A lot of 'ifs'

Placing women in combat is a risky decision

Having women in combat is fine.

If.

If the reason for it is to have the best fighters possible on the battlefield. There should be absolutely no other consideration, especially if it’s feel-good, look-good social engineering.

If the Armed Forces aren’t just being cajoled into it in order to win political points for the Obama administration.

If the requirements to get there are gender-neutral and not in any way watered down to get a particular result. As a military friend told us, “the tests should be real and should include dragging a wounded 200-pound buddy and stacking 150-pound ammunition crates, and road marching 15 miles in four hours with a 100-pound ruck.”

If civilian notions of decorum, including privacy, don’t follow the women onto the battlefield. We don’t need lawsuits over the failure to accommodate civilian sensibilities in war.

If it doesn’t adversely affect the world’s premier fighting force in any way.

Some would add: if girls are required to register for the draft. Equality is equality, isn’t it?

Most important, having women in combat is fine as long as none is taken prisoner and sexually assaulted by the
amoral savages we’re fighting.

That’s a big if. Does America have the stomach to watch its women be treated in such a manner?

As far as requiring girls to register for the draft when they turn 18, one academic tells The Christian Science Monitor that’s an easy question:

“The answer to that question is clearly yes,” says Anne Coughlin, a law professor at the University of Virginia School of Law in Charlottesville. “The legal argument is clear: If it comes to that kind of wrenching emergency where we have to press young people into service, there is no legal justification for saying that men alone need to shoulder that burden.”

On the one hand, there’s no doubt that some women today are as tough and capable as many men. And there’s a little satisfaction to be found in the thought of some women-hating radical Muslims having their rear ends booted by a combat-ready American woman.

But overall, this step is as risky a policy change as our Armed Forces have taken in years, perhaps decades.

We will just have to trust that the generals who approve it actually do approve of it, and that they’re right in their assessments of it.

It makes for a stimulating debate, of course, and the topic instantly hit the top of the news and the cable debating societies.

Yet, with the nagging sensation that it’s a mistake placed firmly in the back of our minds, may we suggest it’s time to turn our attention back to fixing this economy and this government?

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