A conservative military watchdog says the newly announced plan
to allow women in front-line combat units will degrade tough
Feminists have been applauding the announcement from outgoing
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta that women can serve in
battalion-sized infantry and armor units, which engage in direct,
offensive combat against the enemy (see earlier story).
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness (CMR), recently
released an analysis outlining seven reasons why this
decision will degrade training standards. Joint Chiefs chairman
General Martin Dempsey has already given a clue.
"When he was questioned, 'Are standards going to stay the same?'
his answer was very telling. He said the burden of proof will be to
show why the standards have to stay so high," Donnelly reports.
"Does it have to stay that high? Well, with the kinds of pressures
that we see in the Pentagon right now, the answer will be no."
And if the problem is that no woman can become chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CMR president reasons that there is a
"For General Dempsey to go the president and say, 'Mr.
President, here is a very fine female officer. I think she should
have the chair that I have' -- That way, we would see diversity at
the top. I don't think it would hurt the military nearly as much as
turning everything upside down in pursuit of women within the
infantry," Donnelly suggests. "And that will have to be done on an
involuntary basis. General Dempsey is not the most impressive
general I've seen in that chair. He's carrying out the president's
The military watchdog concludes that all of this illustrates the
fact that elections have consequences.