Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The All-Male Military

Today I will tackle the issue of women and the military (and why the two shouldn’t mix).

People who are in favor of women in combat contend that it is discrimination not to allow women to fight. They do not understand that the military does not, and has never, functioned in a “fair” manner. For some men military service is their privilege, for others it is their duty, for no one is it his right. The military is not a social experiment -- it exists solely for the purpose of killing people and blowing things up. Women compromise this mission.

First of all there is the question of strength (liberal readers: please do not be so obtuse as to suggest that strength is not necessary in the modern war -- ask a soldier). Fortunately we have some statistics provided by various militaries who have evaluated woman’s combat effectiveness.

The English ran a series of physical capability tests and discovered the following: First, in a test requiring soldiers to carry 90 pounds of shells over a measured distance, the male failure rate was 20%, the female failure rate was 70%. Next, in a 12.5 mile march with 60 pounds of equipment followed by target practice, the male failure rate was 17% in comparison with a female failure rate of 48%. In addition, as the Center for Military Readiness reports, “females were generally slower in simulated combat experiences involving lengthy ‘fire and move’ situations [and] in close-quarter battle tests, including hand-to-hand combat, women suffered much higher injury rates [these findings] are even more significant in view of the fact that test exercises had been so diluted…that they amounted to little more than ‘aggressive camping’…another source [reported] that women were not capable of a number of tasks under battlefield conditions, such as digging themselves into hard ground under fire.” In an unsuccessful attempt to skew the results in favor of women, the trials were made easier by, for example, removing heavy weapons from the trials.

Canada put one hundred volunteer women through regular army basic training. The failure rate was 99%. In America women were found to be incapable of throwing grenades far enough to avoid killing themselves.

The need for strength is not limited to combat assignments. Stephanie Gutmann reported in The Kinder, Gentler Military that women mechanics are often not physically capable of lifting their own toolboxes -- they have to get a man to carry it for them.

There is also the question of woman’s emotional ability to fight. As Stephanie Gutmann writes, women in the Army’s new training system often begin to cry when they have to descend from a rappelling tower, and some women are so panic-stricken that they cannot rappel at all. One can safely conclude that if women were as aggressive as men that today’s most aggressive professions, such as driving a racecar or playing ice-hockey, would contain nearly the same number of men and women.

One of the most obvious arguments is that if women were good at fighting, they would have been in the army from time’s beginning (unless you posit that women are just as strong as men, and yet men were somehow in a position to prevent women from serving).
I have heard many people say, “Well Israel has a great military -- and they let women fight.” In reality, while it is true that Israel has perhaps the best military in the world, women are not allowed to occupy combat positions. The Israeli Pal Mach tried letting women fight during the Independence War, and it was such a disaster that Israel has banned women from combat ever since. As one Israeli general explained, they cannot afford to experiment with women because they are a serious military.

So, you say, even though most women are too weak to fight, there are a few who can do the job and we should let them do it. The reason that this does not work is that you cannot have men and women living and fighting together. One of the most obvious problems is demonstrated by the modern Navy, in which an average of 10% of the female crew aboard a ship becomes pregnant and must be flown by helicopter back to dry land.

No one has argued that allowing women to fight would make the military more effective; it is fairly clear that it would do the opposite. Notwithstanding the practical case against women in combat, there is also the moral argument. Is chivalry so dead that men are willing to send women to go and fight for them?


At 7:11 PM, Blogger James Howard Shott said...

I agree with you on women in combat or in certain fields where strength is a necessity. Females in some circumstances are a true distraction.

However, I have to say that when I was in the Air Force, women did excellent work in certain jobs, and there's no reason to keep them out of the military entirely.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Nick Speth said...

Woah, Republican Dan! Great insight, but I'm going to go ahead and get your face on a milk carton right now. Something like:

"Have you seen this blogger? He mysteriously vanished after advocating an all-male military. We presume he's been taken by the PC Police."

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Nick Speth said...

Oh, snap! I was just joking, but maybe he really was taken by the PC Police. Woe is us.

Anyway, in my silliness during my last comment I didn't actually address the real issue here. You have to understand that at the heart of this debate is the fact that liberals see the military as a giant welfare office, not, as R.Dan says here, something that "exists solely for the purpose of killing people and blowing things up." If you see the military like that, then sure, women, citizens in wheelchairs, and whoever else wants to join should be able to join.

At 3:47 PM, Blogger Sailorette said...

Folks find this odd, but I agree with you....

There are a few places where females in the military are a pretty good idea-- and lots of times when it's a *TERRIBLE* idea.

Much as I adore some of the other female sailors, we're given a really bad name by the other, oh, 90%. (I will not speak on the other services, because I don't have personal exp. with anything but Marines.)


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