Should Women Fight Alongside Men In Combat?
The thorny question for western democracies about women serving in combat has arisen again, this time in the USA.
During both World Wars last century women were increasingly called uponto fill the jobs left by men serving in the forces, and women died in the wars performing these roles.
They died from the effects of making ammunition, the Woolwhich arsenal explosion, women died in the last war serving on RAF stations, anti-aircraft batteries and as nurses, in the biggest US Cemetery behind Omaha beach lie 3 women who died on D day.
During World War 2 only the USSR used women in a direct combat role in large numbers, serving in mixed regiments or as the picture shows in all female units.
Russian female snipers were feared by the Germans, they fought with same determination and tenacity as their male colleagues, in one of the most dangerous and mentally and physically demanding jobs in the military, sniping.
Very few snipers ever live to make a second mistake.
WASHINGTON – Women, who make up some 14 percent of the armed forces, should finally be permitted to serve fully in front-line combat units, a military advisory panel says.
The call by a commission of current and retired military officers to dismantle the last major area of discrimination in the armed services could set in motion another sea change in military culture as the armed forces, generations after racial barriers fell, grapples with the phasing out of the ban on gays serving openly.
This latest move is being recommended by the Military Leadership Diversity Commission, established by Congress two years ago. The panel was to send its proposals to Congress and President Barack Obama.
It is time “to create a level playing field for all qualified service members,” the members said Friday.
Opponents of putting women in combat question whether they have the necessary strength and stamina. They also have said the inclusion of women in infantry and other combat units might harm unit cohesion, a similar argument to that made regarding gays. And they warn Americans won’t tolerate large numbers of women coming home in body bags. Those arguments have held sway during previous attempts to lift the ban.
Sooner or later this same question will be asked in Britain.
There is no doubt that women have the necessary stamina, mental and physical strenght to serve in a direct combat role, the Russian experience during WW2 proves that.
But there is a wider question, with the increasing use of unmanned systems like Predator, shouldn’t we be looking to deploy more machines in harms way rather than looking to increase the number of people who will be changed forever by armed combat that will be with them everyday for the rest of their lives?