Debate Magazine

Obama Opening Combat to Women Means They Will Need to Register for Selective Service

By Eowyn @DrEowyn

He promised the “fundamental transformation” of America — and that includes the former greatest military in the world.

Obama assiduously is social re-engineering the military. See:

The latest: Beginning next year, 2016, all U.S. military combat roles will be open to women, including Navy SEALs and Army Rangers, should they meet the test, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced on Dec. 3.

In so doing, Carter rejected a request from the Marine Corps for a partial exception, in order to keep the infantry, machine gunner, and fire support reconnaissance men-only. Carter said no: “We are a joint force, and I have decided to make a decision which applies to the entire force.”

Obama at LGBT fundraiser in NY, Sept. 27, 2015.

In a statement released by the White House Thursday, Obama said that opening up the remaining 10 percent of military positions, including combat roles, to women “is another historic step forward.” He said, “As Commander in Chief, I know that this change, like others before it, will again make our military even stronger.” Obama had said the same thing when he earlier opened the ranks to homosexuals.

But a RAND Corporation study found strong opposition from special ops and non-commissioned officers, at a time when Obama is sending 100-200 special ops troops to Iraq in the next few weeks as part of a military strategy “to defeat the Islamic State.” The special ops will undertake intelligence-gathering, raids, and assassinations of top ISIS leaders. Carter said it would also give the U.S. a better vantage point, allowing troops to move into Syria with ease.

In a nearly 300-page report obtained exclusively by Defense One with more than 150 additional pages of technical notes based on focus groups and a survey of those inside the special operations community, RAND Corporation researchers found “strong, deep seated and intensely felt opposition to opening SOF (special operations forces) . . . to women,” especially among SEALs, Air Force special ops and non-commissioned officers: 

  • As many as 85% of survey participants oppose letting women into special operations forces (SOF).
  • 71% oppose women in their unit.
  • The main concern of those who oppose women in special ops has to do with “mission effectiveness” and the unit’s “continued ability to function as a highly performing team”.

The study found three biggest areas of worry among special ops concerning women in combat:

  1. Eroding standards.
  2. A decline in unit cohesion, mission effectiveness, and the ability to function as a highly performing team.
  3. A question about how leadership would resolve conflicts between men and women.

On the matter of women’s physical readiness for special op standards, the RAND study not surprisingly found that “On average, males generally outperform females.” The RAND study nevertheless proclaims that “although there are often large differences between men and women, primary emphasis must be placed on an individual’s capabilities to perform critical tasks…. Just as very few men succeed in qualifying for SOF and the ones that do are in the tail of the distribution, the same is likely to apply to women.”

The study optimistically concludes that despite “the challenges facing SOCOM [U.S. Special Operations Command] should it decide to integrate women into SOF units, are real and multifaceted, but none of them is insurmountable. The key to successful integration of out-groups is the implementation process. A successful integration of women into SOF…will require transparency, effective leadership and communication, monitoring of progress, and openness to innovation, flexibility and adaptability. Even with all of the above, the process is still likely to face major challenges because of the depth and scope of opposition and concern among the force.”

Joseph Votel, Obama, Lloyd Austin IIINotwithstanding the RAND study’s findings of strong opposition to women in special ops and female lack-of-physical-fitness, SOCOM commander Gen. Joseph Votel has already endorsed the opening of all combat roles to women. In an 8-minute video released to his troops, Votel said:

“We need a wide range of exceptional people to be combat effective and to help us address the complex security problems of today’s environment. After weighing and considering the rigorous analysis . . . I have determined that there is no compelling analytical data that would support an exception of policy for special operations.

The opening of combat roles to women means that women will be fully integrated into the U.S. military. That, in turn, means that just as men of military age are required to register for Selective Service, women will have to as well.

In fact, a reporter asked Defense Secretary Carter exactly that question on Dec. 3: “Mr. Secretary, does this decision [to open all combat roles to women] now lead to a — a greater debate about whether women need to register for Selective Service?”

Carter replied, “It may do that, Phil. That is a matter of legal dispute right now, and in fact, litigation. So…I don’t know how that will turn out.”

Obama's defense secretary Ash Carter

Obama’s defense secretary Ash Carter

A year ago, Obama appointed Ash Carter as Defense Secretary although Carter has no military experience. As the New York Times then reported: “Mr. Carter has degrees in physics and medieval history from Yale and a doctorate in theoretical physics from Oxford; he was a Rhodes Scholar, was a longtime member of the Harvard faculty and now lectures at Stanford. His senior thesis at Yale was on the use of Latin by monastic writers to describe the world of 12th-century Flanders.”

Sources: Defense OneCNS News

See also:

H/t FOTM‘s MomOfIV


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