February 26 2013
If women play the same role as men in combat, does that mean that in a national emergency daughters will be drafted same as sons?
The rationale for not requiring women to register with Selective Service is that women, though they now operate close to combat, nevertheless still don’t perform the same military jobs as men.
In a must-read piece for anyone concerned about sending women into combat, Maggie Gallagher writes:
The Obama administration framed its decision to put women into combat as a matter of choice and fairness. “Not everyone is going to be able to be a combat soldier,” outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said, “but everyone is entitled to a chance.”
But there is little about war that is either about choice or fairness.
Here’s a big question President Obama ought to face head on: Is he willing to draft "Julia" on an equal basis with John and if not, why not? ("Julia" was the Obama campaign's fictional construct of the average American woman, whose support they sought.)
Because President Obama has just single-handedly gutted the legal rationale for excluding women from the draft.
In 1981, the Supreme Court upheld a males-only draft registration law for one reason alone: “Since women are excluded from combat, Congress concluded that they would not be needed in the event of a draft.”
That law excluding women from the draft is now a sitting duck, bereft of any legal legs to stand on unless President Obama steps forward to provide a new rationale.
Will Obama moms put up with the prospect that their daughters could be sent to war involuntarily, just like men? Will anyone put the question to them or to President Obama in a politically effective way?
Gallagher raises questions about the military effectiveness of sending women into combat, the comparative cost to the taxpayer of one male recruit versus one female recruit, and the physical and mental effect of combat on a woman as compared to a man.
She also notes that one in ten active duty women becomes pregnant unintentionally each year.
If one out of ten men were unavailable for combat each year because of an unexpected medical condition, our military would literally be decimated.
The taxpayers, meanwhile, bear an unequal burden in hiring women soldiers who serve less time, sustain more injuries, and are much more likely to be non-deployable.
What about the cost to young women themselves? After ten years in combat-exposed service, the Pentagon should have hard data but if so it is not releasing it.
Unfortunately, no amount of data will change some minds. The drive to put women in combat is based not on data but on ideology.