The Vanishing ‘Man of War’

From 2006 with relevancy today:

How the mightiest military in history is making itself vulnerable to annihilation

The Prophet Isaiah foretold a massive leadership void that would plague the modern nations of Israel and Judah. Perhaps nowhere is this scenario more dramatically and distressingly fulfilled than in the United States military.

Read Isaiah 3:1-3. Among the male leaders prophesied to be absent in our day are the “mighty man,” the “man of war,” and “the captain of fifty”—strong men, valiant men, champions, warriors and generals. Isaiah’s pronouncement clearly includes a softening among military personnel.

Could this dire prophecy actually describe America’s armed forces? The United States has funneled more cash into its military than any nation in history: close to a billion dollars a day, every day, for over 60 years, outpacing the entire rest of the world combined. As a result, its forces have a certain air of invincibility—at least in the minds of many Americans. No one would question the fact that the military bristles with fearsome firepower and tough soldiers.

The “untested” policy that gives the most poignancy to Isaiah’s prophecy, however, is sexual integration. The U.S. Armed Forces include more women, quantitatively and proportionally, than any country in the world. History has no record of a sexually integrated military force on the scale of what the United States is attempting today.

“In other words,” says observer and analyst Stephanie Gutmann, “we are in the middle of a huge social experiment” (The Kinder, Gentler Military). It is an enormous experiment with life-or-death implications. Gutmann concludes: “The returns are beginning to come in … yet the real test is sometime in the future” (emphasis mine throughout).

Exactly right. Not since World War ii has the U.S. fought a first-rate global power. Though Korea and Vietnam enjoyed the support of “second world,” Communist-bloc nations, both were poor and technologically bankrupt. Cuba, Iran, Grenada, Libya, Iraq, Somalia, Serbia, Afghanistan—all these have posed historically minor challenges to American power.

But there will come a point—most likely sooner than we expect—when the U.S. will be engaged by a truly top-of-the-line foreign military power and taxed to its limits. At that point—and that point only—will the results of this policy experiment come flooding in.

Women Warriors

With all the advancements in tools, weaponry, transportation and technology, war today is quite different from war 100 years ago.

Even so, the single most transformative change in the U.S. military over the past century—particularly the past generation—has been the massive expansion of the woman’s role.

The story of the metamorphosis of America’s all-male warrior military into an almost completely sex-integrated force has been authored by an aggressive minority of lobbyists and politicians pushing for special privileges for a select group of women. It is a story of politically correct idealists demanding the military atone for its gender-related “sins.” It is a story about buried facts, wishful thinking, duplicity, doublespeak and deliberate deceit.

The Integrated Academy

The average woman is almost 5 inches shorter and over 30 pounds lighter (with closer to 40 fewer pounds of muscle and 6 more pounds of fat) than the average man. She has less than half of his upper-body strength, 20 percent less aerobic capacity, and lighter, brittler bones. She cannot run or jump as far; last as long; grip as well; push, pull, lift or carry as much.

Thus, the first females joining basic training suffered far higher rates of injury—including stress fractures, shin splints and tendonitis—which meant they visited the medical clinic three to four times more than the men. (And with more medical restrictions, they missed considerably more training.)

Male cadets struggled with bad attitudes over seeing women being measured by a less-exacting yardstick. Upperclassmen, however, could see that standards were being lowered even for the men. At the end of basic training, though the women who finished had felt challenged and gained a sense of pride in accomplishment, male initiates said it had been easier than expected. The fact that women had fulfilled the “same program” diminished their pride in being a cadet. It was hard to shake the sense that they had undergone a watered-down, feminized version of the academy education.

Sex and the Soldier

Another major concern that roared into the academies with the women was sex.

With young women walking the grounds, fraternization became rife, as did public displays of affection and promiscuity. Cadets who were lectured on responsibility and high standards watched their instructors flirt with female plebes, sneaking them away on weekends. Pregnancies quickly became widespread. To solve the problem, the services one by one lifted the policy of dismissing pregnant soldiers. Within a few years, they had saturated military life with sex education, introducing mandatory classes on human sexuality and readily dispensing contraceptives. This change took the time-honored sense of military life being hard, regimented, set apart, cloistered in service to country, dedicated to austere principles of discipline and personal sacrifice—and replaced it with the perfumed atmosphere of flirtation, romance, jealousy, flings and trysts.

Recruitment Troubles, Selfish Soldiers

Ironically, President Bill Clinton was apparently one who believed that men and women should be able to conduct themselves responsibly in a unisex setting: He strongly favored expanding the female force. Instead of turning the biggest, strongest, toughest young men in the country into soldiers, Clinton sought “a force that looks like America.” To draw more women, recruiting budgets doubled, and the percentage of women recruits promptly mushroomed from 12 percent to 22 percent. (Today, that figure has settled down to 16.5 percent.)

