Women in Combat, Why Not?


Last year Charmaine wrote an article on the wisdom of violence against women. How liberals in Congress don’t seem to mind women getting assaulted — by sending our girls off to war to get their heads sawed off by the Islamofascists.

Why worry about women in combat? Why not just let the Pentagon go ahead with boiling the frog? After all, proponents argue, it is an all-volunteer army now.

Let me highlight one reason, among others: the draft.

This argument is often dismissed automatically as being politically untenable. “They’ll never bring the draft back!” But that is short-sighted and naive.

If women in the military begin serving in combat, voluntarily, and the ban against women in ground combat is lifted, then there will be no legal basis for maintaining their exclusion from the draft.


Not My Little Girls

US Air Force Academy

This is just common sense. As further evidence of how plausible this scenario is, here’s an article in Washington Monthly, “The Case for the Draft,” arguing for a reinstated draft now, that would include both men and women:

A better solution would fix the weaknesses of the all-volunteer force without undermining its strengths. Here’s how such a plan might work. Instead of a lottery, the federal government would impose a requirement that no four-year college or university be allowed to accept a student, male or female, unless and until that student had completed a 12-month to two-year term of service. . . They would be deployed as needed for peacekeeping or nation-building missions. They would serve for 12-months to two years, with modest follow-on reserve obligations.

The authors do hedge their bets a little by including “national service programs” like tutoring with AmeriCorps as part of their draft program. But there is still the legal issue: on what legal grounds would you exclude the rest of the female population from mandatory combat service once some women are serving voluntarily, should the need arise?

We face an unknown future, so our policy decisions today should be guided by wisdom informed by yesterday’s history. One thing we do know is that nation’s must be prepared to protect themselves against the unexpected. Any other posture is sheer foolishness.

Some of the wisdom of yesterday includes knowing the politics of the draft. One of the legacies of Vietnam was General Westmoreland’s strategy of using the draft to fill ranks. Instead of calling up the standing army, reserves, national guard, then finally the general population, Westmoreland bypassed this cascade — we went from standing army directly to the civilian population. His rationale was that he could keep the draftees longer.

We all know the domestic political tension that resulted, and continues to haunt us today. How much worse would that political conflagration be if Uncle Sam comes after our daughters?

The politics of “allowing” women in combat lead remorselessly toward drafting women. And a feminine mobilization leads directly to political gridlock right at a time when self-defense requires prompt, resolute, decisive action.

We simply cannot afford to advance on the assumption that we will never again need a mass mobilization to defend our country. In some sad tomorrow, we may need to call up civilians, but not now, not today.

And not women.


See Charmaine’s The Politics of the Draft.

Full Disclosure: Your Business Blogger also has the honor of serving as the VIce President of the Center for Military Readiness.

Mudville Gazette has Open Post.


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1 Response

  1. Synova says:

    Draft proposals are almost always political ploys by liberals to mobilize their base into a more actively anti-war stance. If it might be *their* children who have to serve they will be shocked from their apathy. Those who are convinced that people serving in our military are dupes, children of the poor too ignorant to make decisions about their lives, also tend to favor drafts.

    I’ve not heard a single military person favor any sort of draft. Your “plausible scenario” sounds to me like 12 months of babysitting and would likely be every single bit as welcome by those having to find something to *do* with those non-volunteers.

    Peacekeeping missions? Good Lord, please tell me you’re kidding. We’re going to take non-volunteers, give them an M-16 overview and a blue helmet, send them off to Rawanda or someplace and tell them not to catch any diseases before they start college the next fall?

    And what legal grounds? Why can’t the law make a distinction between a volunteer and a non-volunteer if it can make distinctions between girls and boys?

    There are GOOD reasons to keep women out of the Infantry. No military decisions should be made because of pressure from a feminist agenda or some notion of equality that ignores the fact that women are not physically equal. Women aren’t as strong as men.

    The problem with the GOOD reasons is that sometimes there are also very GOOD reasons to put women in harms way. Nurses have always served directly in harms way. In this present conflict we have the absolute need for women to be available to search women. At least some of the female military deaths in this conflict can be *directly* attibuted to military policies that require women to take even *greater* risks than male soldiers… because women can’t be treated like men. Who’s bright idea was that?

    Some of my childhood heroes were women missionaries. It always struck me as amazing that back in the day, when women in my grandmother’s generation travelled to far and dangerous places, they were viewed as very delicate at home. Even more so in the 1950’s… I read the book “The Good Seed” about a couple of Wycliff translators, young women who while at home couldn’t have done much of anything on their own. Had they looked for employment outside their homes their choices would have been limited to certain careers. Yet missionaries had different rules. They could travel alone across Mexico when travelling alone across the US would have raised eyebrows. They could face serious danger and possible death.

    And that was okay.