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Wed Nov 28, 2012, 02:43 AM

ACLU is suing Pentagon to have combat restrictions lifted on women

The American Civil Liberties Union announced Tuesday it is suing the Department of Defense to lift immediately all restrictions on women serving in combat units.

The military does not currently allow women to serve in ground combat units, such as infantry, artillery, armor or as special operations commandos. Recent wars without clear front lines have frequently pushed women assigned to support roles directly into the fighting.

The suit, which the ACLU announced at a press conference Tuesday afternoon, follows the military's ongoing analysis of what would happen if it introduced women into combat roles. The ACLU says the Pentagon is not moving quickly enough and the policy itself is unconstitutional.

"It's harming women in the field now," says Elizabeth Gill, a staff attorney with ACLU Northern California, which is participating in the suit. "Significant numbers of women have fought alongside their male counterparts in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and, in fact, are fighting in combat situations."

"Our clients in this case have served in capacities where they're shot at by enemy fire, they're engaged, they're attached to combat units," she adds. "They're fighting in exactly the same circumstances as men but they're not recognized for that work."


http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/11/27/aclu-sues-pentagon-over-women-in-combat

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply ACLU is suing Pentagon to have combat restrictions lifted on women (Original post)
davidn3600 Nov 2012 OP
question everything Nov 2012 #1
LadyHawkAZ Nov 2012 #2
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #5
LeftyMom Nov 2012 #8
Separation Nov 2012 #3
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #4
Angleae Nov 2012 #9
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #11
ProgressiveProfessor Nov 2012 #16
Ya Basta Nov 2012 #13
noamnety Nov 2012 #17
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #6
rrneck Nov 2012 #7
Marinedem Nov 2012 #10
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #12
Separation Nov 2012 #14
noamnety Nov 2012 #18
Le Taz Hot Nov 2012 #15
jtuck004 Dec 2012 #19

Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 03:23 PM

1. Why? Part of being in combat is the possibility of being taken hostage

Look at our military here in this country where we've had several lawsuits about rape in military bases. And we are supposedly a civilized society that, at least on paper, considers men and women equally. Notwithstanding some of the neanderthals among the Republicans.

Now consider the areas where you will put women in combat: the Middle East where women's lives have very little value. They shoot, after all, young girls who want to go to school. They pour acids on women who they consider dress in provocative ways. American women staged in bases in Saudi Arabia have to dress modestly when they are outside the bases.

So what will happen to a woman taken captive? Yes, her throat will be slashed in front of camera. The novelty of this being a woman will invigorate the locals. But before that, she will be gang raped and tortured. Remember CBS' Lara Logan.

Drop the lawsuit. It will harm the women more than you claim. Unless each will be supplied with a cyanide pill in her mouth.

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Response to question everything (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:57 PM

2. Keeping women out of a job they choose to do

or keeping them from being recognized for doing a job they're already doing, because there's a chance they might get raped doing it- think about what you're saying for a minute.

They know the risks. The ones to make the choice of whether to face that risk or not should be the women themselves.

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Response to question everything (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:36 PM

5. Did you read the part about not defined front lines?

Women are already seeing active combat. They are not getting pad for it, and it's not taken into account for advancement.

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Response to question everything (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:53 PM

8. You know that happens to men, too?

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:05 PM

3. 2 just washed out of the Marine Corps infantry course.

Driving a MRAP or humvee in a hostile country is not even close to being in a line infantry unit. Artillery, sure. Armor..maybe. Air Wing, absolutely. Infantry, never gonna happen. Well, never is probably to strong a word. Not in our lifetime.

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Response to Separation (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:31 PM

4. Isn't having a woman in Air Wing even more dangerous to her than leading an Infantry unit?

The Air Wing raises the possibility of being shot down behind enemy lines. Infantry can lead to a woman being captured after a firefight is lost. I am sure that the women that want to lead units are aware of what could happen to them, regardless of whether it is Air, Armored Units, Artillery or Infantry. Why would we put women into spy roles under deep cover and not have them lead military units?

