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Thread: U.K. Considers Lifting Combat Ban for Female Troops.

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    U.K. Considers Lifting Combat Ban for Female Troops.

    Ministers are to consider changing the rules limiting women's combat roles in the armed forces, the BBC has learned.

    BBC NEWS | UK | Women's front-line role reviewed

    I am curious to the positions held by members of this forum on this topic. Having been in the Marine Corps infantry and experienced combat I think this is a horribly misguided effort of egalitarianism. None of my opinions are sexist by any means.


    1. Women do not have the upper body strength equivalant to that of a man. They physically do not have the strength to effectively carry and then efficiently deploy a weapon in combat such as the Squad Automatic Weapon, AT-4, or any type of additional combat arms outside of their primary weapon. Of course there is exceptions, and I am sure some women are stronger than most of the Marines I served with, but I am speaking in general terms. When I was in Iraq I was carrying on average of 80-90 lbs of gear in 100+ degree heat, sometimes for hours. I am not looking for 'wow' or for people to think I am tough, I am merely highlighting the very realistic circumstances that need to be considered. This is the probably the pill hardest for women to swallow when discussing the debate due to the nature of it basically calling them physically inferior to men.

    2. Former head of the Army, General Sir Mike Jackson, told The Politics Show he believed any change could lead to "concerns that operational effectiveness, particularly in the infantry, could be and probably would be, jeopardised".

    History has shown that the presence of women in combat had very adverse of effect of men in combat.


    For example, it is a common misperception that Israel allows women in combat units. In fact, women have been barred from combat in Israel since 1950, when a review of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War showed how harmful their presence could be. The study revealed that men tried to protect and assist women rather than continue their attack. As a result, they not only put their own lives in greater danger, but also jeopardized the survival of the entire unit. The study further revealed that unit morale was damaged when men saw women killed and maimed on the battlefield," Luddy said.


    Debunking the Israeli 'women in combat' myth

    3. Political ramifications. The United States, or any nation for that manner is simply not ready, and will never be ready, for the sight of mothers and daughters coming home in body bags in large numbers. The obvious question then to be asked is 'What makes it acceptable to have fathers and son brought home in body bags?' The answer is that's just the way it has been, so we've grown accustomed. If women had combat roles all along then it would be a different story.


    I wouldn't want to be the one to tell this Lt. Ripley, but I will sure as hell tell it to Jessica Lynch.
    "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." -Jefferson

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    Re: U.K. Considers Lifting Combat Ban for Female Troops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Polynikes View Post

    1. Women do not have the upper body strength equivalant to that of a man. They physically do not have the strength to effectively carry and then efficiently deploy a weapon in combat such as the Squad Automatic Weapon, AT-4, or any type of additional combat arms outside of their primary weapon. Of course there is exceptions, and I am sure some women are stronger than most of the Marines I served with, but I am speaking in general terms. When I was in Iraq I was carrying on average of 80-90 lbs of gear in 100+ degree heat, sometimes for hours. I am not looking for 'wow' or for people to think I am tough, I am merely highlighting the very realistic circumstances that need to be considered. This is the probably the pill hardest for women to swallow when discussing the debate due to the nature of it basically calling them physically inferior to men.
    Not going to comment on the rest, as I do not know, but on this point, the solution is fairly obvious. Make qualifications based on upper body strength. If a woman is strong enough to effectively serve in combat, then saying that women in general are not does not work. It is totally fair to set standards like that.

    By the way, I knew a couple female ordinance types in the navy who had pretty impressive upper body strength.

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    Re: U.K. Considers Lifting Combat Ban for Female Troops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redress View Post
    Make qualifications based on upper body strength.
    This does nothing to address the real problem . . .

    In fact, women have been barred from combat in Israel since 1950, when a review of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War showed how harmful their presence could be. The study revealed that men tried to protect and assist women rather than continue their attack. As a result, they not only put their own lives in greater danger, but also jeopardized the survival of the entire unit. The study further revealed that unit morale was damaged when men saw women killed and maimed on the battlefield," Luddy said.

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    Re: U.K. Considers Lifting Combat Ban for Female Troops.

    If they wish to fight, let them fight.


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    Re: U.K. Considers Lifting Combat Ban for Female Troops.

    Not going to comment on the rest, as I do not know, but on this point, the solution is fairly obvious. Make qualifications based on upper body strength. If a woman is strong enough to effectively serve in combat, then saying that women in general are not does not work. It is totally fair to set standards like that.
    I agree and that is an obvious and adequate solution. I added that as one of the problems facing the integration, not the sole factor.

    To measure physical fitness in the Marine Corps men do a 3 miles run, max crunches in 2 minutes, and max number of pull-ups or chin ups. Women do the same with the exception of pull-ups, they instead do a timed flexed armed hang (which is pretty tough to do for the maximum number of points, 2 minutes I think?) This is an apparent and non controversial difference that exemplifies the fact.

    I know the Army does push-ups instead of pull-ups, do women do a different exercise or type of push-up?


    Side conversation, does anyone feel that the push-up is a better measurement of upper body strength than a pull-up? I have been back and forth on this issue for some time.
    Last edited by Polynikes; 05-24-09 at 03:36 PM.
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    Re: U.K. Considers Lifting Combat Ban for Female Troops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Laila View Post
    If they wish to fight, let them fight.
    It is not a matter of granting them their wishes when it is their wishes that may jeopardize the mission and consequentially other lives.
    "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." -Jefferson

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    Re: U.K. Considers Lifting Combat Ban for Female Troops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Polynikes View Post
    It is not a matter of granting them their wishes when it is their wishes that may jeopardize the mission and consequentially other lives.
    Well that is up to the individual and her unit not me to decide. It should be done on a case by case basis. If she can handle it and not 'jeopardize the mission' then go ahead.


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    Re: U.K. Considers Lifting Combat Ban for Female Troops.

    After 12 years of service I can honestly say no women should not be serving in ground combat units as troops.

    Not because women are weaker, they are actually stronger in some situations such as combat pilots. But on the ground as a grunt, no.
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    Re: U.K. Considers Lifting Combat Ban for Female Troops.

    Contrary to what is posted in the OP, the IDF does indeed have females in ground combat roles. There are also female fighter jet and helicopter pilots.

    אשכנזי היהודי Белый Россию

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    Re: U.K. Considers Lifting Combat Ban for Female Troops.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackdog View Post
    Not because women are weaker, they are actually stronger in some situations such as combat pilots.
    ? ? ? ? What about sex differential in tolerance to high-g ? ? ? ?

    I'm not going to be able to believe that assertion without some evidence.

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