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Congress, Pentagon clash over women in combat

The recruiting woes are so bad for the military, that the Pentagon is in stark disagreement with the House Armed Services Committee over its vote to limit the role of women in combat. The wingnuts (primarily Elaine Donnelly, head of the conservative Center for Military Readiness) have been quite vocal that women’s role in the military should be curtailed, or preferably eliminated. Because women are unfit for this you know, like the homos.

The Army opposed the initial amendment by Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., saying it would have closed almost 22,000 slots to women and limited the service’s fighting ability. Folks you can’t have it both ways. They are completely confused by this political conundrum, as RPGs and bombs are over there killing men AND women in uniform.

A House committee voted to prohibit women in the military from serving in direct ground combat roles Wednesday as part of a bill setting Defense Department policy and spending plans for the coming budget year.

By voice vote, an amendment was approved that would put into law a Pentagon policy from 1994 that prohibits female troops in all four services from serving in units below brigade level whose primary mission is direct ground combat.

“Many Americans feel that women in combat or combat support positions is not a bridge we want to cross at this point,” said Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y., who sponsored the amendment. It also allows the Pentagon to further exclude women from units in other instances, while requiring defense officials to notify Congress when opening up positions to women. The amendment replaced narrower language in the bill that applied only to the Army and banned women from some combat support positions.

…The issue arose last week, when Republicans, at the behest of Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., added to the overall bill a provision that would have banned women from being assigned to “forward support companies.”

Those units provide infantry, armor and artillery units with equipment, ammunition, maintenance and other supplies in combat zones. The Army started allowing women to staff such support posts last year and says it is complying with the 1994 policy. Some Republicans aren’t so sure. “The Army is confused. They’re all over the place on this one,” Hunter said.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding