Center for Military Readiness (CMR) president Elaine Donnelly continues to challenge outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s elimination of the ban against women serving in combat. A 42-page report, “Defense Department ‘Diversity’ Push for Women In Land Combat” is a no-holds-barred assessment of the pitfalls that attend women serving in combat units. In a memo released Monday, Donnelly reveals why the report is necessary. “Secretary Panetta is making this move on his way out the door, cutting Congress, and the American people out of the decision-making process…Congress…should schedule long-overdue hearings that examine the full consequences of imposing gender-based ‘diversity metrics’ on infantry battalions,” it reads.
The report begins by revealing the Obama administration began accelerating the effort to increase military “diversity” in February 2012, when a Defense Department report officially repealed the “collocation” rule that had been circumvented without authorization since 2004. In other words, despite a 1994 ban on women operating in locations near combat units, the rule was being routinely ignored–for diversity’s sake.
As the Pentagon continued to move forward with its plan, it began following the recommendations made by the Military Leadership Diversity Commission (MLDC), a committee established by Congress comprised of military and civilian diversity “experts.” In 2011, they released a report, “From Representation to Inclusion: Diversity Leadership for the 21st Century Military,” that sought to explain the rationale behind the push for greater diversity. “The Commission found that top military leaders are representative neither of the population they serve nor of the forces they lead. The extent to which racial/ethnic minorities and women are underrepresented varies across the Services, but the Commission found, on average, low racial/ethnic minority and female representation among senior military officers,” it stated.
Regarding women, this outlook reveals why the Pentagon feels it has become necessary to allow women to go into combat. The CMR report explains. “Since ground combat experience often (but not always) improves chances of promotion to general officer and senior enlisted ranks, the MLDC is recommending that female officers and enlisted personnel be ordered (not allowed) to serve in ‘tip of the spear’ units involved in direct ground combat.” Thus, the MLDC “has recommended that women be assigned to infantry units at the battalion level, primarily to promote career opportunities and promotions for a few female officers to three- and four-star rank.”
As CMR’s report rightly notes, this turns the entire purpose of what the military is supposed to be about on its head. Diversity is not being pursued to improve military readiness as much as it is being pursued to improve the career chances of what amounts to a handful of women in the higher echelons of the military command structure. As a result, the military is prepared to embrace the circular reasoning of “diversity metrics” designed to obscure the genuine differences that exist between men and women, in order to reach predetermined outcomes that allow more women to be assigned to combat units. This in turn enhances their prospects for career advancement, which will undoubtedly be used as rationale to promote the idea that no real differences exist between the sexes.
Thus we get the essence of radical feminism, the idea that man and women are equal in every respect, even if it means “fudging” some realities to get there. As the CMR’s report reveals, that’s exactly what the Pentagon has done, noting that physical capability tests measuring common skills “have been scaled back from six to three and adjusted to reduce physical demands and improve women’s achievement scores.”
The CMR report goes on to outline many drawbacks of women in combat, but the most significant aspect of it concerns a test conducted by the Marines to evaluate whether women could meet the same physical capabilities expected of men. They intended to collect data from 90 women as part of the evaluation process, but only two volunteered to be part of the grueling Infantry Officer Course at Quantico, Va. Both women failed to pass it. Speaking to Front Page, Donnelly reveals that several sources have given her information about the other aspects of the test. Yet she notes that the results of the test have not been released to the public, despite what Leon Panetta said yesterday when he officially announced the lifting of the ban:
Women have shown great courage and sacrifice on and off the battlefield, contributed in unprecedented ways to the military’s mission and proven their ability to serve in an expanding number of roles,” Panetta said at a Pentagon news conference. “The department’s goal in rescinding the rule is to ensure that the mission is met with the best-qualified and most capable people, regardless of gender.
“If the tests conducted by the Marines confirm what Panetta said, then why haven’t they been released?” wonders Donnelly. “And if they don’t, then what is he doing?” Both questions deserve an answer, yet one suspects that the Obama administration has already provided it. Leon Panetta is a lame duck on his way out. As a result, the likelihood of him having to explain anything–including his role in the Benghazi debacle which this latest action pushes even further below the media radar–is virtually nil. Furthermore, putting women in combat has obscured the far bigger issue: this president’s appetite for naked power grabs is getting out of hand.
Elaine Donnelly reinforces that argument along with her own contentions in a statement released recently:
Following orders from President Barack Obama, lame-duck Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has recklessly announced unilateral nullification of direct ground combat exemptions that are important to the majority of military women who serve in the enlisted ranks. Secretary Panetta has excluded Congress and the American people from the decision-making process, and imposed a radical ‘diversity’ agenda on our military without disclosing the data and results of extensive research on the subject of women in land combat that the Marine Corps conducted last year. Congress should insist on seeing data gathered during the Marines’ research, and conduct immediate oversight hearings before harmful policies imposed by the outgoing Secretary of Defense become de facto law.
Thanks to the Left’s slanderous “war on women” campaign, which has paralyzed rational debate on such matters, don’t count on a single member of Congress rising to the occasion.
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