Saturday, December 18, 2004

Women in Combat

I've generally been fairly indifferent to the notion of women in combat. After all, I knew a few girls during my brief stint in ROTC that seemed more than capable of handing themselves professionally in a combat situation. However, this information gives me pause:

[Elaine] Donnelly has written to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld warning that the military is becoming a haven for single moms. She said fiscal 2002 statistics show that the Navy reassigned to shore duty 2,159 pregnant women, or 12.3 percent of 17,543 enlisted women on ships.

"Overly generous incentives for single parents and large families attract even more unstable, low-income families that depend on the [Defense Department's] extensive social welfare system," Mrs. Donnelly wrote. "Some feminists have described the military, approvingly, as a 'Mecca' for single moms."

Perhaps a slight change in government policy would eliminate this problem, but it may just be more systemic. There's a good argument to be made for a male-only combat force, and the opposing argument seems to be based more upon anecdotes like mine than solid reasoning. That's something to consider.