Grace under Fire

The Defense Department has announced the opening of some 14,000 new “combat related” roles to women in the military, another incremental win for those seeking to erode the protections that have long kept women out of the most dangerous assignments.

Supporters believe the move, and the eventual removal of all barriers preventing women from combat, represents a great advance in “equal opportunity.” That belief is dubious, but more to the point, it is irrelevant. The purpose of the military is to fight and win wars. Personnel policies should be based, first and last, on combat effectiveness. If putting female soldiers on the front line had even a small adverse impact on combat effectiveness, it would outweigh whatever other, political or symbolic benefits might accrue. 

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