How Cowards Are Pushing Women into Combat


511uIIOG9ZL“I wish that every politician would read this book,”  retired Lieutenant General William G. “Jerry” Boykin said at the Family Research Council (FRC) on September 4, 2013 (event video here).  Boykin was introducing his FRC colleague and fellow army veteran, retired Lieutenant Colonel Robert L. Maginnis, to discuss the recent release of Deadly Consequences:  How Cowards are Pushing Women into Combat.  In it Maginnis clearly and comprehensively demonstrates the “insanity” of assigning women to ground combat units.

The January 24, 2013, Obama Administration decision to open ground combat units to women “is contradicted by science, all empirical data, the experience of other nations, and common sense,” Maginnis writes.  While there is “no question” that “American women have served the nation honorably,” Obama’s policy “is immoral and un-American.” “Radical feminism…at war with human nature itself,” not combat efficiency, is the reason for Obama’s policy.

Along with a “bankrupt political class,” America’s “senior generals are showing moral cowardice” by not speaking out against this dangerous agenda.  Maginnis criticizes that these senior officers, who, surveys indicate, stay in the military after the best officers have left, are “agreeable bobblehead dolls” as shown by the American military’s about-face on homosexuality. Additionally, none of the current Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) accepting female fighting is a ground combat veteran.

Commanders and politicians are responding to opinion polls showing 75% support for “women as gladiators” in the “most violent environment known to man—direct ground combat.” A “naïve American public” is “blindly acquiescing in this violence against women in the name of equal opportunity.” This largely derives from “two generations of men with no military experience” whose only knowledge “about war and the military comes from movies and video games.”  “To livelong civilians, G.I. Jane is ‘fact,’” Maginnis sneers in reference to the 1997 Demi Moore movie about a female SEAL.

In such entertainment women are “groin-kicking, karate divas and wannabe special-ops killers.” In tandem, “captive to feminist ideology, the media portray women as dominant, powerful, and ready for combat.” Thus Americans are willing to entertain an “androgynous” view of the American military as in the 1978 television series Battlestar Galactica.

Yet real veterans like the former SEAL and Montana state senator Ryan Zinke warn that military reality “is not a Demi Moore movie.”  Multiple war veteran and Marine Corps Commandant General Robert H. Barrow testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in 1991 that ground combat is “uncivilized and women can’t do it.” West Point graduate Brigadier Edwin L. Kennedy concurred while thinking of his hand-to-hand death struggles in Korea, saying that “absolutely no woman that I have ever seen or known…could handle this.”

Basic gender strength differences preclude a policy of women in ground combat.  Drawing upon a football analogy in the book, Maginnis at FRC argued that putting women into ground combat is “like putting women in the gridiron.” In contrast, military efforts to equate the genders physically will require “gender norming.” In this “plain stupidity,” women will receive the same performance evaluations as men while meeting much less physically demanding standards (e.g. three pull-ups by a woman counts as 20 by a man).

Maginnis assembles considerable data to prove that women in ground combat will not only weaken their units, but also suffer considerable injuries from trying to make female bodies perform like male bodies.  “Women are going to suffer tremendously,” Maginnis said at FRC.  Not only physical exertion, but also poor hygiene greatly stresses female bodies.

Marine Corps combat engineer Captain Katie Petronio agreed with Maginnis in the book.  After a combat tour each in Afghanistan and Iraq, the former college hockey player Petronio wrote in the Marine Corps Gazette that “we are not all created equal.” With various injuries including infertility arising from her constant exertions, Petronio concluded that the “bottom line is that the enemy does not discriminate, rounds will not slow down, and combat loads don’t get any lighter, regardless of gender or capability.”

Female bodies will also introduce sexual issues into previously all-male ground combat units.  Maginnis’s discussion of soldierly sexuality in Afghanistan and Iraq shows that the “war zone was also a sex zone” while he also finds the “similarity of the isolated military community to dorm life…striking.”  This sex is going to have negative effects, such as the 12% of 40,000 military women whom a 1996 study concluded were pregnant during the Gulf War, a figure extrapolated across the military today that would equal 9,203 non-deployable women or 14 battalions.  From his own experience as an Inspector General investigator, Maginnis furthermore knows that illicit sexual liaisons “are terribly damaging” to units.  Sexual assault is also a growing problem in the military, such that the Department of Defense (DOD) has more sexual assault response coordinators (25,000) than recruiters (19,000) and DOD’s Sexual Assault and Response Office has gone from $5 million in 2005 to $23 million in 2010.

Sexual assault can come from military foes as well as friends, as army soldiers Major Rhonda Cornum and Private Jessica Lynch later revealed following their captivity in Iraq in the first and second Gulf Wars respectively.  “The same people who decry sexual harassment in the barracks,” Maginnis noted, “shrug their shoulders at the prospect of American servicewomen falling into the hands of the world’s most depraved misogynists.” American Vietnam prisoners of war (POWs), meanwhile, have testified before Congress that their own torture would have simply been worse with knowledge of women POWs simultaneously undergoing torture.

