The Report of the Military Leadership Diversity Commission: An Inadequate Basis for Lifting the Exclusion of Women from Direct Ground Combat
41 Pages Posted: 25 Sep 2012 Last revised: 26 Nov 2012
Date Written: April 1, 2012
The recommendation of the Military Leadership Diversity Commission to lift the exclusion of women from ground combat is deeply irresponsible and cannot be taken seriously. The Commission’s lodestar was diversity, not military effectiveness, and it failed to take into consideration a wealth of information bearing on its recommendation.
The Commission’s recommendation was based primarily on sources that cannot be considered authoritative, and the Commission’s analysis of the sources that it did consult was superficial and in conflict with some of the facts, as opposed to the “spin,” contained in these very sources. The Commission substantially downplayed the sex difference in strength and other physical capacities, striking down the straw man that “all women lack the physical ability to perform in combat roles,” but never addressing how many women there are who actually possess that ability, a piece of data that is highly relevant to its recommendation. Moreover, the MLDC report does not mention the word “pregnancy,” despite the fact that there is much data to suggest that pregnancy has substantial adverse effects on deployability and readiness even with the ground-combat exclusion in place. Finally, the Commission’s conclusion that there was “little evidence” that integration of women has had a negative impact on cohesion and performance ignores not only a wealth of information to the contrary in sources it did not consult, it also ignores a great deal of evidence to the contrary in the sources that the Commission actually did consult.
Keywords: Combat, Integration, Military, Women
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation