Monday, January 28, 2013

Women in Combat

There has been a heap of commentary about the decision to let women into combat positions that they were previously not allowed to enter.  To be clear, women have been doing heaps of combat for the US armed forces.  They have been flying fighter planes and combat helicopters for a while now, AND they have served in various positions that exposed them to combat.  In Afghanistan, the Marines developed units of women to attach to infantry patrols so that the US could have some folks that could talk to the Afghan women. 

What is different now is that the fiction of women not serving in combat will be removed AND women will be able to serve in those posts that often seem necessary to get promoted--armor, infantry, artillery. 

Some people are saying stupid stuff.  Luckily, I was too busy to blog on this, so someone else did a very fine job of taking down a noted commentator on military stuff.

My favorite line in this piece:
But perhaps most disturbing is Martin Van Creveld’s conclusion, in which he summarizes the traditional role of men and women in society–that men fight wars abroad, so they might protect the childbearers remaining at home.  Some might call it mysoginistic, others anachronistic.
I call it historically inaccurate.
The piece then uses Van Creveld's previous work to show that VC is wrong.  Lovely.

Anyhow, this is good news.  While the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have been incredibly costly, they would be costlier still if we did not learn from them.  This decision shows that the learning curve is not as shallow as it once was.

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