there won’t be any soldiering going on at all!!! When we go to sleep by the light of a Muslim moon then we’ll be sorry!!! 

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The Three Musketeers, and Sir Walter Raleigh, had decent fighting reputations, didn’t they?

      • Brett

        Um………The Three Musketeers are fictitious….

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I wondered how long this one would last? 
              I know the ‘gentleman warrior’ has been portrayed much in our history.   Courtesy and Chivalry do NOT mark cowardice, or inability to fight?

          • Brett

            Frankly…what the hell are you talking about? If you are saying that men can be chivalrous toward women AND be good fighters, okay, but, my original comment was a joke; I was being sarcastic, meaning I meant the opposite of what I was saying…never mind 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Actually, it was an attempt at levity.  Sorry it failed with you.

          • Modavations

            What a hoot.This is the guy I invented the concept of J for.

        • Modavations

          He thought Indiana Jones was real.Welcome to Terry world

          • Terry Tree Tree

            YOU said that you taught Indiana Jones all about archaeology!
              I pointed out that, you would have to be over a hundred years old, to do so!

          • Modavations

            He said to me,if you taught Indy archeology,you’d be 100 years old.I said Terry,Indy is a fictional character

    • Isaac

      Stephen Colbert, is that you?

  • SteveV

    Being a Vet, my primary concern is ability to perform. As long as someone has
    the physical and mental ability more power to them. And that goes for civilian
    life, such a police departments. And it also means not lowering standards
    to accommodate “quotas”.

  • Gregg

    I don’t like it. I wonder if standards will be lowered of if different strength and conditioning standards will be set for men and women? Either weakens us. I’m sure there are women who could out do any male at anything but men and women are not equal. It’s not a matter of one being better or worse. We are different, that’s all and Thank God! We depend on each other to be whole. Let the men fight the wars.

    • margbi

      I’m sorry this has been male vs. female arguments, but I’d like to ask the obvious: haven’t women been at the front lines (or close enough so that there’s no difference) as nurses and doctors? And this says nothing about the civilians who happen to be women and find that they’re the front line when the shooting starts. A better idea is is stopping senseless wars where lots of people (men and women) are killed or wounded.

      • Gregg

        I agree it’s a shame to reduce it to a male/female argument. I do think there is a difference when it comes to front line combat. I also believe women have served honorably and capably over the course of history. I’m sure in many aspects women are more suited than men. Also, it’s all volunteer so were not talking about forcing anyone into anything… I guess.

        Wars will have to be fought as long as evil exist.

        “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing: All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” -Edmund Burke

        • Robert Riversong

          Actually Edmund Burke never wrote that, so we can’t know the context. But your simplistic statement about “as long as evil exists” ignores the very thorny issue of what constitutes “evil” or whether we create “evil” by the evilness of our own actions – including the making of war on largely civilian populations, or fighting an endless war against “terrorism” which is often a response to previous policy insults and injuries.

          War is an invention of “civilization” and its greatest curse. That we should be so complacent about its alleged necessity speaks volumes about how degenerate we are as a culture.

          • Gregg

            Whoever said it was right. Evil is not a continuum of perspective.

    • Jim B.

      Better yet. Let the cowardly men that start the wars fight them.
      This abomination of a path that we are on is unsustainable for the future of humanity.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        THIS is the BEST idea!

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Women that want combat roles, or anything close, should meet standards ABOVE the minimums for men in combat roles! 
       The problems of rapes, hygiene, and other forseeable situations, NEED to be corrected BEFORE such deployment!
       Just wanting a combat badge for promotion, etc…, is NOT a good enough reason for women in combat situations.
       ALL the risks, and the benefits need to be made plain to each woman wanting combat, or close to combat assignments, and the woman would have to sign off that she understands and accepts those risks.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Haven’t you told us that you work in a job that has been seen as belonging to men?  Is your comment based on your opposition to women in combat or to combat in general?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Greg, my electrical union encourages women to join, go through the apprenticeship, and become Journeyman Wireman (I didn’t create the title, it’s over a hundred years old!) 
           I, personally, have and do encourage women to these positions.  Most of the women that I have worked with, would tell you this.
           I have been FOR EOE, since the 70′s.
           If you can do the job, you can do the job, and get the same pay, regardless of gender, race, color, or other factors!
           Yes, the construction trades ARE predominantly men.  Non-union is FAR less acceptable of women!

