The social justice warriors have won. Today, in a decision the media is hailing as “historic,” the Pentagon is opening “all jobs in combat units” to women:
Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said Thursday that he is opening all jobs in combat units to women, a landmark decision that ends a three-year period of research with a number of firsts for female service members and bitter debate at times about how women should be integrated.
The decision opens the military’s most elite units to women who can meet the rigorous requirements for the positions for the first time, including in the Navy SEALs, Army Special Forces and other Special Operations Units. It also opens the Marine Corps infantry, a battle-hardened force that many service officials had openly advocated keeping closed to female service members.
“There will be no exceptions,” Carter said. “This means that, as long as they qualify and meet the standards, women will now be able to contribute to our mission in ways they could not before.”
This decision is indeed historic — a historic mistake. Keep in mind that the Obama Administration makes this decision even after intensive Marine tests showed that mixed-gender units were far less capable than their all-male counterparts. Women were injured “twice as often as men,” less accurate with their weapons, and less able to “remove wounded troops from the battlefield.” As I wrote at the time, even that devastating summary understates the differences:
Women weren’t slightly less capable than the men; they were profoundly less capable. All-male units performed better in 93 of 134 categories evaluated, and there were “notable” differences in accuracy in “every individual weapons system.” Physically, the top 25th percentile of women overlapped with the bottom 25th percentile of men, and they possessed less anaerobic power, anaerobic capacity, and aerobic capacity than their male colleagues. Women undergoing entry-level infantry training were injured at “more than six times the rate of their male counterparts.”
This decision has nothing to do with combat effectiveness. Indeed, expect combat effectiveness to steadily degrade as the social justice warriors inevitably take aim at physical standards that will exclude the vast majority of women who attempt to join the infantry or special forces. Radical feminists will find infantry units that are four percent female almost as intolerable as units that exclude women entirely. Even if the standards don’t change on paper, instructors at the various relevant military schools will be put under enormous pressure to pass sufficient numbers of women.
Unless the next defense secretary has the courage to reverse Carter’s decision, America will pay a blood price for this insanity. Political correctness kills.