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Military - Other Echelons away from the trigger pullers, from operational art and theater logistics to service combat development to just plain FOBbits.

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Old 03-17-2016   #241
Granite_State
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Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
The opposition to women in combat arms is based on an antiquated, patriarchal, and romantic view of the 'right place' for the sexes - a view that is quickly being dismantled by the necessities of the modern era's demands on society. Wars are no longer won by personal courage and individual strength (ah blasphemy!) but by the cold calculation of the massing of combat power on the enemy. What about the genders makes one better than the other at pulling the trigger of an assault right, flying a drone, or driving a tank? And as technology continues to find new means of automation and miniaturization, like exoskeletons, the 'justifications' for excluding women from combat arms become increasingly irrelevant to modern warfare. The military - given its importance for the national security - is no place to stake the last stand of dying male machismo in American society.
Never mind that the physical concerns with integration pale in comparison to those of cohesion, fraternization, pregnancy, and injury. Tell your tale of exoskeletons and miniaturization to:
-A soldier from the 101st Airborne in the Korengal.
-A Marine from 3/1 in Fallujah.
-Any soldier or Marine jumping or climbing up a canal with a 25 pound ECM on his back.

This revolt against reality will end about one week in to a real war.
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Old 03-17-2016   #242
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Default hot and cold calculations

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Originally Posted by AmericanPride View Post
The opposition to women in combat arms is based on an antiquated, patriarchal, and romantic view of the 'right place' for the sexes - a view that is quickly being dismantled by the necessities of the modern era's demands on society. Wars are no longer won by personal courage and individual strength (ah blasphemy!) but by the cold calculation of the massing of combat power on the enemy. What about the genders makes one better than the other at pulling the trigger of an assault right, flying a drone, or driving a tank? And as technology continues to find new means of automation and miniaturization, like exoskeletons, the 'justifications' for excluding women from combat arms become increasingly irrelevant to modern warfare. The military - given its importance for the national security - is no place to stake the last stand of dying male machismo in American society.
Evangelism can be emotionally and socially rewarding and the current politically correct view is that US infantry units should be promptly changed from all-male to mixed male-and-female. That would yield a lot of empirical data when those light infantry platoons and companies are inevitably committed to close quarter combat against adversary platoons and companies that are likely to be all-male. But if the empirical data is unfavourable, what costs will have been incurred and how long will it take to save face and then revert to ‘all-male’ light infantry ?

The proven path for military force development is to test before implementing. Statistical gaming is an alternative but in this case there is already so much PC and anti-PC opinion that computer models and their results would be suspect. In my opinion the viability of having females in light infantry units - operating without or with niceties such as exoskeletons - could be cheaply and appropriately tested in several series of ‘round-robin’ gridiron or ice hockey matches: each matching an all-male team against a male-female team with all teams in a ‘round-robin’ composed of all members from a pool of goodmale light infantry and all members of a somewhat smaller pool of pool of comprehensively trained females. For example, four series with six teams in each would require 60 matches which played at the rate of two per week would usefully test powers of endurance and recovery.

Is there an alternative way of testing human suitability for the basic all-purpose combat arm which has been on the winning and loosing sides throughout human history ? And seriously is it even necessary ? Recent history has shown that technological advances continue to be a sometime substitute for the aggressive, other instinctive and physiological capabilities of human light infantry. That history indicates also that females continue to coldly calculate that it is adviseable to avoid face-to-face combat against males. Females also somewhat similarly avoid integration into intensely male units.
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Old 03-17-2016   #243
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That's one hell of an assertion. Would you like to back that up with evidence? I have not seen any significant moral or philosophical contributions to the debate, nor have I seen any serious sociological or anthropological studies of the wide-ranging implications of this move. This is bemusing as primarily this debate should not be about combat effectiveness, but about the wider ramifications of treating men and women as not just equal, but the same.
It's not only the change character of modern warfare, but also the ways in which society has changed the relationship between genders. The old views about genders are increasingly irrelevant - and, to some extent, destructive and obstructionist. The underlying structures of capitalism and democracy - as they exist today, and which, ultimately, inform the construction of the security apparatus around them - do not require any sort of differentiation. In fact, given the trends in finance, labor, public health, technology, and trade, they are positively harmed by any kind of exclusionary policies which reduce one segment's participation in this system. The last few decades have witnessed this dismantling with a few holdouts in the 'cultural wars'. Likewise, the all-volunteer military, with its high demands for an educated and moral work-force, is also harmed by policies of exclusion, given the ever-decreasing pool of viable candidates and the increasing per-servicemember cost of maintaining them.

