Women on the Front Lines

by Ryan on January 24, 2013

in Culture,Politics,The Iraq Front,War on Terror

Word came out today that outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is paving the way for women to be on the front line of combat by 2016.

While I agree in principle with the policy change, I have a feeling that this opportunity for women is done in-hand with civilian political calculations — another “first” for the Obama Administration and so forth — rather than being solely designed to enhance our battlefield readiness.

Warfare in the 21st Century rarely has a traditional front line, and many women have already faced combat situations during ambushes, etc., in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Like members of our armed forces do, they did a great job killing the bad guys.

If front line combat is rare, then women on the front line would be there because of a planned assault or defensive posture.  If a woman can pass the physical training standards equal to that of men in those cases, then I think this policy is fair.  Otherwise, I’d hate to think that we’d be putting women at unnecessary risk in the name of social progress.  At least the military has until 2016 to work out the kinks.

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