Small Wars Journal

Simple Quick Question: Have Our Armed Services Become a Social Experiment and Springboard to Push Political Agendas?

Simple quick question: Have our Armed Services become a social experiment and springboard to push wider political agendas?



Sat, 01/26/2013 - 5:16pm

Yes! It appears we are not aiming to produce the most efficient, effective military organization but rather aimed at politically correct inclusion. There will be a cost. If I recall, 2 C141s had to be added to the Corps HQ at Bragg when the ladies were assigned. The culture required separation. Therefore, there were added tents, latrines, showers, etc. These were not combat positions, but there was a cost. When we look at the combat units there may be even a greater cost. The combat units do not lean toward providing any great amount of privacy for normal body functions and body functions are different. The requirement is first to have mentally and physically competent soldiers. It appears the emphasis to include women in combat comes from the officer ranks of women rather than from the bottom up. These ranks have no experience with grunt work day in, day out and look more toward the experience that allows them to be generals. There is some thought process there that men and women are interchangeable. Where they are interchangeable it should be acceptable. In comparisons I have read, there was an attempt to compare a female who runs marathons to a lineman (football) weighing 200+ pounds who might not keep up on the long distance run. The female would run off and leave the lineman. What no one states, however, is that the female marathoner would get buried in a football line. Yes, Virginia there is a difference between linemen and backs or distance runners. They are not interchangeable except in elementary school where girls mature faster. This is rather like the the high school girl who wants to play varsity football. Give it your best shot. Do not reduce the infantry standards to that of a SWAT team that kicks in a door, has a short fight, and goes back to the station. That cannot be the concept for inclusion.


Mon, 01/28/2013 - 5:36am

In reply to by former_0302

Thank you very much for taking the time to do that. Is there a way to contact a fellow poster on SWJ?


Sat, 01/26/2013 - 5:08pm

There was an article yesterday on the front page of the site that was written by a Major and PhD type reference removing the combat exclusion policy. I can no longer find it and went back to Jan of last year. Has it been removed? Any hints how to find it?

I saw a post by someone who was sharing guidance on how to execute the decision and wanted to contact him.


Social Welfare and Social Experiment. This latest women in combat is a complete joke and standards will be lowered.

Really is Tragic


Yes. But the important thing that this illustrates is how disconnected from the reality of life, and wars are about the most intense reality of national life there is, the elites of the nation really are. Those realities don't register with the elites who make the decisions and direct the forces. They sure as hell have no first hand experience and they don't know anybody who does and can tell them about it (truthfully I mean, so multi-stars don't count). So this is what we get. And there is no way that a change can be forced, from within that is. It will be forced from without. That is what happens when nations go down the wrong military path.


Thu, 01/24/2013 - 11:31pm


I love how all of the clowns who have never served, know whats best for us...

Dempsey and Odinero (Ah where are their Ranger Tabs???)are confirmed losers as are 99% of the rest. The business of the military is to win the nations wars. They failed the last two times.I have a list of schools and duty stations I would like and now I will be able to, since its all about your feelings and dreams... Oh and standards will drop or be overlooked (and the system manipulated)... And those of us who uphold them will be counseled...

I give it less than twenty years before all street signs are in Chinese...


Tue, 01/29/2013 - 5:49pm

In reply to by Gyrene1

You are very correct... All races have contibuted to this great nation. But could you explain the equal opportunty used in promotions? Should not the very best reguardless of race be promoted?


Sat, 01/26/2013 - 1:55pm

In reply to by slackdammit

Your statement is unfortunate and untrue. I don't know the President's motives (neither do you). However, to claim that Americans join our military, and have been supported by various communities to join because of "afirmative action [sic]" is patently false.

Black Americans have served our military since the Revolutionary War and in every conflict our country has fought thereafter. Today, hundreds of thousands of servicemembers from all aspects of American society serve their country honorably. Some are poor and have few alternative opportunities (black, white, Hispanic, and others)—is their service any less valuable, considering that less that 1% of citizens wear the cloth of our Nation. To discredit some, without factual basis, is based on intellectual/cultural bias or ignorance.


