Tag Archives: combat

Ashton Carter Betrays Military Women and Combat Effectiveness

As published at The Stream December 4, 2015

Yesterday Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter broke his promise to weigh the decision on opening combat units to women “based on the analytic underpinnings and the data supporting them” and “rigorous analysis of factual data.” His somber announcement, greeted with no fanfare and the noticeable absence of now head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, will be celebrated by none but ISIS. America can take no pride in the decision that forces active duty women into a very unequal opportunity, subjects all young women to Selective Service obligations and puts all those serving in combat at greater danger and risk. They are set up for no less than failure, increased disability and death by those who completely disregard both women and combat effectiveness in favor of fake diversity that does nothing but weaken us against our enemies.

Carter ignored the overwhelming majority of active duty women who don’t want this, as, for example, a 2014 Army survey showed that 92.5% of its enlisted women don’t want to be assigned to combat units. Opponents of women’s exemption would have us believe that almost all military women are sexists against themselves. Not only absurd, it’s insulting to all military women who know how much harder military life is on our bodies and the many additional high risks we face in combat that men don’t. Stellar performance by an unusual few women is irrelevant to establishing a policy with such far-reaching consequences.

Once integration begins the military must not only prove it has a few superstars who are willing and able, it must guarantee the steady flow of them. As it is, not nearly enough women are willing and even fewer are able. Regardless, women are now subject to involuntary assignment to combat units just like men. “That’s why they’re called ‘orders.’” as Lt. Gen. Robert Milstead said before the House of Armed Services committee.

Secretary Carter ignored the data showing military women — not just average civilians but top athletes — are injured at more than twice the rate of their male counterparts. Would he deploy our military with gear or transport that broke twice as often as the alternative? Would he have us believe more than twice the risk of injury is an equal opportunity for advancement? We have to break hundreds to get one who can make the men’s minimum standards, and they will likely have to be replaced far more frequently.

Star athletes who may make men’s minimums are not likely to last long enough to achieve the high ranks and long military careers coveted by the teeny tiny minority who’ve pushed so hard for repeal. Their athleticism will undoubtedly be cut short by the strains of training for and engaging in combat, then to be left with lifelong debilitating injuries. Disabling hundreds of women who might otherwise serve successfully is just the cost of doing business to get the demographic diversity Obama demands.

Carter also ignored the critical fact that women are at a disadvantage physically against men in hand-to-hand ground combat, especially men of the savage nature we’re fighting today who are often amped up on methamphetamines, making them much harder to kill. Wars as recent as Iraq and Afghanistan are filled with accounts of our men struggling to kill these drugged-up psychopaths, regularly face-to-face and with their hands, rocks, knives or whatever is at hand when the gun jams or the ammo runs out. Women are also higher value targets for capture and torture to an enemy that treats its own women with brutality that makes us shudder.

Obama’s recent refusal (at first) to put “boots on the ground” is precisely why pilots were denied permission to bomb their targets in recent missions in Syria. Infantrymen, in addition to executing offensive combat missions, are the eyes and ears on the ground, ensuring the fewest possible innocent casualties for bomber pilots. No, the need for and the violence of direct ground combat hasn’t changed with technology and is no equal opportunity for women. To cast it as such is nothing short of barbaric, but Carter apparently couldn’t care less.

Carter ignored the fact that quotas for women in combat were already established by Gen. Martin Dempsey in the announcement of the repeal when he said the branches “must make sure that there are a sufficient number of females entering the career field and already assigned to the related commands and leadership positions.” Active-duty women will be resented as standards are lowered to fulfill these quotas, putting everyone and their missions in severe peril.

The secretary also ignored the Marines’ 9-month integration study, which showed that in addition to getting injured more than twice as often, women cannot perform at the level of infantrymen. Marines did their study right and with outside oversight because they knew leftists across America would try to discredit and undermine the results. As I noted previously, all-male units outperformed coed units in 69 percent of the 134 combat tasks. Women were slower, were less accurate shooters, struggled with tasks requiring upper body strength such as climbing over walls and lifting a 200-pound dummy off the field, and retained more than double the injuries of men.

