Wednesday, January 12, 2005

President vows no women in combat, but watch how "combat" is defined

According to an article today in the Washington Times, President Bush's policy on women in ground combat takes just four words to articulate: "No women in combat."

He has no intention of sending women into ground combat, a mission for which they are banned under Pentagon policy. But he added, "Having said that, let me explain, we've got to make sure we define combat properly: We've got women flying choppers and women flying fighters, which I'm perfectly content with." Ewww. We have President Clinton to blame for lifting the ban in 1994 on women in combat aircraft and ships after receiving reports of women excelling during Operation Desert Storm.

The Washington Times has reported on internal Army memos that show some officials are pushing the Pentagon to lift the ban so that mixed-sex Forward Support Companies (FSC) can collocate with armor and infantry battalions within a "unit of action."

A recent briefing portrays the Army in a bind. If it collocates FSCs with combat teams and keeps them men-only, then it "creates potential long-term challenge to Army; pool of male recruits too small to sustain force," the Army documents stated.

Let's pray that the gender-based recruiting quotas that have caused the apparent shortages in male soldiers won't lead to more loosening of what is defined as "combat" and send more women further into harm's way.


Anonymous said...

Tim, My son is a student at Patrick Henry College and has chosen "Women in the American Military" as the broad topic for a paper he has to write this term. We don't believe that women should even be in the military at all, much less in combat roles. He has done a lot of research about what the Bible says but do you know of any good books on the subject? Also, I read your blog regularly, and should let you know how much I appreciate it. JaimeW

Tim said...


An army friend of mine has a son, Isaiah McPeak, at PHC. He's in his first year there and thriving.

Regarding research for your son's term paper, has a great listing of books and articles including the series done by Vision Forum last year which I appreciated.

I also recommend he attempt to get a copy of the study on women's roles that the Army recently completed (it's referenced in the Washington Times series on the website listed above). It appears that this study is still "close hold" but if he has enough time he may be able to get a copy by requesting it under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). I'm sure there are some folks at PHC that know how to do that!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! My son, Kyle says to say thanks too. This is his 2nd year at PHC but he is what they call a campus and home student. He is taking his core curriculum online and will attend on the campus his final 2 years. We appreciate your help. JaimeW

Valerie (Kyriosity) said... know the McPeaks? This is "it's a small world after all" week for me!

Tim said...

Yes, we were assigned together a few years ago. The McPeak family is very dear to both Kristin and me; I credit them with gently leading us out of squishy-evangelicalism.

Valerie (Kyriosity) said...

They're members of the church I've been attending. I'll have to do some name-dropping on Sunday!