Tuesday, May 13, 2008


In print, the Pentagon's policy on women in combat looks like this: Women shall be excluded from assignment to most units "whose primary mission" is "direct combat on the ground."

by: Brandon Friedman
Tue May 13, 2008 at 01:06:38 AM EDT


From USA Today:

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.

In part because a few jobs - in the infantry, field artillery and special forces - remain off limits, there is a lingering myth that women are not in direct combat.

In truth, about 7% of the 191,000 troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are women, and they are doing just about everything they are physically capable of doing. That's as it should be.

The existing Pentagon policy dates to 1994, when then-Defense Secretary Les Aspin loosened what had been far tighter restrictions. By 2006, according to a study by international think tank Rand Corp., more than 92% of Army occupations were open to women. That's progress as far as it goes, but today the combat exclusions make little sense.

Here's my take: Every job in the military should be opened up to women so long as they can meet the same physical standards as the men. As USA Today says, they're "in direct combat" anyway.

I'll give a personal example: When I was in Iraq--back before Titan and L3 had started contracting locals--I had a female intel soldier (an Arabic linguist) assigned to my infantry company to act as our translator. When we went out on missions, she was another infantryman woman just like everybody else.

In that case, she literally saved our asses, as there were no other translators available in April 2003. And there's really nothing much else to say. It's not complicated at all: Women serving in Iraq are on the front lines and it's about time the rules, the law, and our society caught up to that fact.

End of story.

I don't think you'd find many people who've served in Iraq or Afghanistan who would contradict this.

For more information on the current stupid rules barring women from combat roles, I highly recommend this Washington Post piece on PFC Monica Brown, who was recently awarded the Silver Star for heroism under fire (before subsequently pulled from theater for breaking those same stupid rules).


Anonymous said...

Yes Cork, equality is great, but it's too bad that WOMEN have drunk the Kool-Aid as well. But it still breaks my heart to see women killed and/or fvcked up in this sham of a war (how can you have a war on terror when war IS terror??). When I read about a mother/wife/girlfriend who comes back unable to hug her children or love her husband/s.o. due to PTSD and even WANTS TO GO BACK, I want to puke; when I always hear the party line about "she died believing in the mission", I want to puke; when I read about the fools in the Pentagon who want to administer "anti-morality" drugs for war-deployed troops supposedly preventing PTSD but also basicly lobotomizes them--I WANT TO PUKE! We are in deep trouble when we ruin our nurturers! I suppose that the loved ones should be satisfied w/flags and parades(fat chance!)! The only thing worse are the women in Iraq who have been driven to become suicide bombers due to extreme loss and CHILD SOLDIERS. I guess there IS brainwashing in the military, but it's worse because most of the general populace are brainwashed as well.

Anonymous said...

It was bad enough for the GUYS!

Bill Corcoran said...

Thanks for your comments. There is no doubt in my mind the populace has been brainwashed by the Bush administration the media.

This administration and the media make Adolph Hitler's Nazi Germany propaganda machine look like amateurs.

It is so discouraging to sit where I do and get letters from people who haven't any vested interst in the war wondering why I keep trying to sell to the American public what a disgraceful situation our country has found itself in.

This is like sweeping the ocean back with a broom, but I will keep trying to tell the truth about this ugly mess we find ourselves in and I will keep bringing to the hundreds of readers of my blog the TRUTH about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Again, thanks for your comments.

Bill Corcoran, host of CORKSPHERE.

Anonymous said...

De nada, Cork. And I thought the NIXON administration was bad!! But you've gotta admit--when JOHN DEAN comes out and says basicly "they're fvucking up (re the Constitution)", you KNOW it's VERY bad!!

Anonymous said...

I want to see people get ANGRY, like I am. It is said that a draft would spur that general populace into anti-war action. Possible, but then again, there are a hell of a lot of draftees "on the wall" in DC. I want to see vets of both sexes come out and say "hell no! I wouldn't do it again!" I recently saw on a video clip 2 Black women vets, one of Gulf War, one of Iraq. The Gulf War vet was homeless, messed up even after about 20 years. The Iraq vet was messed up as well, with the obligatory table full o'meds. But at least she said she wouldn't do it again. I hope she tells her kids or nieces/nephews the same thing and steer them away from the military. Where is that distraught mother who'll violently throw the flag back at her child's military funeral ( I once read about a Rosemary Dietz Slavenas who refused a flag and military funeral for HER son, but it wasn't a violent refusal)? Maybe if the average Joe/Jill 6- Pack saw that, they'd wake up. As long as the people aren't ANGRY enough, I'm afraid we'll have more years of these imperial debacles. Personally, I don't think there will EVER be any more military victories, because the age of the "military victory" died with the advent of the atom bomb. I also read about a women vets who've lost legs, still wanting to go back and "kill terrorists", and/or have been proud to have been there. All I can do is shake my head, sadly. Why be proud to be an occupying force?? They need to think--what would happen if WE in America were invaded? America has gotten wayyyyyyyyyy too arrogant, thinking we can take over the world. I once, when a young boy, read about an insurgency of note--it came to bloom on 7/4/1776. How soon we forget! No WE'VE become the Redcoats. So long for now, Cork.

Anonymous said...

I should have said "Now
WE'VE become the Redcoats. Sorry, typo. And God damn PNAC!

Anonymous said...

And please scratch the "a" out of "a women vets"--forgot to erase it.

Bill Corcoran said...

I didn't hear Dean say that, but thanks for letting me know. BTW: Dean is spot on.

Bill Corcoran said...

Anonymous: Thanks for all the information and posting a comment. I really appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I believe Dean wrote a book called "Worse than Watergate."

Bill Corcoran said...

He did. It was an excellent book, too.

Anonymous said...

Women do not belong in combat roles. Simple as that. Feminist groups are placing preasure of the government to acheive a result that is blatently personal.

Feminist groups are diluteing our armed forces.

THE RAND REPORT also states that for women to be accepted into combat roles the current STANDARDS must be lowered (before hand sos not to look light a white wash) to enable women to qualify. NEWS FLASH.....WOMEN DO NOT MAKE THE CUT CURRENTLY.

Absolutely outrageous. This is not about shortages, it is about the government bowing to feminist preasure. Feminist groups are placing their careers before human life.

A Women.

Bill Corcoran said...

What would you say to West Point, Annapolis and the others? They train women to nr officers in combat.