If the figure had been even a mere five percent difference it would have been ample reason to maintain women’s exemption, since five percent is easily and frequently the difference between life and death in offensive ground combat. But in fact the figure was 69 percent! Ignoring that makes no sense! It’s catastrophic for the combat arms, but Secretary Carter will not be the one paying the price.

He says we must pull from the other 50 percent of society simply because they’re half the population. If representation of general society is the paramount goal, ranks should include the blind, old and obese, an obviously disastrous prospect. The point isn’t that women are as ineffective as the blind in combat, but simply that clearly there are other important criteria than simply casting the net as wide as possible.

Carter said, “Always putting the mission and our people first [is what] we will do today.” Hardly. The next president can and should reinstate the exemption in the same administrative way it was repealed, but he or she won’t be able to before much destruction and disruption is inflicted on our military, who this very moment are preparing to engage on the ground in Syria against the Islamic State. God help them.

Women and Hand-to-Hand Combat: Thoughts From a Female Black Belt Marine Iraq Veteran

The author practicing with Marine black belt instructor in Fallujah, 2005.

Being in direct combat units means being the ones who take the fight to the enemy.  Deploying in itself is not combat, and neither is returning fire when getting shot at on convoy.  Real combat, the kind the infantry and Special Forces wage, is bloody, vicious and offensive.  When we’re talking about opening the combat units to women, we’re talking direct ground combat units who don’t have the comfort and distance of the fighter-plane cockpit.  Marine Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer describes being attacked by an insurgent, fighting and killing him with his bare hands.  In Baghdad they were hand-to-hand, men facing each other with knives.

I’ve fought many men over the years as I trained to earn a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and dabbled in Kapoeira and Krav Maga before the Marines, and achieved three of the five levels of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program which incorporates the best of all forms for hand-to-hand combat.  This isn’t a lot in terms of learning to fight for your life.  Training by fighting men before the Marines helped me to be a better fighter against women of my own weight and rank.  But women are at a disadvantage fighting men, especially those that actually want to capture or kill them.

RhondaRouseyEven the toughest female fighter in the world, UFC Bantamweight champion Rhonda Rousey said as much when the issue came up of fighting Fallon Fox, formerly a man, citing “the bone structure, the muscular structure of a man [after puberty]. There’s no ‘undo’ button for that.”  Tamikka Brents, a female who actually did fight Fox, said, “I’ve never felt so overpowered ever in my life and I am an abnormally strong female in my own right.”  To put females at the front where they are much more likely to have to engage in hand to hand combat with men is barbaric, not empowering to women.  When I joined, I wanted to go to the front.  Being outside the wire the reality of having to fight in close contact looms large, and the enemy we were facing then seems somewhat docile compared to ISIS today.  There was a chance I would face them. In the combat roles, it’s not a chance, it’s probable, and today’s enemy uses meth.  Fighting ISIS on meth hand-to-hand.  It’s every girl’s dream, right?

“Shouldn’t taking that risk be a woman’s choice?” I hear this question a lot.  A woman in this position is not isolated, she is not just taking a risk for herself.  She’s putting everyone around her at greater risk, in no small part because her torture can be used against the men in a way it can’t with other men.  They’re natural instinct to protect her can distract him from the mission resulting in disaster.  This is exactly what the Israelis found out in 1948 when they included women on the front lines of combat.  The men dropped everything at the women’s screams, and the Israelis declared the experiment a disaster and a failure. Contrary to the myth that radical Islamists are averse to fighting women, the Israelis found that their enemy fought more viciously because the prospect of defeat by women was so abjectly humiliating.

Capture and torture is every deploying woman’s worst nightmare, and all that advocates for women in combat can say is that it’s not fair we want to protect women more than men at the front, that we’re wrong to consider a woman being tortured worse than a man being tortured.  It may not be fair that women are more vulnerable than men, but we are.  It may not be fair that women are at a disadvantage when it comes to brute strength, but we are.  These warrant added protection, and there’s nothing feminism can do to change it.  Regardless, the policy will get more of both killed.  It’s not that we’re weak, shrinking violets.  Rhonda Rousey sure isn’t, and neither am I.  But it’s not enlightened, sophisticated or evolved to ignore our differences, differences that can mean the difference between life and death on the battlefield.