        • Modavations

          Unions killed Eastern Airlines,American Airlines,GM,the Post Office…..They are 40% republican(AFL-CIO) and Trumpka donates the vast majority of funds to Dems.Note my chart from a few days ago.The Teachers Unions give no donations to Republicans.I never buy American because the Pinky Ring guys are beholden to the Democrats who turn around and cut my throat

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Your chart that proves your own statement about union political contributions WRONG?
               Thanks again!

          • Modavations

            Unions are a giant money washing operation for the Dems.They shake down their members(45% OF afl-cio IS Rep.),and donate almost exclusively to the Dems(Teachers Union gave 0% to Reps).The Dems. in turn bestow more benefits on the thugs.I never buy union goods.

          • Modavations

            Wrong!!!!According to who…Move On,Hugo Chavez,Fidel Castro

    • Brett

      YOUR chauvinistic apron IS showing!

      • Terry Tree Tree

        How so?

        • Brett

          “Just wanting a combat badge for promotion, etc…, is NOT a good enough reason for women in combat situations.” 

          This makes it sound as though women have difficulty making serious decisions; it makes them sound superficial, kind of like they are only in it for the fashion statement or something.

          “ALL the risks, and the benefits need to be made plain to each woman wanting combat, or close to combat assignments, and the woman would have to sign off that she understands and accepts those risks.”

          This is very patronizing, no? Maybe, when a woman expresses interest in serving on the front lines we men should pat her on the head and say, “now, I want you to really think about the commitment of what you want.” 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Sorry you read it that way..

          • Brett

            Well, what did you mean, Triple T?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Many men find out that the millitary is NOT what they thought it would be.  The seemingly endless tedium of everyday life, doesn’t get translated well, in movies, books, etc…  It is a TOTALLY different life, from most civillian life.
               Combat situations, I’ve been told, is a FAR different life, even than most millitary life.
               I’m not trying to be patronizing, just want women to get as much information about it as possible, before volunteering for combat assignments.
              I respect the ability of women to do as much as they can, just as I do men.

          • Brett

            Thanks for replying, Triple T. PEOPLE should be well informed anytime they make such decisions. I’ve known people who went into the military to pay for education, to get benefits, etc., and when they were asked to go to war they behaved as if that was NOT what they signed up for. Wouldn’t your view on this be gender neutral? 

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Yes, I’m gender-neutral about it, the subject was about women to combat, so I addressed it that way.

      • Modavations

        Careful with the apron stuff Bro,he’s very touchy about his sexual identity

  • Hidan

    I remember back in boot camp we were told by our First Sgt that one of the reasons explain for disallowing women on the front line is bad P.R. if something wrong happens. We were told it far easier to explain to the country/family that a young man died on the battlefield and how much harder to explain the same for a women.  As well in the elite units many women could not meet the standards without lowering them to pass.

    Given the above I know women who were on the front line in Iraq due to there jobs and the way war is now fought. And if women are skilled enough to make it to those units or wish to fight in the front line why not?
     
    The reasoning Rick the frothy mix Santorum gave is hardly right. But than again when has he ever been right?

    • margbi

      Oh, he’s right, all right. Far, far, far right

  • Anonymous

    Don’t we have female spies? If we post females in cloak-and-dagger roles, it seems the front lines are merely warfare of a different color.

    • Robert Riversong

      Women were sometimes recruited as spies because of their sexuality – because they could turn the head of a man in power. But in the military we want to pretend that their sexuality does not exist.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Some women were recruited as spies, because of their great talent for spying, same as men!  Some because that was the only way they were allowed to ‘fight’ for what they believed in!

        • Modavations

          Terry speaks authoritatively about women

  • Patrik

    I don’t see why women shouldn’t serve on the front.  People, man or woman, who desire and are qualified for the front lines should be on the front lines.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Women have been in combat as long as combat has existed.  It’s time that we give them the means to defend themselves and fight for their countries.

  • Brian

    Does the government still require only men to register for selective service at the age of 18? Has this been challenged in the light of women’s increasing role in the military?

    • http://twitter.com/mjhall Matthew

       per the gov’t site here – http://www.sss.gov/default.htm – men still have to register.

      • Robert Riversong

        And this points out the underlying sexism – against men – that still persists in our culture. Women can choose to fight, but only men can be forced into battle.

