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Women in Direct Ground Combat -- Why Congress Must Intervene

March 28, 2013
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The Center for Military Readiness has prepared a brief but comprehensive analysis of issues raised when the Obama Administration set in motion a determined, incremental plan to unilaterally abolish military women's exemption from direct ground battalions. 

This CMR Policy Analysis explains why the only way to show true respect and support for both women and men in our military, and to preserve tough training standards and sound policy regarding Selective Service, is to codify women's long-standing direct ground combat exemptions: 

Defense Department Drive to Force Women Into Direct Ground Combat: Why Congress Must Intervene

Congress should exercise its constitutional authority over military policy by establishing a reality-based approach that combines recent lessons learned with classic principles constituting sound policy for women in the military.

Absent congressional action, the administration's ill-considered policies will impose heavy social burdens on the armed forces that compromise standards, increase violence against women, and put all personnel at greater risk.  Eventually, federal courts are likely to rule in favor of litigation to make unsuspecting civilian women subject to Selective Service registration and a possible future draft on the same basis as men.

It is not fair to use women as involuntary subjects in a social experiment testing a controversial twentieth-century social science theory — that men and women are physical equals and interchangeable in all roles.  Thirty years of studies and reports in the U.S. and the United Kingdom have provided abundant empirical evidence to the contrary. 

There is more to this issue, however, than physical strength.  As documented in this CMR Policy Analysis, in recent years all branches of the service have experienced alarming increases in sexual assaults and misconduct that weakens morale and team cohesion:

Chilling Trend of Sexual Assaults in the Military

There is no evidence that this radical, unnecessary change will improve direct ground combat forces in any way.  And there is no other nation in the world with a military comparable to ours (allied or potential adversary) that assigns women in fighting land combat units.  To preserve the culture of our military as the finest in the world, Congress must treat this is a serious national defense issue and intervene before it is too late.

Military women, men, and the nation as a whole are counting on Congress to provide careful oversight, and to restore sound priorities that strengthen the All-Volunteer Force instead of weakening it.

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