Women Fail to Achieve Male Marines’ Lowest Standard

Earlier this month the Marine Corps decided to delay the low 3 pull-up requirement for women that they had hoped to apply in 2014.  The measure was set in preparation for compliance with the Pentagon’s intent to open combat units to women in 2016.  Since less than half of female recruits could make the minimum requirement by the end of 2013, this implementation is being delayed.

pullupsAdvocates for women in combat have mouthed the words: If women can make the standards, they should be able to serve in the combat units and Special Forces.  If they are telling the truth, why don’t they insist women be tested on the men’s unaltered standards?  Three pull-ups is the bare minimum, it would put a man at the bottom of his unit.  Women get 100% for eight pull-ups where men have to do twenty for 100%.  Is that equality?

The tiny cabal of feminist officers and NCOs who sued to be able to join the combat units and their far-left backers like DACOWITS and SWAN have been telling America not only that women can do anything men can do, but that they already are.  “Women are fighting and dying with men in the combat zone,” they claim.  This is lying by omission: Dying in the combat zone does not mean one qualified for the combat units or Special Forces, whose standards are now being “re-evaluated” to justify why they are so high that women can’t achieve them.  For women, dying in the combat zone doesn’t even mean they qualified in their support (non-combat) units to the standards their brothers have to meet.

If, as these advocates say, women can do everything men can do, why can’t women succeed by the men’s standard naturally, or even with result-specific training?  This is where WIC advocates cut to commercial and cry discrimination.  That’s their playbook.  The feminists and their lackeys have been doing it since women were fully integrated into the military branches and academies, resulting in overall lower standards and reduced combat readiness.  Doing the same to put women into the combat units on a false narrative of equality will have even more disastrous results.

If they were serious about equality, they would demand that no standards be “re-evaluated” and insist that women perform on the men’s standard.  That will never happen because on those standards most women wouldn’t be qualified for the military in the first place.  Women already have an equal opportunity to compete against men in the military, but every time they are tested, they fail to measure up.  It is Nature herself who discriminates.  Women were built for something more important than combat.

Even on the lower standard, women have a much higher rate of injury, non-availability, non-deployability, and attrition (separating from the military before fulfilling their contract) than men.  These are among the plethora of eternal truths making it impractical to put women into combat, even if they do train like Cross-fitters to improve their performance.  When women were integrated fully into the forces and the academies, the same type of feminist cadre said that exposing these facts would hurt morale.  Indeed.  “Equalizing” standards, “leveling the playing field,” even “providing women the best opportunity to succeed” actually means lowering the standards and discriminating against more capable men.

This issue is not about equality or even equal opportunity.  The WIC advocates don’t care about equality, let alone combat readiness.  They don’t care that they are subjecting the entire population of able-bodied young women to the possibility of the draft.  They care about themselves and their own power, and they don’t care if they have to destroy women, men, the military and by extension the country, to get it.

Careerists v. Mother Nature

In continuing the discussion of opening combat roles to women, we have the argument that women are already there, deploying and fighting in hot zones.  This is true, and it gives us a record of the problems we are already experiencing as a result.

Wasted:  Valuable Time, Training, and Resources

I talk about several of the female-only issues for which extra accommodations have to be made in my previous article.  We are not equal except in our rights under our Constitutional Law.  Nature has no regard for equality, and each one of us is born uniquely different from each other.  We are diverse and dissimilar in our talents, physical aspects, intellect and emotions, and the sexes are inherently different.  We know, for example, that women are much more prone to certain types of infections.  For a woman on patrol, setting up an ambush, or, as the infantry do, living in abandoned buildings with no running water and sleeping in close quarters, hygiene is a constant problem.  A urinary tract infection can quickly become a kidney infection (debilitating in itself) and then kidney failure if left unchecked.  Suddenly a woman needs to be evacuated for a problem that has nothing to do with combat and to which men are not susceptible.

Then there’s pregnancy.  Margaret Wente writes, “One study of a brigade operating in Iraq found that female soldiers were evacuated at three times the rate of male soldiers – and that 74 percent of them were evacuated for pregnancy-related issues.”

