Saturday, January 26, 2013

Afghanistan Through My Eyes - Women In Combat

We have now joined the ranks of several countries that allow women in front-line combat positions. In Europe: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania and Sweden. Elsewhere: Australia, Canada and New Zealand in the Anglosphere; plus Eritrea, Israel and North Korea.

Here are some of the countries that allow women in positions such as fighter pilots. Pakistan, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Formally, American servicewomen up until now may only serve in combat as support, although many of these women do end up seeing combat.

(Anwar Amro - AFP/Getty Images)

Here is a new member of Syria's National Defense Force at a training center in Homs. The Syrian regime is arming and training Syrian women to fight.

I've been speaking to several women who are Veteran's and Active Duty service members as well some male counterparts on their reaction to the US allowing women assigned combat duty. The response actually surprised me. While the press is celebrating, the people I spoke to agree the positions should be open, but were not quite as thrilled about it. I believe it's because we had all seen combat...we wonder why anyone would want to go there.  

The old adage that if women decided who would go to war there wouldn't be my opinion is totally false. As Margaret Mead stated: Women should not be accepted as combat soldiers because they are too fierce.

"Women should be permitted to volunteer for non-combat service,… they should not be accepted, voluntarily or through the draft, as combat soldiers…. We know of no comparable ways of training women and girls, and we have no real way of knowing whether the kinds of training that teach men both courage and restraint would be adaptable to women or effective in a crisis. But the evidence of history and comparative studies of other species suggest that women as a fighting body might be far less amenable to the rules that prevent warfare from becoming a massacre and, with the use of modern weapons, that protect the survival of all humanity. This is what I meant by saying that women in combat might be too fierce." Margaret Mead: June 1968

But yes we all agree women should not be discriminated against. 

My question is about birth control. No one wants to address this issue, but there is sex in combat. Everyone I've spoken with wants to deny it happens, but now with the rape cases coming out it's obvious that there is sex going on...and some of it is consensual! So let's not have the military be like stupid parents and believe 'their' children aren't having sex unless they're married and only to whom their married too. Hello...look at the divorce rate. 

If I could be on any platform it would be: Birth control is required for both male and female combat soldiers while serving in country. Maybe Dr. Ruth Westheimer can address this. She was a sniper in Israel and wounded int he 1948 Arab-Israeli war...