        No one should be forced to do anything against their will, and moreso against their conscience, in a truly freedom-based society. To be forced to work against one’s will is the definition of slavery.

  • Yar

    Bring up how past policies have created a block to advancement of women in the military to positions of leadership.

    • Yar

      Tom, I like “a brass ceiling”.
      Good job.

  • JAMESDTHOMPSON

    What about the attitude displayed and opined by GOP Presidential frontrunner Rick Santorum that said women would bring too many “emotional issues and concerns” to the front lines?  Kind of odd that these views are still held, and openly expressed, this day and age.

    • Anonymous

      How many young women would be mothers given Santorum’s views on birth control.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Some quotes from Santorum, indicate he has too many “emotional issues and concerns”, to be taken seriously?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    Women should be able to serve anywhere they are qualified. Period. If anyone feels they can’t work alongside/over/under women, they are the ones not qualified and should step out.

  • AC

    i’m ok with women in combat. i do wonder how they handle pregnancy. i don’t think they should leave their team in a lurch, so they should willingly hold off becoming pregnant while on active duty.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Thank you, Lady!  Unfortunately, there are women that deliberately become pregnant, to get out of the duty that they took an oath to do.
         Some guys find other means.

  • Yar

    “Young men bring their libidos with them”
    Old men send young men off to die to improve their chances back home.
    Read the story of King David!

  • Bill

    I served in the Navy when women were not on most ships. They could serve on tenders but that was about it. Twenty-five years later women were on all ships and the majority were not very happy about it. Why? kids, family, long deployments, etc..etc..etc…I saw many women get out after they got married because they could not face the challenge of 9 month deployments and 4 year sea tours. This might seem like a good idea, but in reality it is not a good idea.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Navy was rough on family life, for this male sailor, too!  I got out, as soon as I could, because the Navy then, was NOT good for family life, in many ways!
         If their mother had left while I was still in the Navy, I would NOT have been able to raise my children, and stay in the Navy!

      • Modavations

        I see you now make a point of telling all,that you are male.Last week another poster needed to be corrected.He too thought you a hysterical female

        • Zing

          I’ve always thought so…

  • Jakehadden

    I do serious rock climbing and have seen women carry heavy equipment well beyond what many men can carry.  If you are worried about capabilities, set the qualifications and let them apply to men and women equally.  I would rather have my life in the hands of a capable woman than many men that I have met. 

  • Becca

    The argument that women will distract men at the front lines, or that they won’t be able to control their libidos, is just another branch of the argument that kept gay men and lesbians out of the military, and justified segregation in an earlier age. How far does that go? 

    • Brett

      Apparently, it still goes pretty far

      • Modavations

        Brother B,did you ever see Starship Troopers.The integrated ranks looked AOK to me

    • Winterkill

      Why do women get blamed because too many men can’t think with their brain?  It’s been this way for centuries, with women being treated as temptresses, untrustworthy, weak, of requiring protective guidance…

      There are a lot of our servicewomen being sexually assaulted, which speaks more to the repugnant attitudes of those males servicemen and leadership of the armed forces.  Why should our service women have to keep a weapon (frequently a knife) for use against untoward advancement by a fellow soldier?   

  • Merlin De Harper

    Had a female rider who told me of her experience in Afghanistan where she just missed being killed by a youth, suicide bomber and how she learned to kill ruthlessly. Women in service are not the Barbie-doll, trophy girlfriends and trophy-wives,  of whom we have been culturally trained to think.

  • AndyF

    Its amazing how neanderthalic some of your guests are this morning fretting over women in the infantry.  Might I suggest just a bit of study of history!!!

    The former Soviet Union, during WW2 had plenty of women actively fighting right along side the men.  In fact, the famous raising of the Soviet flag above the Reichstag in Berlin was done by a WOMAN not a man.

    And this discussion of “sexual tension” is absurd.  Anyone who has seen combat knows, you are NOT thinking about anything sexual when bullets and bombs are raining down around you – you think about living!

    What a stupid subject, managed by stupid people, all who clearly watch too much of “Jersey Shore” and think they are coming up against something new – they are NOT!!!  But then…

    “Those who forget history are DOOMED to repeat it” – this should be the American slogan because we sure are experts at that!