Women leaving the combat zone three times as much as men!  And mostly due to shacking up and getting pregnant.  It costs something like a million dollars per individual to get trained through bootcamp and additionally to be made ready for deployment.  Those are taxpayer dollars spent on someone who has to turn around and leave the combat zone to have a baby (for which our tax dollars also pay), having nothing to do with combat.

Changing Our Best Instincts: Protecting Women, Mothering Children

We know that rape is a tool of torture for the already savage enemy we’re fighting.  In one TV interview a woman suggested that if women are willing to take that risk, we should let them.  She also absurdly claimed that men are raped as much as women when captured, which is patently false.  But the idea that men shouldn’t worry any more about women in battle goes against the very best primal male instinct.  In every country from Canada to Israel where women are in combat (and in American units where women are in theater), the men will tell you they are more protective of the women.  It’s different from men’s protection of each other, and it distracts from mission completion.  The pro-WICs would have men thwart this wonderful and thoroughly ingrained instinct. A world in which men don’t feel a strong need to protect women when they’re in the most dangerous and hostile of environments would be a nightmare.  We would rightly call those men brutes.

We’re also thwarting mothers’ nurturing instincts.  Women are already training to kill and leaving their children in order to deploy, even when they are the sole caregiver (turning care over namely to grandparents).  This sets a bad precedent and hurts children.  There will always be war, and it’s bad enough for fathers to leave their children to fight necessarily, but to allow mothers to choose this path over motherhood is bad for everyone.  There are many noble capacities in which women with children can fight for this country, such as administrative jobs stateside.  We don’t need to deploy mothers to battle, we shouldn’t.

The Career-Hungry

A small handful of high-ranking females have instigated this policy change in order to advance their own careers.  In this interview, Anu Bhagwati, a former Marine Captain, complains about women not being able to promote to certain ranks, claims that women aren’t getting proper recognition for action in combat (a claim also made here), and that it’s harder for them to get combat-injury-related benefits from the VA.  Regarding the latter, I know females who are receiving combat-injury-related benefits, so if there are some who are not receiving them but should, the bureaucratic, inefficient, fraud-riddled VA should be confronted.  Administrative changes could certainly be considered to take care of veterans as we should – regardless of sex – for injuries sustained in battle thus far.  As for recognition of action, this is also a bureaucratic aspect that can be addressed through the chain of command without changing the policies on women in combat units.  And finally as to rank, cry me a river.  The military is about preparing for an executing war, not advancing your career at the cost of readiness for war.

The careerists are also on the hook for the double standard that we currently have for the sexes, which inherently lowers the standards overall.  Even if one standard is imposed, it’s likely it will be an overall lower standard.  As the Center for Military Readiness points out, “The same advocates who demand ‘equal opportunities’ in combat are the first to demand unequal, gender-normed standards to make it ‘fair.’”  Enormous pressure from Washington is already on the military brass to fill quotas of race and sex, and the higher they get, the more politically motivated the brass’ decisions.  Whereas imposing one higher standard would in fact result in fewer women serving in these roles, the political pressure to prove diversity will result in more unqualified women (and men) attaining positions for which men are more qualified.  But go against the diversity status quo dictated by Washington and you can kiss your rank and career goodbye.  The purges have already begun.

The word discriminate has several meanings, including “to distinguish particular features, to be discerning; showing insight and understanding,” and its synonyms are “wise, perceptive, prudent.”  We should absolutely be discriminating in our criteria for war preparation, and the lives of our men in uniform depend on us taking an honest, discerning look at who adds to military readiness and who detracts from it.  We should absolutely not open the combat units to the myriad problems we face already with women deploying to the theatre of war.

This is part 2 in a series.

Read Part 1: The Problem(s) of Women in Combat

Part 2: Careerists V. Mother Nature

Read Part 3: Women in Combat Units Vs. the Military’s Sexual Assault Problem

Read Part 4: Let the Men Be Heroes, Because They Are

The Globe & Mail:  Women in Combat: Let’s Get Real

National Geographic : 8 Other Nations That Send Women to Combat

Center for Military Readiness:  Seven Reasons Why Women-in-Combat Diversity Will Degrade Tough Training Standards

Hot Air: Some advice on women in combat from a female veteran

The Washington Post: Most Americans back women in combat roles, poll says


The Problem(s) of Women in Combat

It’s not all about qualification. I’m speaking as a female Marine Iraq war vet who did serve in the combat zone doing entry checkpoint duty in Fallujah, and we worked with the grunts daily for that time. All the branches still have different standards for females and males. Why? Because most women wouldn’t even qualify to be in the military if they didn’t. Men and women are different, but those pushing women into combat don’t want to admit that truth. They huff and puff about how women can do whatever men can do, but it just ain’t so. We’re built differently, and it doesn’t matter that one particular woman could best one particular man. The best woman is still no match for the best man, and most of the men she’d be fireman-carrying off the battlefield will be at least 100lbs heavier than she with their gear on.

