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posted by martyb on Friday December 04 2015, @03:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the anything-you-can-do... dept.

Multiple sources report that on Thursday, December 3rd, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced that the US military will open all combat jobs to women. From The Wall Street Journal:

"This means that, as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before," Mr. Carter said.

He spelled out the implications of his decision: "They'll be allowed to drive tanks, fire mortars, and lead infantry soldiers into combat. They'll be able to serve as Army Rangers and Green Berets, Navy SEALs, Marine Corps infantry, Air Force parajumpers and everything else that was previously open only to men."

[...] The practical effect of the announcement is to open up the 10% of positions that still remain closed to women--nearly 220,000 jobs--in infantry, reconnaissance and special operations units.

[Much more after the break.]

ABC News brings us some words from combat veteran and US congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (link again):

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., one of the first Army women to fly combat missions in the 2003-2011 Iraq war, welcomed the decision.

"I didn't lose my legs in a bar fight -- of course women can serve in combat," said Duckworth, whose helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. "This decision is long overdue."

The Kurdish militia is another option for women who want to fight. Fox News earlier this year wrote about one such woman, Gill Rosenberg:

A Canadian-born Israeli woman who joined a Kurdish militia to fight against the Islamic State group said that after a stint in prison, she felt compelled to do something positive with her life and battle against the "genocide" unfolding in Syria and Iraq.

Gill Rosenberg, 31, was among the first female volunteers to fight in the Syrian civil war.

Vice brings us a story about another woman determined to fight ISIS, model Hanna Bohman:

As thousands of Syrian refugees flee the country, escaping Bashar al-Assad's barrel bombs and the barbarism of ISIS, one woman from Canada has headed to the war zone for a second time.

Hanna Bohman, aka Tiger Sun, joined the women's militia army of the People's Defence Unit, known as the YPJ in the Kurdish region of Syria (Rojava) following a near-fatal motorbike accident last year.

Also see NPR's coverage: Pentagon Says Women Can Now Serve In Front-Line Ground Combat Positions.


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  • (Score: 2) by jmorris on Saturday December 05 2015, @03:40AM

    by jmorris (4844) on Saturday December 05 2015, @03:40AM (#272073)

    This is a stupid notion, but not for any of the typical reasons. Many of those reasons are also valid but I want to raise an objections that should be argument enders but won't be.

    Let us assume for the sake of argument that women (some almost certainly exist... not in the numbers diversity mandates will require) can pass the same tests and when the coming world war gets underway all the doubters are forced to admit women perform in actual combat equal to men. The absolute best case scenario, right? Nope.

    Consider this problem. Men are programmed to defend and protect women. It is in the firmware. The purpose of a military is to kill people and break things until the enemy apologizes for the offense that lead to war and pursues terms for peace. While we all hope and pray it is the American soldier doing the killing and breaking, the reality is the enemy usually manages a bit in return. While our forces have a tradition of never leaving a man behind we must face the reality that it won't be the same when it is a female soldier down behind enemy lines. Because it won't BE the same, female soldiers must face horrors most male captives won't, especially considering our most likely opponents will be followers of the perverted prophet. So two scenarios, either men get needlessly killed in daring rescues or the Army does manage to develop a training regime which manages to reprogram human nature. Either one is a disaster. Option one causes extra wartime losses and could cost battles or even the whole war. The other is even worse, it implies the Army has created monsters who must never be returned to civilian life but the nature of the U.S. armed forces implies that the vast majority will be.

    Or another problem. So long as we only suffer token losses in limited wars mostly fought by special forces there is no real problem. But in a real war, an existential struggle for survival where half the generation can be lost like WWI was for Europe say, losing large numbers of your male population is survivable but losing a large portion of your women of child bearing age brings the very survival of your civilization into question. Bluntly, we males are expendable.

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