Donna McAleer, a West Point graduate and former Army officer, is the author of the forthcoming book Porcelain on Steel: Women of West Point's Long Gray Line. Erin Solaro is the author of Women in the Line of Fire: What You Should Know About Women in the Military, based on her research during embedded tours with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The article is "Full participation for our 'sisters-in-arms'". The first paragraph is:
By this time next year, U.S. troops will have been in Afghanistan longer than the Soviets were. The United States has been engaged in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq longer than in any previous war. Not factoring in the increase in soldiers going to Afghanistan that President Obama announced last week, some 220,000 American women have engaged in combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.The number 220,000 American women engaged in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan is pretty stunning. That is a lot of people—twice the official population of the City of Lowell. Some women won medals for heroism and some died. But, as the two authors point out, women have performed well and the problems expected have not materialized.
In the past eight years, more than 2 million U.S. servicemen and servicewomen have served together in situations and for durations that have never existed in previous conflicts. Whatever issues remain to be resolved, the feared "disasters" did not materialize. There have been no epidemics of rape, no waves of "get me out of here" pregnancies, no orgies and no combat failures. In short, our men and women in uniform have behaved as military professionals.I attribute a good part of that success to the fact that we have an all volunteer force. Kudos to our professionals in uniform.
The authors, however, are not writing to celebrate the past, but rather to suggests paths for the future. They believe that it is time for the Services to end all restrictions on women and homosexuals.
Our century will become only more violent. American women and gays have a stake in the survival of our republic, and the military will continue to need to draw on their strength, intelligence and courage. It is time the military acknowledged them and welcomed them into the profession of arms, rather than using, ignoring or discarding them.To follow through their argument, read the whole article.
Regards — Cliff
PS: Hat tip to someone anonymous.