Women are often great shooters but can’t run in 50-80lbs of gear as long, hard or fast as men.  Military training is hard enough on men’s bodies, it’s harder on women’s.  And until women stop menstruating there will always be an uphill battle for staying level and strong at all times.  No one wants to talk about the fact that in the days before a woman’s cycle she loses half her strength, to say nothing of the emotional ups and downs that affect judgment. And how would you like fighting through PMS symptoms while clearing a town or going through a firefight?  Then there are the logistics of making all the accommodations for women in the field, from stopping the convoy to pee or because her cycle started to stripping down to get hosed off after having to go into combat with full MOP gear when there’s a biological threat.

This is to say nothing of unit cohesion which is imperative and paramount, especially in the combat fields. When preparing for battle, the last thing on your mind should be sex, but you put men and women in close quarters together and human nature is what it is (this is also why the repeal of DADT is so damaging). It doesn’t matter what the rules are. The Navy proved that when they started allowing women on ship. What happened? They were having sex and getting pregnant, ruining unit cohesion not to mention derailing the operations because they’d have to change course to get them off ship.

When I deployed we’d hardly been in country a few weeks before one of our females had to be sent home because she’d gotten pregnant (nice waste of training not to mention tax-payer money for training). That’s your military readiness? Our enemies are laughing – Thanks for giving us another vulnerability, USA!

Then there are relationships.  Whether it’s a consensual relationship, unwanted advances or sexual assault, they all destroy unit cohesion.  No one is talking about the physical and emotional stuff that goes along with men and women together.  A good relationship can foment jealousy and the perception of favoritism.  A relationship goes sour and suddenly one loses faith in the very person that may need to drag one off the field of battle.  A sexual assault happens and a woman not only loses faith in her fellows, but may fear them.  A vindictive man paints a woman as easy and she loses the respect of her peers.  A vindictive woman wants to destroy a man’s career with a false accusation (yes, folks, this happens too), and it’s poison to the unit.  All this happens before the fighting even begins.

Yet another little-discussed issue is that some female military are leaving their kids behind to advance their careers by deploying. I know of one divorced Marine left her two sons, one of them autistic, with the grandparents to care for while she deployed.  She was wounded on base, not on the front lines, and is a purple heart recipient. What if she’d been killed, leaving behind her special needs child? Glory was more important than motherhood. Another case in my own unit was a married female who became angry when they wouldn’t let both her and her husband deploy at the same time. Career advancement was the greater concern.

I understand the will to fight. I joined the Marines in the hopes of deploying because I believe that fighting jihadists is right and I care about the women and children in Islamic countries where they are denied their rights, subjugated, mutilated, and murdered with impunity, where children are molested and raped with impunity, not to mention defending our own freedom against these hate-filled terrorists who want to destroy freedom-loving countries like America. Joining the Marines was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life and I’m glad I got to deploy.  It not only allowed me to witness the war, but to witness the problems with women in combat.

Women have many wonderful strengths and there is certainly a lot of work for women to do in the military.  But all the problems that come with men and women working together are compounded in the war zone, destroying the cohesion necessary to fight bloody, hellish war.  We are at war, and if we want to win, we have to separate the wheat from the chaff and the top priority should be military readiness and WINNING wars, not political correctness and artificially imposed “equality” on the military.

This is part 1 in a series.

Part 1: The Problem(s) of Women in Combat

Read Part 2: Careerists V. Mother Nature

Read Part 3: Women in Combat Units Vs. the Military’s Sexual Assault Problem

Read Part 4: Let the Men Be Heroes, Because They Are



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,589 other followers