Women in Combat?

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  • kodrakodra Posts: 36 ✭✭
    Maximizing the talent involves increasing the talent pool size, which means not cutting off over half your potential talent pool, and I say over half because if sexual tension is the problem then you need to cut out anyone who isn't a heterosexual male.  I think that claim is pretty dubious myself, and I would be interested in seeing the research that tries to answer it.  It sounds like something that you think is true, without actually doing any research on it.  And from my own web searches, there doesn't seem to be any actual research on this.  Even the Congressional Research Service which published a document on this only filled it with conflicting statements from various political thinktanks.  Actually allowing women in combat is recent enough that real world data is pretty scarce.

    Humans are all shaped by their circumstances.  There are many experiences that I have never had and will never have because I of who I am, but those experiences will happen to others.  I can only better understand the world when I combine my experiences with theirs.  This is why diversity is valuable, and the same better understanding is required in all aspects of our lives.
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    That claim came originally from a Navy SEAL Brandon Webb, who has written books and owns a network or alternative media on the internet.  He said that in the context of his weekly podcast and that claim was backed up by the others he had on (also prior service JSOC).  I do not recall the exact episode, i wish I did, but that is where I first heard the idea.  Regardless of who said it an how qualified they were, are you really denying that young men and women don't have sexual tension when in prolonged close proximity to each other?  To say nothing of the stresses and bonds of combat.  Is that really a farfetched idea?

    You keep talking about increasing the potential talent pool, but you have to remember women still have to pass the MALE physical requirements.  So realistically the pool actually isn't that much bigger because very few women can even do that.  Yes adding women may bring a new level of operational perspective (which you still haven't proven why women would do that over men) but at what cost?  I have already conceded that women can do the job if they are physically, emotionally, and intellectually capable, but there is still a social issue, a sexual issue, and a logistical issue here that you aren't taking into account.  With all due respect, I understood the importance of diversified perspectives before you said so you can stop hanging your hat on that idea.  Tell me why the special experience of being a woman will increase combat effectiveness and why we should ignore or how we address many of the drawbacks that having women in combat will entail.


    As a side note, I highly highly recommend Brandon's flagship site, SOFREP.  Unfortunately it recently became subscription based but it is the best in depth analysis of military procedure, military culture, foreign affairs and intelligence that I have found.  All written by current or prior service members, mostly with a special operations background.  Very valuable information if you want to better understand the special operations community, the role of the military, and other aspects of our security like the intel community and the diplomatic community.  They also have a weekly podcast that is on both iTunes and Youtube.  If nothing else, go on youtube, look up SOFREP Radio and listen to a few episodes.  I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  Plug over.
  • BH622BH622 BaltimorePosts: 128 ✭✭
    @McEstaban

    My biggest issue with the idea of refusing women in combat roles is that, when push comes to shove, it is not only possible for a woman to pass the physical prerequisites, but extremely likely that the same numbers of women will pass the requirements as men.

    Yes, men a biologically designed to be able to pick up more weight and hit harder. However! I do not believe that the requirements that these soldiers are held to are beyond that which a female can achieve. In fact, the minimum scores fore the male marine fitness test is 3 pullups, 50 crunches in two minutes, and a 28 minute 3 mile run (actually, assuming a 28:50 run, they have to do 10 pullups and 50 crunches to pass). Taken from multiple sources.

    If the deployment condistions were such that the difference between male and female biology were enough to preclude a woman from being able to function even 10% less than a man, that's already such an inefficient method of operation that said unit wouldn't be able to function. They'd have all be carrying well over 150 lbs, the range only reached by machine gunners.

    Regardless, don't you think that the stance shouldn't be 'obviously they can't, so let's not let them', but rather 'these are the requirements for the job, do it and you get the position'? It just makes more sense to open the position to anyone who qualifies, male or female.
    “This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It's that easy, and that hard.” - Neil Gaiman on writing

    Like martial arts? Like reading blogs about it? Not sure? Check out my brand new blog, A Warrior's Journey.
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    @BH622

    I have already agreed with this.  If someone, regardless of gender, can meet the current physical requirements, then they can at least do the job.  But we can't ignore the corollary question of can the unit still do the job.  Social, sexual, and logistics.  I have said that in many different ways repeatedly.

    You need to choose a platform.  Do women get no special treatment or catering so that everything involved is fair or do we let them in because they are women (basically what kodra was saying) and deal with the situation that way?
  • TaunyaTaunya ArkansasPosts: 0
    Women ARE in combat. I believe lifting the "ban" on women in combat is sparking this debate that has really already been answered and handled by the professional men and women of our military. Lifting the ban does raise some logistical and philosophical questions. Mostly, though, this will give our military leaders more flexibility when it comes to force structure. The military--doing what they do best-- had already found work arounds to get the best person in the best position to complete the mission. Although women were not "assigned" to infantry or combat units, they serve alongside male service members by being "attached" to that unit. This is because these women have special skill sets that make them an integral part of the team. While it is true that there are two separate grading scales for the physical fitness test ( male and female standards) most jobs that require a specific physical prowess will have one specific standard that must bet met by each individual, regardless of sex.
    More and more an individual's technical skills are the measure of his (or HER) effectiveness in combat positions. Lifting the ban just facilitates this cause. By definition the ban prohibited women from serving in these roles. Lifting such a ban is simply saying "we are no longer going to prohibit women in combat". It does not say "you must allow" or "there must be a quota". Surely, there will be more visibility on the women serving in these roles in the future and problems will be solved on a case by case basis. I would endeavor to say that there will not be a one size fits all answer to this question because tactics and strategy are never one size fits all. My hope is that this will allow women to receive the recognition and service verification that has been lacking because they have been present on the so called front line for some time now.
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    ^So what happens when the best person for the job is very rarely a woman?  Is it worth while still?  And no, no women has the job of killing the enemy in ground combat.  Have women come under fire and shot back, yes.  Is that there job or does that mean that that should be their job, no.  Not saying the issue is dead, but that isn't where you should hinge your argument.

    This news proves that many women are not only not cut out physically for combat, but also other jobs as well, when held to the same standard as men.


    Furthermore, your faith in the powers that be to not politicize this is misplaced.  They have already politicized this, and will continue to.  And it goes all the way up the flag pole.  You have no idea or evidence to support your thinking that there won't be a quota.  Many people even believe to the contrary because of the pattern the brass and the administration is following.  I challenge you to ask a female Marine, maybe even one that has seen combat, if she feels like her service and sacrifice has been validated.  Probably the only members of the military more proud than the Marines, are female Marines.

    I have a question, @Taunya , what skills do women possess that are in short supply in ground combat?
  • Women in the Soviet Union fought on the front lines during WWII...
  • McEstebanMcEsteban Posts: 773 ✭✭✭
    We can point to many historical examples of women in combat. It doesn't mean we should do it. War has changed since WW2 drastically, the requirements of a soldier are much higher, and the SOviets in particular were in an existential fight for survival. The question isn't are women capable of any combat from any point in history but are women fit for combat in the US military now.
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