So this isn't just about combat effectiveness, which really is only an indicator of the state of things underneath, or just equality, which is also important, but instead the continued evolution of our political-economic system which requires an all-volunteer service. With a country of 300+ million people, we could easily find enough men to fill our requirements - but only if we removed barriers like social stigma of the draft and physical/moral requirements. But we can't - and the national security cannot afford to exclude ~150+ million people from the potential labor pool because some men hold sexist views about women.

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Originally Posted by compost
Never mind that the physical concerns with integration pale in comparison to those of cohesion, fraternization, pregnancy, and injury.
When faced with the common threat of death and serious injury, I'm confident that men and women will be just fine working together.

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This revolt against reality will end about one week in to a real war.
The reality is that the only political correctness occurring here is futilely defending the last bastion of masochism in American society against its inevitable destruction in the face of a changing world. Here's a thought: if you were to replace all of the men in the armed forces with women, how would the outcomes of our wars be any different? Has the U.S. lost any conflict on the basis of the physical prowess or personal courage of its members?

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Originally Posted by compost
But if the empirical data is unfavourable, what costs will have been incurred and how long will it take to save face and then revert to ‘all-male’ light infantry ?
This assumes that the 'unfavorable' data is because women's presence is detrimental to unit integrity rather than that male machisoism is detrimental to unit integrity in mixed units.
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Old 03-17-2016   #244
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Never mind that the physical concerns with integration pale in comparison to those of cohesion, fraternization, pregnancy, and injury.
Quote:
This revolt against reality will end about one week in to a real war.
Would be pleased to have made these delightfully concise remarks,
but the credit belongs to Granite State.
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Old 03-18-2016   #245
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The US services' implementation plans are out:

http://weaponsman.com/?p=30437
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Old 03-26-2016   #246
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It's not only the change character of modern warfare, but also the ways in which society has changed the relationship between genders. The old views about genders are increasingly irrelevant - and, to some extent, destructive and obstructionist. The underlying structures of capitalism and democracy - as they exist today, and which, ultimately, inform the construction of the security apparatus around them - do not require any sort of differentiation. In fact, given the trends in finance, labor, public health, technology, and trade, they are positively harmed by any kind of exclusionary policies which reduce one segment's participation in this system. The last few decades have witnessed this dismantling with a few holdouts in the 'cultural wars'.

So this isn't just about combat effectiveness...
I quite agree that this is not just about combat effectiveness. The way a military fights reflects the society it comes from and what that society aspires to be. I just see no hard evidence that the change is for the better. It seems to be both inconsistent in application, inefficient in costs and ill-considered in thinking through the second and third order consequences. In saying this I am looking across society as a whole, but the military is a good microcosm of this.

I remain bemused by the modern insistence that men and women are not just equal but should be regarded as the same, when patently they are not.
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Old 03-29-2016   #247
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I think your cav bias is showing. Agree on the PPE, agree on the biceps and supplements. But there are places only light infantry can go. If anything, our insistence on "commuting to work" has been the problem. And I say this as a guy with a USMC LAR background.
Then the light infantry can ditch their wheels for a short time and fight as infantry. Just like the insurgents do. The problem with "commuting to work" is that we load teams and squads up on trucks and armored vehicles like sardines. Instead of putting one soldier on one quad bike, or 2 to 3 soldiers on one pickup truck. The future dead bodies in the back of an APC are completely divorced from combat until they are kicked out or burned alive.

It's not hard to figure out. Unless you are US military, and then it's freaking unpossible.

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I doubt this is true. I KNOW this is not true when it comes to FOBs, carriers, etc.
I will bet you any amount of money you care to name that more muscle headed men eliminated themselves from theater due to power lifting accidents, then women from pregnancy. And in a truly professional military (vice a welfare agency with green uniforms) pregnancy in combat zone would result in a ride back and one's ass kicked out.

Quote:
That's the mentality where any problem, no matter how intractable or self-inflicted, is simply "a leadership challenge." We've got enough of those as it is. If the problem is professionalism, why do those closest to Army SF say the problem will be even worse there?:
A professional army doesn't require leadership/babysitting to the extent that a welfare agency/mass army needs. In a truly professional military, problem children get fired. Period. Quit recruiting idiots for college money. Every single recruit should enter with the idea of becoming a professional soldier and be asked to leave if it doesn't work out for them.

Unprofessionalism is not restricted to "Big Army". Many of our SF units have institutionalized a kind of ego-driven "frat boy" culture. See V Group.
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Old 03-29-2016   #248
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Never mind that the physical concerns with integration pale in comparison to those of cohesion, fraternization, pregnancy, and injury. Tell your tale of exoskeletons and miniaturization to:
-A soldier from the 101st Airborne in the Korengal.
-A Marine from 3/1 in Fallujah.
-Any soldier or Marine jumping or climbing up a canal with a 25 pound ECM on his back.

This revolt against reality will end about one week in to a real war.
You mean, a "real war" like the Eastern Front in WWII?

Yeah. Gotta have a dick to kill Germans with an 11 pound rifle.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyudmila_Pavlichenko

Your apocryphal soldier and Marine were handicapped by a system where their physical size and strength were more important than their war fighting ability. It astonishes me how people who've served can work up the motivation to oppose females being "allowed" to serve in combat units, yet cannot get worked up about the chain of leadership failures that led to the above mentioned scenarios.

Note that the NVA didn't burden it's infantry with crap. Neither did the Japanese in WWII. Nor do the guys killing our guys in Korengal or in Fallujah.

Last edited by 120mm; 03-29-2016 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 03-29-2016   #249
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Note that the NVA didn't burden it's infantry with crap. Neither did the Japanese in WWII. Nor do the guys killing our guys in Korengal or in Fallujah.
Because societies go to war in a manner which reflects both the society and their aims in the conflict. You cannot expect a society to fight in a way that is foreign to that society. At the very least the former delineates in part what they regard as risk, the latter how much risk they are prepared to accept. Comparing apples and Volkswagens therefore seems a strange way to make a point about supposed leadership failures.
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Old 04-02-2016   #250
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Default Eight myths about women on the military frontline – and why we shouldn’t believe them

Found this on an email round-up from 'The Conversation', a commentary blogsite based on UK university writers and the article maybe of interest. I have no position on the issues.

It starts with:
Quote:
Many myths, based on stereotype and perpetuated by a minority of “old and bold” military personnel, are historically unfounded. However, the findings do not seem to be filtering though – and popular opinion still believes that women are incapable of serving in ground close combat roles. It is time to put these myths to bed once and for all:
Link:https://theconversation.com/eight-myths-about-women-on-the-military-frontline-and-why-we-shouldnt-believe-them-55594?
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Old 04-02-2016   #251
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Default They might be arguments

They might be arguments, but they certainly do not reflect my concerns.

1) Women are physically inferior to men. Not a serious argument that I have heard put forward. Women are however different to men, and no consideration has been given therefore to the impacts and effectiveness of either allowing for these differences or incorporating them. The argument about exoskeletons is surreal, presumably because exoskeletons allow children to fight we should therefore let them fight?

2) Women lack violent tendencies. Just because some women are capable of violence neither means that all women are as violent as men nor that we should encourage women to be as violent as men.

3) Women lack the self-discipline required. If anything, everyone I know would say that women on average brings an advantage in this area. One only needs to look at the roles where women in the military are carving out the greatest successes at the moment to see this.

4) Women are not as emotionally stable as men. Really? I do wonder where the author gets this from? It is like a parody of misogyny.

5) Women will be sexually assaulted by male peers. The author proves the point here in her own findings (the argument was never that this was a woman only issue). This is not an exclusively female problem, but it is much more of a problem for women than it is for men. here I caveat with the fact that sexual assault is not a reason to stop women taking up more roles in the military - it is simply a discipline problem to be addressed.

6) Women will jeopardise unit cohesion. I've heard it said and I don't believe it. They do however change the dynamics of a unit and I do not think the ramifications of this are fully understood. It could be good, it could be bad.

7) Female military units will not work. Really? As far as I know no western militaries are considering introducing all female combat units. I am not quite sure why this issue is raised.

8) Women can't perform as well as men in the special forces. Again, not an argument that I am familiar with. I personally know of UK Special Forces operators (female). In fact this whole paragraph highlighted a distressing amount of ignorance about SF selection, roles, the current operating environment and the difference between being 'badged' and operating with. It summed up the whole piece for me: it was pseudo-academic.
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Old 10-10-2016   #252
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Default Right on schedule

Behold the OPAT:

http://weaponsman.com/?p=35670
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Old 10-24-2016   #253
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Default Comment on Tom Ricks' blog

Quote:
singh.s
singh.s 2 days ago
Just had a division gender integration brief. Some SGM from SMA Dailey's office came in and tried to sell the Pentagon Kool-Aid on its efficacy. Two Company Commanders had the moral courage to stand up and ask under what circumstances they would be within their authority to deny a female entry into the combat arms. Short answer: If they pass the OPAT, rejecting a female applicant who has passed the OPAT is grounds for an IG visit.
Then the division retention folks gave a presentation on the OPAT itself. Platoon Sergeants sat with a stiff upper lips and Platoon Leaders barely contained their laughter. It is abundantly clear these standards are designed to pay lip service to the needs of specific MOS's and therefore give fake credence to non-combat Soldiers (male or female) who end up in the combat arms upon passing it
.

As those of us opposed to this lunacy have long claimed, lower standards were always going to be part of the deal.
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