Monday, January 28, 2013

Sending Women To War

Gary L. Bauer
Campaign for Working Families

The Pentagon made history last week when Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced that he was lifting the ban on women serving in frontline, combat positions. The new policy is not going into effect immediately. It will be phased in, and the services will be permitted to request exemptions for specific posts such as elite units like Navy SEALs or Army Rangers.

Many on the left hailed the decision, saying equality demands equal opportunity for women in the military. President Obama offered his "strong support for this decision," which he described as "another step toward fulfilling our nation's founding ideals of fairness and equality." He went on to say that "every American can be proud that our military will grow even stronger with our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters playing a greater role in protecting this country we love."

Polling suggests overwhelming public support for the idea. A Gallup poll released Friday found that nearly three-quarters of the public would vote for a law allowing women to serve in combat. But I wonder how many Americans have really given the idea much thought and serious consideration.

For example, every teenage man must register with the Selective Service within 30 days of his 18th birthday. It is doubtful that a draft is coming. After 9/11 the nation fought wars in Afghanistan and Iraq without a draft. But the law requires that all of our sons register just in case of some catastrophic emergency. The world is a very unpredictable place and becomes more dangerous every day.

If women will now be in frontline combat, is registering our daughters and granddaughters for the draft next? After all, that would be the "equality" that Obama and the feminists say they want. But I doubt if modern feminists and large swaths of the public will be very pleased when their daughters come of age and have to give their contact information to Uncle Sam.