Women sue to serve in combat

A federal lawsuit filed by four service members challenges the Pentagon's longstanding policy barring women from serving in direct combat positions.
AP Wire
Nov 28, 2012

Here are the issues:

WHAT IS THE CURRENT POLICY REGARDING FEMALE TROOPS?

The 1994 combat exclusion policy bars women from being assigned to ground combat units, which are smaller and considered more dangerous since they are often in the thick of battle for longer periods of time than the other units.

WHAT ARE THE ARGUMENTS FOR LETTING WOMEN FIGHT ON THE FRONT LINES?

Supporters of lifting the ban say women are already being wounded or killed in war, and the policy keeps them from being recognized for their battleground experience, which could lead to promotions and higher pay. They also say the policy hurts the U.S. military by limiting the chances of qualified women to move into more senior leadership ranks.

WHAT DO OPPONENTS SAY?

Opponents include some female troops who question whether women are physically capable of handling the rigors of being assigned to ground combat units. The first two women to volunteer for the Marine Corps' grueling 13-week infantry training course at its base in Quantico, Va., were unable to complete it. The Corps will open the course again to female volunteers in January.

WHAT DOES THE MILITARY'S TOP BRASS SAY?

Military leaders say they want to make sure lifting gender-based barriers would not disrupt the cohesion of the smaller combat ground units and military operations. The Marine Corps' top leader, Gen. James Amos, ordered a survey of 53,000 troops to get their views, including whether they believe women in those units would distract male Marines from doing their jobs. The results have not been released yet.

HOW CLOSE DO WOMEN GET TO THE FRONT LINES?

The blurred front lines of modern warfare, with suicide bombs and sniper attacks, have put more and more women in combat situations. More than 144 female troops have been killed and more than 860 have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan since the wars began according to Pentagon statistics.

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Comments

MR. WILLIAMS

I'd first like to point out that this whole issue is from a "Men's Point of View." An example of a Men's Point of View is how 99% of movie scripts are written from, even those written by women. You see, one of the so called troubling issues here is, "...they believe women in those units would distract male Marines from doing their job." Exactly what is it that would "distract" them from doing their jobs? What about Women Troops being distracted by male troops from doing their jobs? Even farther back than recorded history the Male human has always reigned over the Female human and I have to ask; why is that? Yes, there have been a few Female Rulers throughout history, most of whose lives ended tragically, usually being assassinated while only reigning a few years a best. I know in Christianity as well as several other Religions the Male is the head of the family and makes all of the decisions. This practice holds true right up to present day. These Religious followers believe this hierarchy is considered God's Will. For my entire life I have always believed that women and men are equals in almost all aspects of life, except of course there are gender differences and women bring in new human beings into this world. I have to seriously ask; Why do Men automatically believe without question, that they are superior to women? From where do Men draw this rationalization from? I'm very curious to hear from Men and Women who believe that Men are of greater authority than Women. I'm not out to condemn people who respond, rather it may help me gain a better understanding of the issue, because I really don't understand why the Male Species believes that they are superior to Females.

I Thank You Very Much.

ZTTim

Mr. Williams....with all due respect when the subject is war, sorry to say, but men are better equipped physically and emotionally to accomplish this task. Its been that way throughout our history. What I fear is that the standards for infantry soldiers may be lowered to accommodate female soldiers. I have no problem with women fighter pilots, or cavalry troops, or women serving on submarines and battleships. But decisions have to be made in the heat of battle...acceptable losses may have to be calculated.

History, for better or worse, has made men protectors of women. I fear that sense of protection may impair a soldiers ability to think rationally when the lives of women are at risk. I know it sounds sexist, and I'm not making any apologies for it. Women are easily as smart (smarter?) than men, and their patriotism runs just as deep. But as far as ground forces are concerned, I feel that this is one area where more harm can be done than good.

Bring on the flaming.

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