"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Women in Combat - It Doesn't Matter Until It Does

It was fitting yesterday that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's cri de coeur "What difference does it make?!" about the Benghazi debacle was still echoing as Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced the Pentagon's new policy to permit women to serve in combat units.   The truth is... it doesn't matter.   Having women in combat units only matters, ironically enough, if you actually intend to send combat units into combat.   Since we don't -- after retreats from Iraq and Afghanistan, and "leading from behind" in Libya and Egypt and Syria (and not leading at all regarding the imminent Islamist takeover in Mali), does anyone really think this administration has any stomach for any combat anywhere, at least combat fought by humans rather than drones? -- it doesn't.

On the other hand, a passing glance at history suggests to me that, while we may not be interested in combat, combat always has a lingering interest in us.   Human nature has not been repealed by an Obama Administration executive order.   We will have wars, we will have combat, and when we do, a platoon made up of a politically-correct proportion of women will be self-evidently less effective than a platoon made up of men trained not just by the Army, but also by God over tens of thousands of years of evolution to be aggressive, violent killers when necessary.  

I think it was Orwell who said "people sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

We're sleeping all right, but not as peaceably as we were the day before yesterday.

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