To make these numbers happen, however, requires a regrettable amount of game playing. At times recruiters must actually reject betterqualified males in order to secure the arbitrarily determined “right” number of females. Military officials insist that such quotas (they call them “goals”) do nothing to impair force effectiveness. This defies logic. Any criterion for the job that trumps raw mental and physical qualifications will ensure that less-qualified individuals will win through. It unabashedly sacrifices readiness in favor of politics.

Declining Standards

In the past, boot camp was intended, in the words of ex-Marine Lieutenant Adam Mesereau, “to simulate the stresses and strains of war.” First it broke civilian recruits down through intense pressure and punishment, then gradually built them up into something decidedly different: a strong, cohesive fighting force of professional killers.

This “transformative” approach is out. Today’s army is much more about personal empowerment: building self-confidence and self-esteem, and doing everything possible to keep each soldier feeling positive about his or her endeavors. (There are even companies that offer a personalized video of the boot-camp experience to each soldier.)

From the beginning of sexual integration, harsh discipline for women recruits took a back seat to “positive motivation,” a policy later extended to all soldiers. Rather than shouting at recruits, drill sergeants were told to use “eyeball to eyeball instructing in a firm voice.” They have changed from disciplinarians into counselors. One former drill sergeant complains that, in following the new rules, “You’re not being a soldier, you’re being a mama.”

Whereas the old military set a standard and demanded everyone meet it or get out, the new military sounds more like a flight attendant: Join us and stick around. If you don’t like something, let us know and we’ll change it for you. Rather than requiring the same physical exertion from everyone, people are divided into “activity groups,” and only asked to perform to the level of their group. Great care is taken to avoid humiliating anyone; self-esteem is more important than fitness. To avoid direct comparisons of the capabilities of men versus women, the military has fallen in love with a “teamwork” approach: Forget two men hauling a stretcher with a wounded soldier; the new military wants a whole cluster of grunts doing it. Scrupulous attention is devoted to managing the stress levels of recruits. Individual safety has become a big concern: Harnesses and safety lines are now in common use in potentially hazardous exercises—conveniences altogether absent on the battlefield.

This is the new United States military.

Accept It or Else

In the midst of all this compromise and weakness, there is some force to be found: feminists strong-arming their ideology through the Pentagon.

In addition to routinely ignoring problems associated with women’s physical limitations, the military has repeatedly proven itself too shackled by political correctness to answer this simple question truthfully: Do psychological differences between men and women exist—and if so, how do they influence their effectiveness as soldiers?

Feminists simply can’t decide what to believe. Feminism has traditionally been a pacifist movement. The whole of human history shows that males tend to be more aggressive than females. Many feminists say aggressiveness is a deficiency in men and contend that putting more women in charge would bring more peace to the world. Other feminists reject that idea, insisting that if society didn’t indoctrinate them to be softer, women would be just as warlike as men. Whichever view one takes, in the end, male aggressiveness is denounced while female aggressiveness is celebrated. Case in point: the new American military.

In the past, the strongest, most masculine “warrior” soldiers tended to come from more conservative backgrounds—these were the men recruiters sought most aggressively and who were most interested in enlisting. Trouble is, their traditional thinking is unacceptable in the new military. Ideas contrary to feminist orthodoxy are forcibly rooted out from incoming males via sensitivity training, sexual harassment sensitivity training, values training, and conscientious monitoring. New beliefs are crammed down their throats; resistance can jeopardize a man’s job.

Simple logic tells you that, in general, the more a man is trained to be sensitive to his female unit-mates, the less his mind is being conditioned to effectively fight enemies who seek to kill him. Though many soldiers—of all ranks and both genders—readily acknowledge that sensitivity training stifles fighting spirit, the party line is that the two are absolutely compatible.

Embracing such conflicted, oxymoronic thinking has produced a military culture of doublespeak. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, officials consistently deny that women cannot perform at the same level as men. They have publicly praised women as being their top performers, their most indispensable soldiers. Then the same leaders will say that women discharged from active duty for getting pregnant have no negative effect on combat readiness. Above all—in blatant contradiction to all reality—the official line is that integrating women has not substantially changed the military at all.

It simply cannot all be true.

“It’s becoming like Mao’s Cultural Revolution,” ex-Army officer John Hillen says. “Everybody knows it’s a system built on a thousand little lies, but everybody’s waiting for someone that’s high-ranking who’s not a complete moral coward to come out and say so.”

