More Women in Combat?

Via Drudge, we find that the U.S. Army has decided to put scarce resources to better uses:

The Army is negotiating with civilian leaders about eliminating a women-in-combat ban so it can place mixed-sex support companies within warfighting units, starting with a division going to Iraq in January.

Despite the legal prohibition, Army plans already have included such collocation of women-men units in blueprints for a lighter force of 10 active divisions, according to Defense Department sources.

An Army spokesman yesterday, in response to questions from The Washington Times, said the Army is now in discussions with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's staff to see whether the 10-year-old ban in this one area should be lifted. The ban prohibits the Army from putting women in units that "collocate" with ground combatants.
So we've finally come to the point where the aims of equality and lethality are beginning to merge; as the personnel readiness of ground combatants in Iraq continues to erode, the opportunity costs of gender separation are starting to look temptingly large.
The Army is not seeking to lift the ban on women in direct combat units, such as infantry or armor.

What is being examined is the part of the exclusion rule that says mixed-sex support companies may not be positioned with ground combat teams.

In the disputed instance, the transformation plan of Gen. Peter Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, calls for creating Forward Support Companies, which are made up of men and women. These companies would collocate with reconnaissance squadrons, which are combat units and are part of larger brigade "units of action."

In my opinion, it's far easier to slowly change the roles of soldiers so that women can fill them all, than to keep the roles and insist that women be allowed to assume them... even though this amounts to the same thing.


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This page contains a single entry by Kevin published on October 22, 2004 8:45 PM.

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