Category: Military

Good fences make good neighbors

What might the implications be for the United States if Mexico collapses? Before you answer, consider that a national border is nothing but a theoretical concept if it’s not controlled, and if one or both nations refuse to preserve a distinct national culture.

If America continues to ignore its borders and downplay its uniquely capitalist, Judeo-Christian, constitutionalist culture, the only thing separating people of common ethnic descent on both sides of the US/Mexican border will be the Americans’ willingness to resist a de facto invasion by Mexicans hoping for material security.

If you’re unsure what history can teach you about the pull of ethnic solidarity, fire up a search engine and plug in terms like “Balkan powder keg,” “Kurdistan,” “The Troubles in Northern Ireland,” or “Rwandan Genocide.”

Women in close combat units? This will not end well.

So it looks like outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has decided to gut our military readiness on his way out the door, by unilaterally allowing women to serve in units that engage in close combat. Apparently the leftist platitude that Grrrrl Power™ can do anything will now meet the pointy corners and sharp edges of reality in an arena where people get killed even if they do everything right.

Mark my words: either the Obama White House and the Department of Defense will claim success by lowering the standards for women, or they’ll do it by lowering them for everyone and claiming everything is now “fair.”If woman and men are not different in any meaningful way, why are there no NFL linewomen? If such a creature could be created, don’t you think that the cold, calculating capitalists running those franchises would jump at the opportunity to employ her? Think of the merchandising opportunities and priceless P.R. to be had. The glaring and obvious absence of women from the NFL — not to mention the NBA, NHL, and MLB — should tell you something about human biology, and in professional sports death on the job is about as common as a unicorn fart.

The physical strength and endurance standards required for close combat participants to survive and accomplish their missions have been well-known for generations. Women can do some things better than men, and a few of those things are physical. Women are often more flexible than men, can fit into tighter spaces, and tend to have better fine motor skills. Unfortunately such abilities do you no good when the task at hand is muscling 155mm artillery shells into the breech of a howitzer. Or replacing a section of tread on an M1A1 tank that just threw a track. Or throwing a frag far enough to reach the enemy and not hit your buddies when it detonates. Or using a fireman’s carry to bring a wounded and screaming 230 pound soldier wearing 50 pounds of gear out of the line of fire. Or humping a full ruck and a weapon through the Hindu Kush for a week on patrol. Or climbing a collapsible boarding ladder up the side of a hijacked supertanker. Or … well, you see my point.

In close combat, you don’t get to call a training time out when things get difficult. You don’t get to stop the patrol to change out a soaked maxi pad. You don’t get special consideration from the enemy when your monthly cramps and hormonal mood swings hit. You don’t leave your unit and head back to the continental US just because you find you have a kid on the way. You live in filth, blood, grime, heat, cold, rain, and snow, all while the enemy gets regular and unscheduled opportunities to try to kill you. You don’t let drama, emotion, sex, dating, or any of a million other distractions interfere with your core mission of killing the enemy, breaking his stuff, sapping him of the will to fight, and persuading his supporters that they have better things to do than oppose you.

GI Jane

At least, if you hope to limit friendly casualties and be an effective military, you don’t. If your goal is to provide career opportunities for people with two X chromosomes, then you do what we’re starting to do now.

During my nine years of military service, I watched many a military female capitalize on her sex to skate by. It was tacitly encouraged (just look at the different scoring scales for physical fitness tests in the military, for starters). Rare is the active duty male commissioned officer who will voice his confirmation of my own first hand observations, lest the Screeching Harpies of Diversity and Tolerance™ eviscerate his career. Pour encourager les autres.

women in combatAre there women who actually can meet the physical standards? Presumably. I suppose there may be ~0.05% of the military-age female population who can. Of those, I suspect the majority do not want to be in a close combat unit. And even if a tiny cohort of women are both willing and able to meet the physical standards of close combat, we still must ask if the negative effects of their presence in such units — and the cost involved in making accommodations for their biological needs — are worth the expected benefits.

The overriding question to address whenever we consider a change to our policies on close combat units is: “Is it more likely than not that this change will help the unit kill the enemy, break his stuff, crush his will to fight, and sap his supporters’ commitment?” If the answer is anything other than an unqualified YES, then the proposed change should be scrapped. Period.

Other than a very few extreme genetic outliers, women cannot meet the current physical standards required of infantry/armor/artillery/SOF troops. Mark my words: either the Obama White House and the Department of Defense will claim success by lowering the standards for women, or they’ll do it by lowering them for everyone and claiming everything is now “fair.” If they hold women to the same standards that men must meet today, all the way through January 20, 2017, I will donate an additional $5,000 to the Wounded Warrior Project. My $5,000 is safer than Barack Obama’s college transcripts, and you know it.

This will not end well, and it will get American troops killed who would otherwise have lived.

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10:25 PM Update: More commentary below, from guys who’ve been in it up to their eyeballs (and even one gal).

Let the games begin!

A Lovely Parting Gift

Panetta throws open doors to combat for women

Women Cleared For Combat

The Harsh Reality of Women in Infantry Combat

Get Over It! We Are Not All Created Equal by Captain Katie Petronio, USMC

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10:40 PM Update: Let’s take a look at NASA’s comparison of female vs. male muscular strength.