    • Modavations

      All stock brokers put in print,past performance is no indication of future results.They know history often does not repeat

    • Chad

      Mikhail Minin is not a woman…..

  • JAMESDTHOMPSON

    Tom,

    Come Rick Santorum.  He had to come back and clarify his remarks when he realized he had stepped in it. If he meant men’s emotional issues he would have said that in the first place.  No one ever uses “emotional issues” terminology when talking about men.  It is clear that what Santorum believes and was talking about is that women are too unstable, emotionally weak and that” monthly” issue that affects women.  These beliefs are so 11th century.

    Jim in Fort Mill,SC

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

     Set one standard, based on the actual requirements of combat, and let anyone who can meet that standard take the job.  Equal rights means equal responsibilities.

  • guest

    the bottom line is competency and passing the mental and physical tests. both men and women should be allowed to fight if they can pass the tests. 
    resistance to allowing blacks to fight was huge, with the thought that blacks were not as smart or strong, or that hatred between blacks and whites would destroy the armed forces. resistance to allowing gay men to fight was also huge, and gay men were discharged when found out. resistance to allowing women to fight is also as stupid and discriminatory. 
    Make the armed forces full of the most capable people, men and women, straight and gay. 

  • Yar

    The fear is not that women will be forced by a draft.  The fear is that the population will not stand for a war that drafts women.

    • Anonymous

      Well, good then, because not standing for any war: that would be refreshing…here’s a thought: Women should be utilized for diplomatic resolutions of pre-war talks and pre-combat negotiations: it’s a more evolved way of being unique to many women and some men…something women are “stronger” in, than men, “pound for pound”.

  • Anonymous

    I’m a feminist but I don’t see women on the battlefield. 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Why?  Your eyes are closed?

      • Anonymous

         No Greg, I just disagree with you after knowing a friend who died there.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           Men die on the battlefield all the time.  What’s the difference?

        • Modavations

          How bout when Pres.Kennedy watched while this poor girl gave his pal a Lewinsky.Not a peep from the Liberated Women of NPR.Not a peep from NOW.Not a peep from the the League of Women Voters.
              Here’s what me and the boys want to know.How did Pres.Kennedy rate the girls technique?

          • Anonymous

            This person is crude… can I block him?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Don’t look, Ethel!

    • Modavations

      What did you think of Kennedy not even kissing the lady.I never heard a peep from you,or NOW,or any of the other usual suspects.Dems.use the Women’s Movement only when politicallly expedient

      • Terry Tree Tree

        JFK died 49 years ago?  Outrage at him?

        • Modavations

          It figures the only woman who seems to want to comment is TerryTT.Are you a member of NOW

  • Guest

    Women have been police officers in the ‘war zones’ inside the US, fighting physical battles, firing weapons, and designing, implementing, and performing in strategic battles to catch or kill criminals. 

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Including the woman who took down Nidal Hassan in the Fort Hood shooting.

    • Edward

       The last thing we need is a more-militarized police force, or to continue conflating policing with “war”.  The cops /are/ citizens.  They shouldn’t be at war /against/ citizens.

  • Winterkill

    Some years ago the Army did a study that showed that only the top 10% of
    the women had the strength equal to or more than the bottom 10% of men.
    That’s a physiological fact, like men have more muscle mass, put on
    muscle faster, tend to be larger in general. 

    Having had friends in combat with women, and women friends that were in
    the service, I’ve heard the same stories about men and women that can’t
    literally carry their load.  It’s one thing for a person to lug around
    100# of gear, but quite another to carry that AND have to drag a wounded
    comrade, or another bag of specialized gear. 

    They had this argument about women jet pilots years ago, with male
    pilots talking about how women won’t have the strength to pull high-G
    maneuvers and so on.  It all proved false.

    Women should be allowed in combat, but standards should be the same across the board.  

    • Jim

      What is your source on that study and who ran it?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Aren’t soldiers wired (by training) to protect each other?

    • Stierman1

       Yes all solders are wired to protect eachother … Not to worry about Rick Santorum’s comments which are as usual just a  bit out there … Like allowing states to ban birth control. Alo Rick never served in combat. He’s an outlyer on the bell curve that’s for sure.

  • Anonymous

    What about the very real and sickeningly common sexual assault on female soldiers? And the chain of command that condones this criminal behavior?That needs to be fixed or there would be even more assaults on females in combat, too, regardless of the dangerous situation.

