Robert L. Maginnis has done a tremendous service to the debate on opening American combat units to women in his new book, Deadly Consequences: How Cowards Are Pushing Women Into Combat. This is a must-read for any woman thinking of joining the military and, indeed, anyone with a daughter, sister, or 18-26-year old female loved one. With clarity, detail and extensive research, Maginnis shows that the arguments being made (by radical feminists, leftist politicians, and politician-like top military brass) in favor of women in combat dismiss and ignore the most important considerations of the problem. While they argue that it is an issue of equality, Maginnis shows why the scientific biological differences between men and women put women at a serious disadvantage on the battlefield, destroy operational standards and military readiness. The policy will further sexualize the military and extinguish the masculine spirit of the combat units and Special Forces – a spirit vital to a strong, winning military. Standards must necessarily be lowered so that more women can “succeed,” while in reality women cannot perform at the level necessary to close with and destroy the enemy. Fifty years of data have proven this, and it continues to be proved today as women wash out of, for example, the Marine Corps infantry officer’s course.
Maginnis acknowledges the valuable contributions of women in the military and in our wars past and present. Even so, women are injured twice to four times as much as men, or more. They are leaving deployments at three times the rate of men, and mostly for non-combat-related issues. This is not enhancing our ability to fight, as feminists argue, it’s absolutely destroying it (that is the goal). The toll of putting women into combat units will be taken in greater female casualties, motherless children, psychological turmoil, sexual assaults, and more brutal torture if captured by the enemy than men historically have endured. This, he rightly points out, is the real war on women.
Deadly Consequences derides the cowardly politicians and politically motivated military brass who have allowed themselves to be intimidated by feminist bullying and Obama’s leftist agenda (Bush not being much better with regard to military policy) rather than promoting policies that keep readiness and troop welfare the topmost priorities. Through interviews, surveys and more, Maginnis verifies that most military men and women themselves are not in favor. Pushing women into combat units sets everyone up for failure, and the enemy cares nothing for diversity quotas. In fact, he says, they have historically fought more viciously when women are on the battlefield. He takes each oft-cited country that has tried putting women in combat and exposes that they lowered their standards (Canada) , don’t actually put their women at the front (Israel), haven’t had a need for serious military readiness (New Zealand, Norway, Germany) or abandoned the policy altogether (Russia).
Perhaps the most powerful insight Deadly Consequences provides is the witness of experienced combat veterans. No one reading the accounts of brutal warfare in places such as Najaf and Korea can dismiss the real bloodshed into which we would be sending our women if we don’t demand that our representatives to oppose this dangerous policy. Maginnis explains the differences in the types of engagements we have faced, contrasting previous wars with the counterinsurgency tactics of Iraq and Afghanistan. He also warns us against assuming the draft will never again be used. Once combat units are open to women, the Supreme Court will necessarily rule excluding women from the draft unconstitutional.
Much of the American population has no military experience to inform their opinions on this important issue, making this book even more timely and valuable. Maginnis gives the lie that adding women to combat units reduces sexual assault, the lie that it enhances military readiness, the lie that it benefits the men. None of the arguments for women in combat withstands scrutiny. Deadly Consequences will give the reader a comprehensive yet easy-to-digest understanding of what is at stake if we choose to let these cowards push our women into combat.