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Women in Combat: Is the Point of War to Fight and Win? Or Not?

USMC-120315-M-5216G-001By Maj. Gen. Jerry R. Curry, US Army Ret., D. Min.
Clash Daily Guest Contributor

The mission of the nation’s armed forces is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. To succeed our armed forces must be effectively trained and prepared to fight and win wars. Success in war is a question of military effectiveness, not political correctness.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s unfortunate announcement last week that he has approved assigning women to military front line combat units is about diversity and women rising to positions of high military leadership, not about military effectiveness. If Secretary Panetta thought that assigning women to combat would have increased the nation’s military effectiveness he would have done it when he first became Secretary of Defense. Then he could have seen the policy through to its implementation, not just pass it off onto his replacement secretary for execution.

Some years ago, when I was the Chief of Staff of a U.S. Army Corps in Germany, we received a communication from the Pentagon saying that the decision had been made to assign women to military combat units down to regimental level. It also alerted us that our first contingent of women would arrive in about three weeks.

The next day at the morning staff meeting I told the Corps Commander about the communication and asked whether he had any particular guidance for the staff in its development of a policy to integrate women into corps combat units. He thought for a few minutes then, in jest, said, “Yes, throw the women into the open showers with the men. Those who manage to fight their way out alive, keep. Ship the others back to the Pentagon.”

Of course, his offhand, meant-to-be-humorous comments in no way represented actual army or corps policy. In fact, the integration of women into our regimental level combat units went smoothly and those problem which did develop, which were many, were handled skillfully and professionally. The women performed their peace time duties as well as our male soldiers.

But the Commander’s words did have a ring of truth to them. Woman shouldn’t and couldn’t — then and now — be expected to live up to male physical conditioning standards. Imagine women assigned to combat outpost duty in Afghanistan. Imagine what would happen to them if they were captured by Al-Qaeda or Muslim extremists and gang raped over and over and over again. The women who lived through such a horrifying experience could be mentally and emotionally crippled for life. And those in the White House and Pentagon who were responsible for exposing them to such horror should be taken out and shot.

Any nation that assigns women to fight on the front lines of its military forces is doomed to be defeated in battle. It is like women playing in the “Superbowl.” How long do you think the physically best of woman would hold up against the constant pounding of a 350 pound NFL lineman? One play, two, maybe three?

Why in the name of all that is holy are the Pentagon’s Generals and Admirals sanctioning the assignment of women to front line military combat units? We know the White House is proposing it for the same reason it is supporting illegal immigration, to score political points and amass election votes with Hispanics. But for the life of me I don’t understand the silence coming out of the Pentagon.

If a commander really cared about the safety of his or her troops and is honestly looking out for their welfare, he or she will oppose Panetta’s ill-advised decision at all costs. The generals and admirals should fight to the death the idea of assigning woman to front line combat units. On any given day a male army will decisively defeat a female army again, again, and again. An NFL team made up of the best and most physically conditioned women in the nation will be soundly whipped by the worst male team in the league.

What a cowardly — or is the word stupid — nation we have become, to believe that we can successfully use women to fight our nation’s battles and wars. Do we really want to see America’s women, wives, and mothers beheaded and their naked bodies dragged through the streets of some middle-eastern hell hole of a nation, for that is exactly what will eventually happen. Were Patrick Henry of Virginia here he would scream, “Forbid it, Almighty God!”

But he is not here and our generals and admirals are either unwilling, or have been cowed into, not speaking out in opposition to this insanity. Once again it comes down to “We The People” having to step up and shout, “No-No-No, American women should not be forced to serve in front line military combat units! Diversity is not the same as military necessity. Men were physically created to fight wars, not women.”

Image: Released by the United States Marine Corps; author: English: Marti Gatlin; public domain.

jerry_curryGeneral Jerry Ralph Curry (D.Min.) is a decorated combat veteran, Army Aviator, Paratrooper and Ranger. He enlisted in the Army as a Private and retired a Major General. For nearly forty years he and his wife Charlene have served this country both in the military and while he was a Presidential political appointee.