    • mb

      This point is a good one to raise–in light of Santorum’s comment about men being “hard-wired to protect females.” Hardly sounds like protection or concern for women.

  • Anonymous

    Service men are assigned duties based on capacities and expertise.  Why would we put up a wall, in this day and age, that prevents women from being held to the same standard?

  • Scott B, Jamestown

    I have a bigger problem when I hear about parents that are both  actively serving in a combat zone.  I think that if one parent is serving, the other should be out of harm’s way. 

  • Robert Riversong

    There is a larger question which is never addressed: Why is the highest aspiration of (some) women an equal “right” to kill?

    There is no question that the biological evolution of females has been toward childbearing and nurturing, though we can no longer afford as a society to limit women to this role, since we can’t afford continued population growth. And there is no reason that there should be barriers for women to any role in the domestic economy which they choose.

    But why is the “front line” of women’s liberation today an equal “right” to be on the front lines of the world’s greatest killing machine?

    • Sy2502

      The equal right is about allowing a woman to choose her path without precluding it in principle based on some bigoted and outdated principles. 

      • Terry Tree Tree

        Well said!

        • Zing

          Bleat #4 in other words

  • Modavations

    10% of females on submarines are pregnant and unwed.Just exprapolate.

    • Sy2502

      Where do you get your statistics from?

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ‘Chemicals’ that Moda has bragged about using?

        • Modavations

          This is a typical stalk.Wait till the cocktails take effect.Ask Terry what the Mercury,Lead,etc,. was about.He knows the point I was making and that;’s why he’s just a psycho stalker.An Ultrax wanna be

  • Modavations

    TTT,look at you lad.Half a shift and no breaks with reality.I appreciate it and the rest probably do too.

  • Robert Riversong

    Isn’t it odd, though, that courtesy and chivalry would even allow one the opportunity to fight?

  • Dee

    Time to take on the outlaws in the Pentagon and their coherts in Congress and the Whitehouse…

    Once again , ” the moral midgets” (a term used by Bruce Fein a professor of law -formerly of Harvard Law, see URL  ) at Pentagon, Congress & The Whitehouse Pushes for a Freer hand in Special Operations. Shame , shame on their continued lawless and violations in theConstitution they pledge to uphold and violations in other statessovereign rights & international human rights and due process.It’s time to take to the streets and airwaves and voice public outrage by the “moral midgets” in the  Pentagon, Congress & Whitehouse who have misled us into an unnecessary war in Iraq and the expansion of that war into Afghanistan and the propping up of tyrants across the Middle East & Latin American.Thank God the people of Latin American have overthrown their tyrants and now embrace democracy. (see the URL below.) Yet this has yet to occur in the Middle East but it must come from the people themselves –not American officials claiming to bringing ‘democracy” to their country or indeed by US special forces stiring up an insurgency with their partners in crime in the Zionist regime in Israel –which is what I feel is occurringtoday in Syria. (I can’t see how anyone could miss this from a reading of the The Israeli Lobby by J. Mearsheim & S. Walt. Of course, I should point out while the Assad Regime is wrong in opening fire and killing protesters looking for democractic reform–Still, I feel the Israelis and CIA are already upping the ante there too. (shame on those countries who have gone along with the repeated call for upping the sanctions in Syria.It continues to be the wrong message and it is costing Syrianlives daily….Dee Listen to Bruce Fein and Ralph Nader recently at Harvard Lawhttp://www.law.harvard.edu/news/2012/02/10_nader-fein-americas-lawless-empire.htmlThe Consolidation of Power (Ralph Nader is right it is connectedhttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/17/opinion/17douthat.htmlThe Big Lie why American Forces are in Afhanistan, NYThttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/opinion/20collier.htmlThe Israeli Lobby Mearsheim & Walt, (Syria was told it is “next” http://www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobbyIgnoring History, and blaming Iran http://www.zcommunications.org/accusing-iran-ignoring-history-by-ted-snider

  • Dee

    RE: Addm: Time to take on the outlaws in the Pentagon/Wash…

    The House Abuse of Patriotism , NYT
    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/31/opinion/31mon1.html
     Professor Bruce fein and Ralph Nader at Harvard Law School 
    http://www.law.harvard.edu/news/2012/02/10_nader-fein-americas-lawless-empire.html