Thu, 01/24/2013 - 9:41am

Over the past 4 years I have reflected upon Obama's handleing of the Afghan war and it's recurring absurdities. Why does't he shut it down?
Vince Lombardy said that the Packers are never beaten, they just run out of time, occasionly. That is the professed ethos of the US military (and probably many others). Consequently, if a war turns out to be unwin-able, then the Army hangs on, forever. Obama has repetedly been suckered into extending the war. Why doesn't he stand up to the generals? This is an unpopular war.
Here is my best guess. The US military is the greatest black afirmative action program going. Hundreds of thousands of blacks are employed by the DoD in all its extentions. I think that for the black community, military service is the equivalent to sending the kid to military school. Conservative blacks, preachers and all, are hugely fond of the military. And why not, it has certainly diverted many kids from the road to ruin.
So, if Obama were to publically upbraid, or embarass the generals he would risk retaliation from the the brass, with many black kids no longer making the cut. Obama could find himself in hot water with his most treasured constituancy. Is he pushing a wider social agenda? I would say so.


Tue, 01/29/2013 - 5:55pm

In reply to by major.rod

And Sir as you know anyone who comes out and tells you they are gay, is looking for special treatment. Especially if done within the first five minutes of meeting them.


Fri, 01/25/2013 - 3:41pm

In reply to by Vitesse et Puissance

How do your points address mine or did you hit "reply" accidentally when you meant to say "new post"?

Vitesse et Puissance

Thu, 01/24/2013 - 1:58pm

In reply to by major.rod

I know the question was throwing chum in the water, but it is a more serious concern than we'd like to concede. The first illusion we need to abandon is the idea that the United States military is invincible, and so we can get by with the least desirable social and psychological climate and just force soldiers, et al to conform and do things right. Or we just go ahead and break them and deal with the consequences with the same arrogant and positivist attitude, going around talking about "resiliance" as if our soldiers were literally made out of steel - and we can measure how often, and why they break down.

I actually had two contrary responses to unleashing women into the combat arms. For general purpose forces, I think it is a horrible, tragic, cowardly mistake. Its consequences will be born directly by failed units and failed individuals, and ten years from now, we will either be ignoring the consequences or talking about how to correct them.

Conversely, I think there are areas of special operations where women can make a real contribution. Now I realize that Special Forces, Rangers and Seals regard themselves as the most indestructible of all who serve in uniform - the most resiliant of the resiliant. Made of titanium, not steel. Well, fine, its your culture, not mine. But on the other hand, there is the craft of stealth, the need to be something other than what one appears to be - the art of spying as much as soldiering. I don't want the SF women of the future to look like those old Speznaz hags - I want them to be attractive and alluring and dangerous to the bone. Think Scarlett Johannson in the Avengers, not Demi Moore in GI Jane.


Thu, 01/24/2013 - 4:21am

"Have our Armed Services become a social experiment and springboard to push wider political agendas?"

You're joking Dave right?

DADT lifted coupled with the announcement that DOMA will no longer be defended by the gov't.

Today's news (combat exclusion policy for women to be revoked)

The removal of commanders authority to prefer charges when sexual misconduct is alleged.

The Marine Corps instituting random breathalyzer tests.

The Dream Act which equates an illegal alien attending college with an illegal aliens (who legally can't serve) on equal footing (this is clearly using the military to provide political cover o the immigration debate)

The threat for the first time in memory if not in history that military pay has been held histage to pressure the right to give up on resisting out of control social spending.

Is that enough?


Wed, 01/23/2013 - 11:28pm

I think patricknd90's comment says it the best. As the armed forces are subject to decisions made by elected politicians, these decisions will necessarily be determined by political adjudication. You might be able to make a comparison to the school system. If we are to have government-funded schools, then government will of course be in charge of determining what "is our children learning," to quote our former president. They're funded by our taxes, so they should be in some way answerable to our values.

Just throwing this out there... but I'd be really wary of military forces that are not subject to this. It doesn't seem consistent with a democratic system of government. It'd be like Turkey or some South American country, or some other country where the military doesn't have to worry about nosy politicians pushing their agendas where the generals don't think it belongs.


Wed, 01/23/2013 - 10:53pm

No. I think that the changes to the military are reflecting the changes in society. This is proper, as the military should be a reflection of the society it is sworn to defend.


Thu, 01/24/2013 - 8:05am

By their very nature as a national organization funded by the federal government and the states, the armed forces are subject to and reflective of our political and social values. The degree to which they are a "springboard" or a "social experiment" is entirely in the eye of the beholder. For my part, I think that, yes, at key inflection points, they have been a springboard, in the sense that they have been a signpost, if you will, of historic social changes. This was true with racial integration, and has now become true in the case of gay rights. I can't really think of any other "wider political agendas," especially given the fact that ideological identification in the armed forces tends to skew heavily toward the conservative side. If the Marine Corps starts advocating for a higher minimum wage, I'll get back to you on that one.

edit: I had the misfortune of reading this before hearing the news about women in combat roles. I don't think that's "political'; I think that's basically common sense and bringing ourselves in line with the rest of the world.