NASA graphic

Note: Female strength as a percentage of male strength for different conditions. The vertical line within each shaded bar indicates the mean percentage difference. The end points of the shaded bars indicate the range.
Reference: 16, p. VII-50; NASA-STD-3000 204

But hey, let’s not let uncomfortable reality get in the way of boosting female self-esteem to even more stratospheric heights.

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1/24/12 5:30 PM Update: Heather MacDonald reminds everyone of the obvious.

Feminists routinely deny Eros — except when it suits them to exploit their sexual power. Only someone deliberately blind to human reality could maintain that putting men and women in close quarters 24 hours a day will not produce a proliferation of sex, thus introducing all the irrational passions (and resulting favoritism) of physical attraction into an organization that should be exclusively devoted to the mission of combat preparedness. Reported “sexual assaults” will skyrocket, and of course it will only be the men who are at fault. Any consensual behavior leading up to the “assault” — getting in bed with your fellow grunt drunk and taking off your clothes, for example — will be ignored, since in the realm of sexual responsibility, women remain perpetual victims, at the mercy of all-powerful men. Expect a windfall to the gender-sensitivity-training industry, which will be called in both before and after the entry of women into combat units to eradicate endemic male sexism.

It’ll be just dandy for unit cohesion, don’t you think?

Bob Gibbs & the Obamacare repeal letter

The effort to choke off funding for Obamacare continues in the U.S. House of Representatives. Yesterday morning I e-mailed the following question to Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) via his 7th District campaign’s Facebook page

Why didn’t you sign this letter pledging to defund Obamacare?

His reply:

Alo,

Obviously I’m totally against Obamacare, I have voted 33 times to repeal, defund and different parts etc. The reason I didn’t sign on to the letter to leadership because the letter stated to include defunding Obamacare in every piece of legislation going forward. This week we are doing defense appropriations and I can’t support holding funding up for our troops and national security, essentially holding our troops hostage. Also I’m completely fed up with the spectacle of the dog and pony show here in DC, I’m working for real results not being part of a circus.

Bob

Seems reasonable. My only quibble is the implication that Rep. Jim Jordan is running a circus. The Republican Study Committee is nothing of the kind.

Operation Baghdad Pups needs $60k by June 1

Over in Iraq, U.S. troops’ pets need your help before time runs out! SPCA International’s (SPCAI) Operation Baghdad Pups Program needs to rescue 24 animals from war zones overseas by June 1st.

Due to the extreme Middle Eastern heat, air travel becomes unsafe for animals and all airlines place an embargo on animal travel, which remains in effect until October 1st. If SPCAI cannot rescue these animals before June 1st, many of their soldiers will be forced to leave their animal companions behind to certain death. Your donation will help provide these patriot pets with travel crates, vaccinations, and transportation from the Middle East all the way to the soldier’s home in the U.S. The cost of saving these animals is great -– but cannot be compared to the comfort and companionship these animals bring to our troops.

Click on the banner above to find out more, and then chip in your movie ticket money for April. The troops — and their four-legged friends stuck in Iraq — will never forget your kindness.

Changes in the United States Coast Guard Ethos

What’s different? At first glance, not much.

2008: The Guardian Ethos

I am America’s Maritime Guardian.
I serve the citizens of the United States.
I will protect them.
I will defend them.
I will save them.
I am their Shield.
For them I am Semper Paratus.
I live the Coast Guard Core Values.
I am a Guardian.
We are the United States Coast Guard.

2011: The Coast Guard Ethos

I am a Coast Guardsman.
I serve the people of the United States.
I will protect them.
I will defend them.
I will save them.
I am their Shield.
For them I am Semper Paratus.
I live the Coast Guard Core Values.
I am proud to be a Coast Guardsman.
We are the United States Coast Guard.

Wait a minute. Whom do they serve?

Obama Administration: “Aircraft carriers are so 1990.”

The hyper-skilled tradesmen who build nuclear aircraft carriers possess a level of expertise that requires steady use to maintain. Just as professional athletes must constantly train to maintain their abilities, shipbuilders must steadily build to keep their own proficiency at the required peak level. If you run Newport News Shipbuilding and your guys are forced to sit on their butts for years between builds, they’re going to lose their skills (if not go into different lines of work just to keep food on the table). The ripples from that kind of splash would be very big and would last a very long time.
USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) is under construction as you read this, but guess what the geniuses at Barack Obama’s Office of Management and Budget are planning to do to the gap between the construction of USS John F. Kennedy (CVN-79) and CVN-80?
Brilliant move, guys:

Office of Management and BudgetThe navy has proposed an additional 2-year schedule slip to its newest carrier, CVN79, which would extend the funding profile from the original 8 yrs to 12 yrs.