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:58 PM

9. It's not the "danger" part. It's the physical exertion part.

Line infantry has to be able to carry 80-100 lb packs at a rather brisk pace 20 or more hours/day then immediately go into combat. How many women do you know that are capable of doing that?

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Response to Angleae (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:25 AM

11. I have worked with several. Remember the women are leaders. How many Lieutenants

or Captains do you see carrying heavy packs?

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 10:51 AM

16. Everybody carries their own gear

Even officers

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:02 AM

13. Not during time of war, no.

 

First of all I am all for women equality but this is the one exception where I have to say I do not believe women should be in infantry units. Angleae's post below gives one reason. As a former infantryman myself I can attest it is very physically demanding and not uncommon for some men not being able to hack it. It was my experience that those guys were either not allowed to pass boot camp and were discharged, or others were reassigned to different (easier) occupations.

But there are additional concerns I would have. Besides carrying all that equipment we have to carry, often times long distances at a brisk pace for many, many miles. Sometimes all day and all night for two or three days. And we're not talking about a walk in the park or on smooth even surfaces such as sidewalks or camping trails. Nope, we're talking about up and down hills on uneven surfaces easily causing shin splints and blisters on feet which we would get some mole-skin from the medic to slap on over the blisters and keep going. Anyway its not just these and many other physical hardships that woman's smaller bodies are going to be more prone to injuries removing them from duty.

I would also be concerned about mixing men and women together in infantry units because no matter what rules you put into place you are not going to stop nature from taking its course. In other words you are going to have men and woman infantry who will get together intimately and yes this can easily cause problems. Besides posing the threat of love triangles within an infantry unit, it can also threaten battles in other ways.

For example: Say I was dating a woman fellow infantry-person and lets say she's a M60 machine gunner. We have an enemy position we're going to assault. As a machine gunner she's going to be laying down suppressing fire while us riflemen are going to be leap frogging past each other in our short rushes toward the enemy position until we get close enough to start lobbing hand grenades at them. But my infantry girlfriend notices I am pinned downed and about to become toast. But it is more important for her to keep laying down the suppressing fire in a different spot that isn't going to do any good for me. I can see boyfriend/girlfriend relationships threatening outcomes of battles in likely scenarios such as this, or at least causing others to get killed for the same reason.

Plus, again speaking from experience, keeping up logistics to front line infantry isn't always easy and often times we have to go without resupplies for a long time. As infantry we often go without showers or hygiene for days and weeks or more and get mighty ripe. Woman have more hygiene concerns than men. Are women going to be able to keep up their health with men in these conditions? And these kinds of dirty filthy conditions are generally the norm when out in the field. Or would women reduce the effectiveness of infantry units because of female health concerns?

There simply comes a time when we do have to recognize that some things women are going to be naturally better at than men and visa versa. And when it comes to something as serious as war. You want to make sure you are fielding the best team you can. Losers in this business Die and can risk the security of your country. Men simply have more combative aggressiveness, and our bodies have bigger muscles, bigger hearts and lungs to supply those bigger muscles. Being an infantryman is lot more than just being able to squeeze a trigger and shoot straight. Lots more. And is the ONLY exception I have regarding my opinion about woman should be treated equally.

Woman I really do love you and will fight for your rights of equality and stand with you. But an infantry unit is the ONE job I do not believe you belong in.


Well my two cents anyway.

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Response to Ya Basta (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:07 PM

17. I have many problems with your post.

First, your perception of physical capabilities is not relevant. If a man or woman can meet the physical requirements they should be allowed, and if they can't, they can't. If your problem is that small people are more prone to injuries, then make a size limit. But I will tell you that the special forces guy I know best who had a long career, is about 5'8" and wirey, so that argument seems silly.

Second, your logic about relationships appears to be anti-gay. "Don't allow people who might be in a relationship to serve." I think you need to get past that.

Third - women aren't capable of living in the field for long amounts of time because of hygiene issues? Seriously??