Not just physical, but also spiritual aspects of women in ground combat concern Maginnis.  In ground combat a “warrior spirit” is the “intangible but decisive factor in the fight” and the “men who embody that spirit can be an otherwise unsavory lot.” “These warriors seek violence and love a good gunfight,” Maginnis stated.  “These rough-hewn men with their often alarming characters win the hard-fought victories.” Such personalities derive from male abundance of testosterone, “nature’s risk-taking, fear-suppressing, aggression-enhancing wonder drug.”

Ground combat units are indeed “hypermasculine,” a term once defined in Maginnis’s view “like a description of a combat infantry unit.” To wit, hypermasculinity in this definition entails “normative standards of masculinity that emphasize aggressiveness, dominance, and independence, and that minimize sensitivity, gentleness, and other stereotypically feminine characteristics.” Worrying for women in any such environment, such characteristics correlate with “heightened propensity to commit rape.”

According to studies cited by Maginnis, the “more ‘masculine’ the culture of a unit is, the lower the chances are of successfully integrating women into the unit.”  Women in such units lead to a less masculine culture and less unit cohesion.  Additionally, the “longer a unit is deployed, the more ‘hypermasculine’ it becomes.”

Buttressing Maginnis’s arguments, he searches the past “in vain for stories of women’s superiority in war or even their equivalence to men in combat.”  Through “three thousand years of recorded history, no country has thought sending women into battle is a good idea.” Only the Soviet Union fighting for national survival in World War II used women “in sustained conventional combat” but never returned to this practice, as it was shown to be inefficient.  Feminists also like to call the fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq where American women have served “high-intensity combat,” but “counterinsurgency is best compared to high-intensity police work, not high-intensity conventional combat.” The daily death rate for the American military in Iraq was 1.8 compared to 260 for World War II.

Maginnis’s survey of militaries around the world shows very few women actually coming forward to exercise theoretical opportunities to become land combatants. A 1992 presidential commission, for example, studied how 103 Canadian women had applied to join their country’s infantry, but only one woman completed the training, merely to be reassigned.  In the American experience, Marine Corps officer courses both ended in 2012 and 2013 with two female candidates dropping out.  Similarly finding that only 1% of women could meet the same physical standards as men, the British government retained its female ground combatant ban in 2010. Various American allies decried by Maginnis for their military inadequacy, meanwhile, do not consider fighting needs when integrating women into combat forces.  “Combat readiness is not an overarching concern of the Danish military,” a Danish briefer told the 1992 commission when discussing his country’s lifting of its female combat exclusion.

The result of such thinking in America and elsewhere is a “gender-normed job corps, in which multiculturalism and radical feminism have replaced readiness as a strategic imperative.”  There could easily be more of this to come, as female ground combatants void any legal justification for excluding women from conscription. Yet the 154 American women who died between September 11, 2001, and May 2013 serving in Afghanistan and Iraq indicate that female ground combatants fail to serve not only military needs but societal as well.  Even though “sending a two-year-old’s mother to war is worse than sending the child’s father,” 19 of these women returned “home to their children in body bags.”

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  • shukov

    What kind of men send their women into combat?

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Leftists.

    • tickletik

      We arent men anymore.

    • herb benty

      Traitors and treasonous men, saturated in radical feminism(commies) and PC up the yinyang.

  • davarino

    Your out in the field and there are women in your squad. You have to carry for them, protect them, worry about them. Now if she gets chummy with one of the guys the others might get jealous, now its just her and her boyfriend. Of course if the women wants out because its scarry, then all she has to do is get pregnant and voila, ticket home. Is a woman going to have the guts to be the first one in to clear a building? I guess we’ll find out.
    How bout this, if women are so fit to be on the battle field then why dont they form all women squads? Lets see if women would go for that. Oh that would be priceless to watch in real life battle.

    • tickletik

      Only if you are the side shooting at them.

    • Aizino Smith

      I’m good with all female navy ships like destroyers or all female infantry regiments.

      But I do not think the NAGS from National Organization of Women (NOW) had that in mind as you implied. They wanted the free ride.

  • jubalbiggs

    The problem with women in combat isn’t even the physical limitations. Even if you find a one in a million woman able to physically keep up with a combat infantry unit, the very presence of that woman in the middle of the unit will destroy unit cohesion and morale. Men will instinctively go from bonding with one another to becoming rivals. There are hard-wired things in human survival psychology that destroy unit morale when you mix sexes in a survival situation. If you MUST put females in the military, they have to be in all-female units.

  • TheOrdinaryMan

    I’ll wager that part of the reason that many American men no longer feel like men, is the proliferation of Demi(“I hate America”) Moore movies. If there’s a movie out there that shows, half-way realistically, ground combat, try John Milius’ “The Roughriders.”(No women in combat in that one) Seriously, women don’t belong in ground combat. Said with all due respect to the ladies of our armed forces, most of whom have given us a great deal, and don’t lack for courage, in any way.

  • timpottorff

    So typical of leftist mentality which is void of common sense and the obvious differences in the sexes put there by the Creator….oh, I forgot they don’t believe in a Creator either.

