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.