Posted By Jennie Chancey on February 20, 2012
Sadly, there are no surprises here. I wrote about this issue almost nine years ago when people were just starting to broach the idea of putting wives, mothers, and daughters in harm’s way. Now it’s a fact cemented into US policy:
While the Pentagon’s official policy has been to exclude women from being assigned to most units “whose primary mission” is “direct combat on the ground,” the reality has been far different, as was noted in a 2008 USA Today editorial which we previously cited on our website:
On the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Pentagon’s policy on women in combat looks like this: Women risk their lives as truck drivers, mechanics and medics attached to combat units. At checkpoints, they do a job that men can’t: search Iraqi women. They fire rifles and lob grenades. And when they are struck by the IED blasts and suicide bombers that characterize this war, they are wounded or killed just as surely as their fellow soldiers.
In other words, the written policy is divorced from reality.
Now policy has caught up to practice, as last week the Department of Defense announced a formal change in policy to “allow Military Department Secretaries to assign women in open occupational specialties to select units and positions at the battalion level . . . whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground.”
This will open nearly 14,000 “combat-related positions to female troops, including tank mechanics and intelligence officers on the front lines,” as the Washington Post summarized .
While American servicewomen have been in harm’s way for more than a decade — with nearly 200 coming home from Afghanistan and Iraq in body bags since 2001 — the Pentagon’s new policy now authorizes women to be officially attached to combat units on the ground, the very goal of which is to engage the enemy in battle.
This is a first for the United States of America, and it is a cause to mourn as our nation’s leaders — in the name of “empowering” women — are now self-consciously placing women in combat units to be shot at and killed as men.
Read the full piece HERE.
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