Placing Women in Danger

One of the biggest lies foisted upon an American public—which, on the whole, opposes putting women into combat—is that the military is loaded with “non-combat” jobs.

The irrefutable fact is, the military is a combat organization. Its mission is war.

The designation of a position as “non-combat” serves essentially one purpose: to open up more jobs to women. The line separating combat from non-combat is arbitrary and in flux: The harder the lobbying to expand opportunities for women, the narrower the definition of “combat” becomes.

Current law, passed by the Bush Pentagon, allows women to serve virtually anywhere—even directly alongside combat units, as long as combat is not occurring at that moment. The bizarre promise is, they will be evacuated if combat starts. Once the enemy telephones and announces that it is ready for hostilities, the battlefield will have a time-out until the necessary cavalcade of combat and transport helicopters, armored personnel carriers and tanks reaches the scene and escorts the battleground’s lady guests away—or so the thinking seems to go. This policy would devote pilots and drivers, combat equipment and vehicles—during combat, when they would be most fiercely needed—to the idiotic chore of moving women who shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

But even the idea of fielding a select group of strong, efficient, disciplined, maximally effective “combat” troops, supported by weak, gender-normed “non-combat” troops, is inherently flawed. A war front can shift in a flash: If a supply line is attacked, or a bomb goes off in the “rear,” suddenly that is a new “front.” The fact that American women in uniform are being killed and captured is all the proof one needs that the military is not honoring—nor can it honorthe law restricting women from serving in combat. “Women in combat is not really an issue,” says Lt. Dawn Halfaker, who lost an arm in Iraq last year. “It is happening.”

Though civilian leaders constantly speak of the “new warfare” being a tidy, push-button, technology-driven business, reality has never matched that fiction. War is brutal, physical, demanding and deadly. Politicians can easily overlook that fact in the midst of relative peace. But their eagerness to plunge women into the nightmare of warfare is, in fact, disregard for women masquerading as support for women.

Some female soldiers recognize this—too late—and are not impressed. As one of them said, “Those feminists back home who say we have a right to fight are not out here sitting in the heat, carrying an m16 and a gas mask, spending 16 hours on the road every day and sleeping in fear you’re gonna get gassed.”

The number of women accepting more-combat-related jobs is just a fraction of the number of such jobs that have been made available to them. They don’t want those jobs. Army surveys show that 85 to 90 percent of enlisted women strongly oppose policies aimed at thrusting women into combat. The drive to open those positions to women has come from a small group of hard-core careerist women and feminist civilian leaders.

In essence, the feminist dream is to see women viciously tortured and killed alongside men.

Laughing Stock

It is hard to overstate the costs associated with the transformation of the U.S. Armed Forces to integrated forces. Of course there are the physical costs—plusher accommodations; more child-care facilities; greater hospital capacity; special clothing, equipment, weapons and tools. There are the costs associated with higher medical nonavailability among women, as well as attrition rates that average 36 percent higher than those of men.

But the real costs cannot be measured in dollars. They must be measured in how severely sex-integration has downgraded force preparedness and combat effectiveness. And given the unrealistic, “you’re doing great—it’s all right to cry” environment of today’s military, how can we possibly know just how weak the U.S. has become? Only when the military is forced to defend itself against a truly capable, determined aggressor will we know.

Ponder these words—a plaintive voice from within a nation that already relies on its military for daily survival. Israeli military historian Martin Van Creveld says that the woman’s central roles in the U.S. Armed Forces “shows that you really don’t take the military seriously. For you, the military is not a question of life and death”—at least, we could add, not yet. “So you can afford to make all kinds of social experiments, which we [Israel] cannot. … The very fact that you have this debate may itself be construed as proof that it’s not serious. It’s a game. It’s a joke.”

The military is the most respected institution in America. It possesses some of the finest, most dedicated and self-sacrificing individuals the nation has produced. But woe be unto us if we fail to recognize how its effectiveness is being fatally undermined by a failure to beat back and restrain the virulent and invasive forces of feminization that enfeeble our modern society.

The Bible prophesies that this experiment in sexually integrating our military is going to fail cataclysmically. (Read, for example, Leviticus 26:14-21.)

All the money and manpower expended on trying to turn women into warriors hasn’t been merely squandered. It has also made America’s stout warrior heart faint. It has sapped America’s raw will to wage war.

Not only that: It has broadened the grin and tightened the curl of contempt on the lips of America’s enemies. As Phyllis Schlafly said in 1979, “What a way to run the armed forces! We must be the laughing stock of the world.”

Full article: The Vanishing ‘Man of War’ (The Trumpet)

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