Female representatives of two political activist groups yesterday called for changes to what they deem “politically correct” defense policies, urging the Bush administration to stop co-ed military training and implement tougher performance standards.
At a press conference, The Center for Military Readiness called on the administration to end “political correctness taken to extremes.”
“If America’s armed forces are to be truly prepared for the challenges ahead, the Bush administration must end politically correct policies that compromise training standards, undermine discipline and morale, worsen deployability problems, hurt recruiting and retention, force women into land combat and ultimately endanger lives in” America’s terror war, said a statement issued by the group.
Elaine Donnelly, a member of WND’s Speaker’s Bureau, is president of CMR. Her group was joined by Concerned Women For America, the nation’s largest public-policy women’s organization, in calling for the elimination of “absurd politically correct” military standards.
“As President Bush stated in his State of the Union Address” Tuesday night, “the nation is focused on combating future terrorist attacks on America through a strong and ready military,” said a CWA statement. “Yet activists are still promoting lower training standards and co-ed basic training policies that disregard the safety of the American people for the false leftist idea that women and men are exactly the same.”
Both groups say liberal feminist groups are attempting to undermine national security and military readiness with PC policies.
“The advocates of political correctness must not be allowed to detract from the war on terrorism,” said the CMR.
Karen Johnson, vice president of membership for the National Organization of Women and a retired Air Force officer, says integrating women in male roles is not a bad thing.
“Training men and women together enhances military effectiveness,” she wrote in a policy paper for NOW. “Women are a critical part of our military forces.”
“When the military leadership chooses to lead by example and exercises the will to educate, investigate, adjudicate and eliminate sexual harassment and misconduct, then we will see a precipitous decline in its incidence,” Johnson said.
“I love that women can play sports, fly planes and even be president of corporations,” says Sandy Rios, president of Concerned Women, “but I don’t love the thought of a whole battalion of them being dropped in Afghanistan to [wage] war against the Taliban.
“Forget the jokes about the estrogen-deprived woman being able to take on anyone,” she continued. “Powerful and angry as she is, she’s no match for a hooded man on a horse.”
Rebecca Riggs, a spokeswoman for CWA, told WorldNetDaily that both groups were opposed to Pentagon policies that weaken fighting forces and lower training standards so that a majority of female soldiers, sailors and airmen can pass them.
She also said a key government-related defense panel – the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, or DACOWITS – is pushing for more combat roles for women.
“What it wants to do now is to have women included in ‘tip of spear’ military units,” like Navy SEALS, Green Berets and Army Special Forces, Riggs said. If DACOWITS is successful, she said, “it would lower the training standards for those troops, just as we have had in every other [regular force] units where women have been integrated.”
Riggs said one woman who spoke at yesterday’s press conference, Charmaine Yoest, a national advisory board member with the Independent Women’s Forum, relayed a recent example involving DACOWITS that illustrated the need for less military feminization.
“On Sept. 10 – the day before those awful terrorist attacks – DACOWITS was discussing lactation and the need for breast-feeding policies within the Army,” Riggs said. “This, the day before so many people died” in New York City and at the Pentagon.
“This is no longer a power game where ambitious women can try to advance their careers,” Rios said during her speech, “this is a matter of life and death. Any claim that women are equal to men in combat settings is utterly irrational.”
Rios cited a recent Royal British Army study that found stark differences between men and women under combat conditions. In one phase of the study, men failed 20 percent of the time to carry 90 pounds of artillery shells over certain distances, she said, adding that women failed “90 percent of the time.”
“In a mission simulating wartime conditions, male and female soldiers were asked to carry 60 pounds of equipment while marching 12.5 miles, completing the exercise with target practice. Seventeen percent of the men failed, [as did] 48 percent of the women,” she said.
“But of course, we need a study to prove what rational women already know,” Rios said.