Let Women Soldiers Serve in Combat, Says PanelS

Women soldiers can serve in combat support roles, but not in straight-up combat. A military panel made up of current and retired officers wants the Pentagon to change that. What kinds of craptastic opposing arguments can we expect to hear?

Oh, that it will destroy unit cohesion, of course. That argument was popular against the movement to win rights for gays in the military, and is often used by critics of gender equality. But we should also prepare to hear that old yarn about women being too weak and fragile to do actual battle. Our emotional makeup makes us soft and squishy; we'd probably throw down our guns or bazookas or whatever and run over to the enemy's side to hug them (and maybe bring them a hot chai), right?

As the Associated Press points out, about 14% of the armed services is female—and so far, the military hasn't collapsed. Neither have the women currently serving. But without women able to gain the combat experience necessary for certain leadership positions, that glass ceiling's not falling down yet, either. The panel's change wouldn't fix that problem overnight, but it would be a start in the right direction.

Military commission: Lift ban, allow women in combat [MSNBC]