  • Leland64

    Idiots like Barbara Boxer are concerned about the “macho culture” of the military and have no idea of the importance of unit cohesion or the physical and mental demands of sustained ground combat. There is a place for women in the military but not in the Infantry.

  • ForTheLesser

    If the women who want to join the combat positions, can do all the training and pass all the requirements without any bars being lowered, I don’t see a problem. (Granted I’ve never been in the military) I would expect them to be able to carry a wounded soldier to safety the same as anyone else, (and without dragging them by the feet down a flight of stairs, to paraphrase a comedian whom I can’t remember.)

    • Drakken

      As a combat Marine Veteran I can clearly state what you said is complete utter BS, throw a female into a male mix and it is a recipe for breakdown of good order, disciple and moral. I have seen it time and time again occurring in the rear areas during combat operations, throw them into infantry units and it will be much worse and cause lots of body bags to be filled. Women do not have the metal or physical capacity to handle up close hand to hand combat nor carry their male counter part out of the danger zone and their hesitancy to freeze in times of crisis when action is required gets lots of folks dead. Please show me anywhere in the world a woman who can take a male trained combat infantryman, you can’t, because they do not exist.

  • tokoloshiman

    this issue raises in my mind the issue of women raping men. is there any scenario where a captured adult male enemy could be raped or gang raped
    as happens to women/girls by male soldiers during war?
    the notion is ridiculous. to me the same applies in civilian life, men cannot be raped by women.

    • ForTheLesser

      Sure they can. They don’t need a p**s. They just need an object and to get you on your stomach. And the ones who Are hardcore enough to make combat, might be able to.

  • herb benty

    Men are BORN with 30% more muscles than women…for starters. Our enemies will certainly adore the idea!

  • FrontPgSubscr

    EXACTLY as stated … only COWARDS hide behind women!! (What
    brought us to this point?????)

  • A woman

    I am thankful for such men as Mr. Harrod presents who still represent real men and protector of true women. Thank you Mr. Harrod for this article.

    Romans chapter 1
    21 For even though they knew God, they did not [n]honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. . . .24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for [p]a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed [q]forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is [r]unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing [s]indecent acts and receiving in [t]their own persons the due penalty of their error.

  • ADM64

    As with an earlier article on this subject a few days ago, the problem is that ever since most of the jobs in the armed forces were opened to women in 1993, everyone has proclaimed the result a success and now trots out the same arguements used against those changes back then. It is not a strategy that will convince anyone. Rather, one has to recognize that all of the problems predicted 20 years ago – problems of lowered standards, of fraternization, pregnancy and sexual harassment – have come to pass. We have simply not taken the consequences because neither the Navy nor the Air Force have engaged a competitive enemy during this time (neither has the Army or the Marines but they are still fighting at a more intense level than their two more technology-oriented sister services). To the extent that there have been problems, they have been swept under the rug, mostly because no one wants to be accused of sexism nor to trash our servicewomen. Well, I applaud the willingness to serve of those women who want to do so, but I condemn their acceptance of “opportunity” at the expense of performance, particularly amongst the officers. In the final analysis, no matter how willing, patriotic or enthusiastic a woman, if she can’t meet all of the same standards as a man, she has no business in the military. And, if the only reason she can’t meet the standards is because she is a woman, and men and women are different, than too bad.

    To my mind, the simple test of the current policies should be the claims made for them on behalf of their advocates. Twenty years ago – indeed twenty years before that when the Womens’ Auxiliaries were rolled into the regular forces and the service academies went coed – two claims were made: first there would be no adjustment to standard and second that all of the problems of fraternization, pregnancy and sexual harassement could be dealt with by proper “leadership,” “discipline” and “training.” Neither claim has panned out. There is no evidence at all that more than 2% of American women could perform physically to the standard of an average male; so standards were adjusted to achieve a critical mass of women in the forces. Every time we increase the roles in which women can serve, fraternization, pregnancy and other sexual problems increase in number, despite also ever increasing amounts of “training.” Only the political left, pro-government types, and the fairness-blinded “white knight” sort of man
    thinks this constitutes “success.”

  • Blade

    Readers, only having been part of conflicts since Panama to the present, I am sure that my comments may not rank with many of the more senior veterans who have something to say. However, what I can say is that, our biggest issue begins with a current lack of knowlegde about history. Remember when leaders would meet with past Presidents, Cabinet members, etc, from past war eras to get there opinions? This information provided in this article and the daily actions by this administration, shows that its interest is in capturing the minds of the youth who have no idea what we are talking about. Remember the President’s goal is to “Fundamentally change the US”.
    Based on my military and edcuational training, there have been thousands of years, thousands of conflicts, and the acient books written on warfare, strategy, tactics, (none, which cover the long term use of women in combat) these have not been seen as important books today.
    Finally, the one thing we all see, know, and most are afraid to admit, is that this is another addition to our decaying moral fabric. When we forsake our belief in Christ (or for some a set of moral values) to for the sake of inclusion we are bound to suffer or perish.