Get Women Out of Combat
Elaine Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness and I were in a meeting recently at the Pentagon with the Secretary of the Army, Francis Harvey and four-star General Richard Cody, Army vice chief of staff to discuss women in combat. We discussed with them new Army policies that are putting female soldiers in combat zones.
Ironically, our travels then took us near Tuba City, Arizona, home of Lori Piestewa, Army Private First Class, the first female soldier killed in Iraq. The news was full of coverage of the services commemorating the second anniversary of the ambush in which Lori was captured and eventually killed on March 23, 2003.
Amidst all of the honor rightly due to Lori, no one is asking a critical question. Why? Why was Lori — a woman and a mother — close enough to combat to stumble directly into the vicious hands of the enemy?
I’ll tell you why. And it’s not just because she was a soldier.
We have a noble and honorable tradition of sparing women and children from combat. It’s part of being a civilized culture. Some people cite female pilots from World War II as setting a precedent for putting women in combat. However, while those women did serve admirably in the war, they did not fly in combat zones and in combat missions.
President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Defense, the late Les Aspin, changed Defense Department policy in 1994 by removing “substantial risk of capture” from the regulations that defined a combat zone where women were not to be assigned.
Now, the Army is moving even further in the direction of assigning women to combat zones.
See this important article — Elaine lays out details.
Watch this space for more. And comments are open below.
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