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Response to Separation (Reply #3)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:38 PM

6. There are men that can't hack it

There are women who will. Does this mean a lot f women? No. Et them try. If they can, by all means.

Regardless modern war in country has a way for all troops to find themselves in the thick of it.

Oh and welcome to DU

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:41 PM

7. On balance I think women should be able to serve in the same

capacity as men if they can do the job. I don't like the idea of putting a woman in danger of capture by hostile forces because I have a sense that such a situation would be much harder on a woman than a man. But I can't accurately parse that danger in light of a woman's willingness to serve if that's what she wants to do.

Armies fight wars. If you want a career in the military, your best shot at career advancement is probably active duty combat. Women deserve as much of a chance as men.

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 12:45 AM

10. sigh...

 


I'm sure there are a relatively small number of women out there in the US that are able and willing to perform the tasks required of them in an infantry unit. That's just a matter of statistics and genes. If they are able to put up with the physical requirements that are set forth for males (the nature of which routinely result in washouts from infantry training, where everyone is a young male in top physical condition to begin with), then I don't see the problem.

I would however have a big problem if the standards were different for men and women in infantry units. It would be grossly irresponsible to shoehorn females into an infantry unit if they were not of the same caliber as their male counterparts. The women out there that can pack 100+ pounds of gear on their bodies and slog it out for 20+miles (among other tasks) would be more than welcome to serve with their comrades that routinely do the same. Genetics make such women rare, but the ones that can put up with it should be able to fight on the front lines just like anyone else.

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Response to Marinedem (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:36 AM

12. I agree. Physical standards should be the same. If women wash out, so be it.

At least they get the chance. A few will stick. I have worked with some pretty strong women before, they did everything that the men did. I was a college aged teen when I worked with one of them, I stayed away from her because it was clear that she would have kicked my ass.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:16 AM

14. Interesting read on

A female combat officer. Note she is still not an infantry officer. She mentioned a few things in there like becoming sterile from long 5-6 months of hi optempo.

http://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/article/get-over-it-we-are-not-all-created-equal

Also not sure if it was you that stated it up thread, but I'm not sure where your getting your info about 0's not humping with a pack. I'd love to see a Lt. or a Captain not carry their pack on a hump.

Again big difference between infantry and POG's.

After edit: a telling point by this story, who is pushing this agenda? Here is a hint, it isn't active duty female Marines.

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Response to Separation (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:02 PM

18. War wrecks lots of people's bodies.

Yes, it can make women sterile hypothetically, but the issue she had is very common among noncombat women as well so it might be hard to prove it's a combat related injury. Also it can create severe birth defects in male soldiers' offspring, but nobody claims that's a reason men should be excluded from combat roles.

Combat can also cause PTSD and brain injuries, but we don't use that as a reason men shouldn't be allowed to serve.

Severe physical and emotional wounds, up to death, are somewhat expected - and not every woman even wants to have kids. So potential infertility isn't a reason to exclude someone who wants to serve.

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:37 AM

15. I've advocated this for decades

and I've never known a female vet that didn't WANT to engage in combat equally with her male counterparts. These discriminatory laws are antiquated and need to be eliminated once and for all.

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Response to davidn3600 (Original post)

Thu Dec 6, 2012, 06:16 PM

19. Good. I hope they prevail.


I read through this article. I've never thought there was a compelling reason not to allow women on the front lines.

Women will never lead, not really, until they are allowed to take the same risks as men. As long as we feel they must be protected we are placing someone else ahead of them. Maybe the perpetrators would rather they not be issued guns? Just fyi, they got brains, so they are already armed.

In my experience in the military it won't be on the front lines that brothers and sisters are at most risk from each other. Besides, if we can get them to coexist for awhile in an environment where such actions are likely to be supplanted by watching each others' back because there is something out there that wants to hurt both of them, maybe we can make that same behavior happen elsewhere.

I think our enemy would rue the day this happened. And it might make us more thoughtful, which is how we ought to look at war. Because if it's not for freedom, it's not worth fighting.

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