    Latin America’s rising support (embrace0 of democracy-despite
    the propping up of American puppets & opposing democracy by
    CIA…..
    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2008/1119/p01s02-woam.html

    History shows Pacificists aren’t dreamers, Colman Mc Carthy  
    http://natcath.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2003c/070403/070403r.htm 

  • Dee

    Re: Time to take on the outlaws in Pentagon& Washington

    (As Ralph Nader said it all relates back to corporate power )The Great Consolidation of Power , Ross Douthat, NYT http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/17/opinion/17douthat.html

  • Dee

    Signing up to join the army is a rather sick idea to begin with .

    Why should anyone be signing up to kill other people in the name of their country? Isn’t that rather a sick idea idea in
    this day and age- Other people have sovereign & human 
    rights too. It seems to me 20th century nationalism needs 
    to out the window…today. That’s the real solution there 
    between the sexes…..Dee

    • Modavations

      Three quarters of the world worship the Warrior King.

  • Adam

    The Israeli Defense Forces also conscript women, who obviously perform very well in combat roles. I don’t think women hindered Israel’s winning the 1967 war and other conflicts over the years.

  • Modavations

    Speaking of war,I just saw Athens.There are 45 bldgs.burned,90 damaged and 9 historical blds.trashed.There ,my friends ,are the Unions at work.Our indeigenous Brown Shirts in Madison and Oakland are probably envious.

    • Anonymous

      Actually it’s the result of austerity measures from a country that has been taken over by the banks. The interim PM was VP of the European Central Bank. Bought and paid for. And yes, sadly, if the masters of war and money in this country remain unaccountable, the same will probably happen here.  

      • Modavations

        Social Workers of the world unite.Even Finland voted the Left out by two to one(last week).The Left ruled for 50 yrs.All of Europe sans Greece is liberated.Only the U.S.Coasts remain under occupation.

        • Anonymous

          In one breath you call Europe liberated from socialism. In the next you decry the college education they afford to themselves as socialism and their healthcare plans as close to Marxism. Be sure of this. Finland will not destroy their education system. Even the right of Europe will not try to push for an end of their socialistic healthcare system in favor of the Murdoch free market principle you seem to adhere to. 

          • Modavations

            Vive la revolution.Even Spain has said a Pox on Your House.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C2STBLZJK4VKQBV27DVQX3I6CU FAX68

    If they want Equal rights let them fight. Fighting beside men during war is the freedom of choice for women.

  • Anonymous

    This guy from the Family Research Council is just mad because they lost the gays in military argument…..so now they have to take it out on women.

    • Anonymous

      well, they do say that homophobia is just misogyny in a different hat.

  • Jpacker808w

    I feel like there’s a little of the “Emperors New Clothes” going on here.  Of course, ultimately, it’s about future conscription of women! And, politicians who will be forced to vote on the issue will take a beating from groups like Mr. Maginis’ who will never accept that level of equality for women.  Support women in the military and your campaign money will be under attack.  Never mind the merits of the issue.

  • Anonymous

    I’m hearing two things: an assumption that it’s ok to force a male into battle, but not a female; and two, men who say they don’t want women to be forced into battle may actually be protecting the myth that only men can really be warriors.  Their egos are being protected – not women.

  • Sy2502

    All I heard against women in combat were truly offensive, sexist statements. 
    - Women are weak! No matter that there are women who are as strong as men (I can lift and drag twice my body weight, for example).
    - Women could be in places with no showers! Really, what’s next, women could be in places without pedicure parlors? Offensive to the extreme.
    - Men would die to defend the women! I thought all soldiers were supposed to die to defend their fellow soldiers. As they said in the program, I guess that’s considered heroic only when the fellow soldiers are men.

    As said in the program, it boils down to men panicking about losing power. They have no interest in competing with women on a fair level, no, they just have to prevent the women from competing at all. I guess deep down they actually know they may lose in a fair fight.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Entrenched attitudes have been changed before!  Keep changing them, for the right reasons!

      • Zing

        Just say….”Bleat # 4″

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Zing’s usual level of intelligent comment?

        • Modavations

          This wouldn’t apply.Bleats are used for his multidunous screeches,ie
          Bleat # 1-Bush did it
          Bleat # 2-The Pervert Homo Priests did it
          Bleat  # 3-The Greeeeeedy Rich did it.
          On Friday alone, he posted more then 30 Pervert priest riffs.