This schedule change almost insures the cost of CVN-79 is going to be enormous due to loss of trade skill at the yard, which means CVN-80 is also going to be a whole lot more expensive. By 2020 aircraft carriers are going to have such an enormous cost that there is no way the nation will build CVNs after CVN-80.
I see only two ways this doesn’t happen. Either Obama loses in 2012 and the new President addresses this issue directly, immediately following election, or in some future 2016-2020 time frame the nation funds and builds 2 carriers of the Ford Class just like Reagan built 2 with the Nimitz class as a way of getting long term costs for the CVN as a strategic entity under control.
Otherwise, there will be 3 Ford class carriers, and by around 2025 the nation will have decided that based on cost alone a new way to project airpower from the sea will be necessary in the future. If you don’t believe this move will end the big deck aircraft carrier, then you are in denial how the industrial reality will be seen in a political context once the costs go up.

This is a bigger deal than the politics and economics and budgets will ever reflect in conversation. What is the true value of 50 years of projecting airpower from sea? A big deck nuclear powered aircraft carrier today is a strategic investment that the US really can’t afford get wrong. Making the wrong choice would be a strategic and political blunder of incalculable magnitude; one history would record as our nation casually tossing aside the aircraft carriers strategic advantages without a clear understanding of the consequences, but doing so knowing full well that once you lose the big deck production line – there is no going back.

That bold-faced emphasis is mine.
An argument can be made that big-deck carriers in this decade might be as relevant as battleships on December 7, 1941. I’m not sure I buy it, but it seems colossally foolish to abandon the big-deck carrier not because of a hard-nosed assessment of their value, but to lose them instead because a bunch of pencil-necked peacenik accountants in Washington don’t understand shipbuilding.
The Brits recently abandoned fixed-wing carrier aviation (see HMS Illustrious for details), and their failure to think ahead continues to bite them in the rear. To add insult to injury, it looks like Argentina once again intends to test the proposition that Britannia rules the waves.
But hey, who needs aircraft carriers when you’ve got universal healthcare, right? In the Age of Obamacare, the whole world loves us. Let’s just redirect those sweet, sweet taxpayer dollars away from that icky war stuff to something more in line with our newly socialist tastes. We’ll never be attacked.

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Americans detained by their military on U.S. soil?

Let’s take a quick look at §1031, §1032, and §1033 of S.1867 (official text here). These are the three sections of the Senate’s version of the 2012 Defense Authorization Act that deal with military detention of terrorists. This bill is causing the ACLU to blow a gasket, and their wild-eyed predictions of Constitution-shredding doom have ignited e-mail inboxes nationwide.
This is the proposed text as it stands today. All highlighting is mine. The parts that sound scary (at first) are in yellow. The parts that should calm you down are in green. The parts that the ACLU and its radical friends are actually upset about are in blue.

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Should women be allowed to serve in ground combat? (Updated)

You tell me:

In every category necessary for the endurance of direct ground combat, women are behind men. They rank behind men in every category by large margins except in lower body strength, where they are the least behind.

Combat involves physical strength, proper mindset, physical skills, aerobic capability, sharp vision and a killer instinct. … I personally just want the Feminists to agree that they value women as much as they say they do, because putting them in places that they are even more likely to be violently killed, subject to capture, torture, rape by our enemies, or mostly for not thinking that women are above the day to day drudgery of life not only in an infantry unit in extended ground combat, but the drudgery of the job while not deployed seems to me to be a bit in conflict with the idea of honoring them and their abilities. The idea that women belong in units in the military that participate in direct ground combat makes about as much sense as allowing me into the Feminist Studies Program at Bryn Mawr.

idiotThink. Don’t emote. The military exists to kill America’s enemies and break their stuff. It does not exist to provide you a career, enhance women’s rights, improve society, achieve social justice, counteract sexist stereotypes, pay for your college tuition, or any of a million other progressive pipe dreams. The military’s reason for being is to violently kill people. It’s an ugly fact, but it’s no less true because it’s ugly.
Men and women are inherently different physically, mentally, and emotionally. In every relevant respect men are better suited for combat, and especially so for ground combat. If that offends you, I don’t care. Don’t cry to me. Facts are often unpleasant and unyielding things, so cry to God (or if you’re an atheist, cry to nature) to assuage your emotional pain. I am not out to offend you or anyone else. I am out to ensure America’s military remains the most powerful and respected force on Earth, the force that gives you the protection and comfort you enjoy (and take for granted) today.
Without America’s military, you’d have no leisure time to ponder the social justice implications of banning women from combat. You’d be a slave to a totalitarian government not of your choosing, a government utterly contemptuous of your needs and wants, much less your easily-bruised ego.
Save your social experimentation for arenas that don’t revolve around violent death. Go fiddle with the diversity statistics at your local community college, and stop undermining the only shield between you and the barbarians. Construct whatever mental delusion or flimsy rationalization you must, but find a way to cocoon your delicate ego and find any other part of society to tinker with.
A nation that weakens its military by removing all barriers to women serving in combat is asking to be attacked an defeated.
P.S. — If you want me to entertain your foolish ideas about women in ground combat without laughing in your face, do something first: change the law so that all young women are subject to the military draft just like all men. Once women bear equal responsibility and duty with men, then they can begin to talk about their alleged entitlement to equal goodies.

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