Letter: No social experiments while the world smolders

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To the editor:

Kathleen Parker got it right in Monday's column on the folly of putting women in ground combat units. With half the world on fire and the other half smoldering, we can't have social experiments on the world's best fighting force. Will this mean that women will have to register for the selective service now that they are deemed fit to fight?

Why did the Pentagon decide to do this? To my knowledge, we are not in any sort of recruiting deficit that makes this plan in some way essential. Plus no other modern army has tried this. That sentence will have all the proponents up hollering Israeli Defense Force! No, the closest they come is two border patrol units and the military police. Considering they've always had their backs to the wall, the IDF has not thought this to be a sound military policy. As Parker points out, it's rooted in political correctness. The commander-in-chief is fluffing his thin legacy with another "I was the first president to ..."

Just how do they implement this? Given the natural interaction between young men and women, they'd better triple the size of the adjutant general to deal with the sexual harassment/assault cases. If women are vulnerable on a college campus, where they are in the majority, how will things play out at a forward operating base? I pity the poor ground commanders. Beside being shackled with all the rules of engagement and political caveats, I see a whole sub-section of well-being bureaucracy devoted to the female infantry person. The barriers that have kept women from combat units are natural and need not be tampered with. Some women would make good infantry of course but we don't have the time, money or patience to sort them out.

Tony Smith, Lenox


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