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

      Yes indeed. You have to keep fighting. DADT was just ended and the world did not end. Yet the dirty bigoted Republicans want to turn the clock back.

      • Modavations

        Hang em.No need for a trial.Have you got rabies?

        • Terry Tree Tree

          Violence?  AGAIN?

  • Moog

    I’m disappointed that On Point, and public radio in general, continues to legitimize the Family Research Council by giving them a platform to spread their bigoted ideas. There’s a reason the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled them a hate group.

    If the FRC is the only group On Point can find to speak in opposition to women in combat, then the issue isn’t very controversial to begin with.

  • nj

    Fox So-Called News; lowering the lowest common denominator, informing the stupid…

    http://thinkprogress.org/security/2012/02/13/424239/fox-women-miliary-expect-raped/


    Fox Pundit Says Women In The Military Should ‘Expect’ To Be Raped

    • Strawberry Laundry

       exactly my question to the panel had i been able to call-in regarding these changes and the ability of women to advance in ranks into higher leadership positions based on combat experience. what will be the impact on the incidence of rape, reporting of rape, and disciplinary actions taken against perpetrators considering the appalling statistics that have just been released in regards to an increase in assaults.

  • Terry Tree Tree

    Interesting how much stalking Moda and Zing do, then whine about someone being a stalker?

    • Modavations

      I asked for Peace a number of times.To quote,Stand down and I will stand down.You spit in my hand and blathered on and on about guppies,lead,mercuryB.C.etc,. knowiing full well what it was all about.If anyone is interested go to Bringing Up Baby(last week) and read the posts around 12:32Pm,1:40 PM and 4:06 Pm.I think you’ll get my drift.You wanted war,now live with the consequences

      • Terry Tree Tree

        ONE reference, compared to the nearly one hundred you have done, to me alone?
           Not to mention the others?

        • Modavations

          You wanted war you got war.For the 3rd time,stand down,don’t talk to me and I will do the same.

    • Modavations

      I’ll show you the Stalker in action.Go to Bringing up baby and read “Just Thinking” at 9:44 AM and the surrounding back and forths.

  • Oregon Listener

    Regarding the Women on the Front Lines “On Point” broadcast (2/13), Bob Maginnis talked about it being easier to manage “categories” (of people in this instance). It’s not about what’s “easiest,” it’s about what is RIGHT. That type of thinking leads to (or continues) bias and prejudice. What is right is  Margaret and Kayla’s view that IF women have the same physical and skills capabilities as men, they should be given equal rights to serve in that same capacity.

  • Markgatorman

    My mother was 5’4″ and raised four boys that were 6’3′ and above in a tough neighborhood.  I was raised to be a Heart scout, believing in John Wayne and the USA.  If anybody messed with my Mom, family,  then God bless them.   I guess my point is that I would protect a female more than a male warrior because that is the way that we were brought up. Is this wrong or right? I.E. me and my buddy gets into crap and we hang together whereas would I feel differently if it was a female warrior?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charley-Wooley/741206578 Charley Wooley

    Modavations, are you that creepy guy who messaged me on Facebook?

    • Modavations

      no

  • Anonymous

    Good discussion. Personally I am in favor of women having equal opportunity based on physical ability tests. (And indeed all people should be subject to those requirements)

    But the big problem is the draft. The women really dodged the question at the end, I think because it is politically thorny. If a politician today proposed drafting women in a future war, there would be outrage. If women prove themselves capable of fighting equal to men, why should they be exempt from a draft?

    It seems like with equal rights comes equal responsibilities.

    • ME

       I think the point here is that no one should be drafted. It’s supposed to be a free country. If we allow women as well as men to be drafted we seat the dangerous precedent that the draft is O.K. Which it is not.

      • Anonymous

        Another dodge. 

  • Strengthen_Families

    With today’s news, does it follow now that all women
    between the ages of 18 and 25 are equally eligible for the draft, should the
    draft be resumed?  As a mother, not only do I worry about my sons being
    drafted but in our age of gender-nondiscrimination, I now have the added burden
    that my daughters could be drafted and sent to the front lines to fight
    toe-to-toe against men.  Are there any other countries in the world that
    would send their women into combat?

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