WASHINGTON – Now that President Obama has signed into law the defense-authorization bill requiring a crackdown on sexual assaults, concern abounds that other provisions of the legislation allowing members of the military to be openly homosexual, as well as putting women into combat roles, may have the effect of actually increasing sexual violence.
A recent Pentagon report says sexual assaults were up a shocking 46 percent last year and up 67 percent since 2007.
Just in the Army, women comprise some 14 percent of Army personnel, but account for 95 percent of all sex-crime victims, the report said.
“Everyone should be concerned about sexual assaults in the military, which are escalating at an alarming rate,” said Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness.
However, she told WND, it is “inappropriate for the commander in chief to be issuing ultimatums and threatening the troops he leads with ill-advised legislation that will not solve problems that the administration itself has made worse.”
The legislation itself no longer allows commanders to overturn jury convictions or reduce sentences. It also requires that military members convicted of sexual crimes be discharged or dismissed from the military.
The law also mandates that by Dec. 1, 2014, there must be “substantial improvements” in preventing sexual assaults and responding to complaints, including those made to the military justice system.
“If I do not see the kind of progress I expect,” Obama said in signing the legislation, “then we will consider additional reforms that may be required to eliminate this crime from our military ranks and protect our brake service members who stand guard for us every day at home and around the world.”
Although Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey said they would get to work immediately on implementing the law’s provisions, they resisted passage of the provisions.
Other Department of Defense studies strongly suggest that women in close combat will be exposed to more violent sexual assaults. A DOD-sponsored study published in the Women’s Health Issues Journal underscored this concern.
The report by the Army, titled “Combat Deployment is Associated with Sexual Harassment or Sexual Assault in a Large, Female Military Cohort,” was finished last July, but only publicized in October in an article in the Navy Times.
The Times article, titled “Female Combat Vets Report More Assaults,” said female veterans who were exposed to close-combat violence reported sexual assaults at rates twice as high as other military women.
It also found that “violent combat settings make men more likely to become aggressive toward military women.”
The Army report said women in a high-stress, life-threatening combat setting may find it difficult to avoid high-risk settings for sexual assault and harassment.
It added that men in a combat environment may be less concerned about the consequences of sexually harassing or assaulting women and “may be less likely to be held accountable for their actions.”
“Administration officials, who are moving ahead with incremental plans to order (not ‘allow’) women into infantry fighting teams, are ignoring these inconvenient findings which suggest trouble ahead,” Donnelly told WND.
“If the administration orders women into combat arms fighting teams on what officials have already said would be an involuntary basis, numbers of sexual assaults will increase even more,” she said.
At the same time, the Army report warned crimes such as forcible sodomy among males could increase in the coming year with the repeal of the law that barred openly homosexual troops from serving in the military.
“Now, victims may be more likely to report sexual offenses in the absence of the former Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy,” the report said, since “gay” troops no longer are concerned about being removed from the military if it is discovered they are homosexual.
This concern is reinforced by a recent Pentagon report on sexual assault stating an estimated 26,000 members of the military experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012, up from 19,000 in 2010.
Of those cases, the Pentagon study said, some 53 percent involved attacks on men, mostly by other men.
Experts say assaults against men have been vastly underreported. For that reason, there have been more formal complaints filed by women. However, these experts add that a majority of the victims are thought to be men, which will only be further aggravated with promotion of openly homosexual personnel in the military.
Retired generals have told WND that “social experimentation” of allowing openly “gay” personnel in the military and requiring women to be in the infantry is having the effect of weakening the U.S. military and affecting overall readiness.
Yet, anyone openly disagreeing with Obama’s policies of allowing open homosexuals into the military and requiring women to go into combat roles are summarily being purged, they say.
Retired Army Maj. Gen. Patrick Brady, recipient of the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, as well as other top retired officers, say Obama’s agenda is decimating the morale of the U.S. ranks to the point members no longer feel prepared to fight or have the desire to win.
“There is no doubt he (Obama) is intent on emasculating the military and will fire anyone who disagrees with him” over such issues as “homosexuals, women in foxholes, the Obama sequester,” Brady told WND.
Brady, a legendary “Dust Off” air-ambulance pilot in Vietnam who described his experiences in “Dead Men Flying: Victory in Viet Nam,” said, “The problem is military people will seldom, while on duty, go on the record over such issues, and many will not ever, no matter how true.
“I hear from many off the record who are upset with the current military leadership and some are leaving and have left in the past,” he said.
Brady, who has served as president of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, referred to additional problems in today’s military including “girly-men leadership (and) medals for not shooting and operating a computer. This president will never fight if there is any reason to avoid it and with a helpless military he can just point to our weakness and shrug his shoulders.”
Retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin similarly has been critical of the Obama administration in what he sees has the highest rate of purges of any president of top military officials.
“I talk to a lot of folks who don’t support where Obama is taking the military, but in the military they can’t say anything,” Boykin told WND.
As a consequence, he said lower grades have decided to leave the military, having been given the signal that there is no future in the military for them.
In addition to military readiness, Boykin was critical of the recent repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’ Tell” policy which now allows openly homosexual personnel in the military.
In addition, he said the integration of women into the infantry “will reduce readiness of units.” He also was critical of the rules of engagement which he says favor “political correctness over our ability to fight to win.”