- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
- U.N. warns of Muslim ‘cleansing’ in Central African Republic
- Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases
- Drug mix may have cured child born with HIV, doctors say
- De Blasio’s wife irks former mansion chef with ‘servant’ remark
- Russia’s neighbors shiver amid Putin’s Cold War moves in Ukraine
- New SAT: The essay portion is to become optional
- Military group can’t march to honor the fallen at Boston Marathon due to security changes
- Senate passes bills deleting ‘retarded’ from laws
- China announces biggest military hike in 3 years: We are not ‘boy scouts with spears’
Pentagon move will send women into direct combat
Move lifts barriers to military jobs
However, the memo also states: “If we find that the assignment of women to a specific position or occupational specialty is in conflict with our stated principles, we will request an exception to the policy.”
The policy change evoked a variety of reactions from Capitol Hill.
Sen. Carl M. Levin, Michigan Democrat and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, welcomed the lifting of the ban.
“I support it,” Mr. Levin said. “It reflects the reality of 21st-century military operations.”
“The focus of our military needs to be maximizing combat effectiveness,” Mr. Hunter said. “The question here is whether this change will actually make our military better at operating in combat and killing the enemy, since that will be their job, too.
“What needs to be explained is how this decision, when all is said and done, increases combat effectiveness rather than being a move done for political purposes — which is what this looks like. The idea that every combat mission and future conflict will mirror Iraq and Afghanistan is extremely naive and shortsighted,” he said.
“Today is a historic day for not only women currently serving in our armed forces, but for all of the women who have selflessly put their lives on the line in theaters of war throughout our nation’s history,” Ms. Gabbard said. “This decision by the Department of Defense is an overdue yet welcome change, which I strongly support.”
Advocacy groups also assessed the Pentagon’s change.
Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, said the move is premature and lacks empirical justification.
“Secretary Panetta on his way out the door is imposing huge burdens on the infantry that will affect morale and readiness,” Mrs. Donnelly said. “Thirty years of research, reports and studies … indicate that this is not a good idea. It will indeed complicate life in the infantry and make life more dangerous.”
But Ariel Migdal, senior staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing the women who have sued the Pentagon, said the ban was constraining commanders in the field and limiting the military’s ability to recruit and retain the most qualified women.
“Does this mean of the 238,000 positions that are now closed to women — will they be able to compete for those?” Ms. Migdal said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Kristina Wong is a national security reporter for The Washington Times, covering defense, foreign policy and intelligence affairs. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- Despite Pentagon cuts and eye on Pacific, Air Force implored to save the 'Warthog'
- Pentagon welcomes budget deal but says more defense spending needed
- Rep. Hunter to Pentagon: Don't lower combat standards for women
- Scientists raise alarm over plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons at sea
- Hagel renews Qatar defense pact despite differences over Iran, Syria
TWT Video Picks
By Tammy Bruce
- Aronofsky's 'Noah' banned in Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates
- AP Exclusive: Man said to create bitcoin denies it
- Back to the Future: HUVr Tech marketing video goes viral with hoverboard release tease
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
- Putin has transformed Russian army into a lean, mean fighting machine
- Unemployment insurance vote could happen next week
- First pot business license issued in Washington
- 1M kids stop school lunch due to Michelle Obamas food standards
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- U.S. tasks Navy destroyer to Black Sea amid Ukraine tensions
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again