Women in Combat: Civic Duty or Military Liability?

Women in Combat: Civic Duty or Military Liability?

Women in Combat: Civic Duty or Military Liability?

Women in Combat: Civic Duty or Military Liability?

Excerpt

Women in Combat is the third volume in the [Controversies in Public Policy] series published by Georgetown University Press. Lorry Fenner and Marie deYoung write from extensive experience in the U.S. military. Lorry Fenner was recently selected for promotion to Colonel in the U.S. Air Force and is the Deputy Group Commander for the 2,800 women and men of the 694th Intelligence Group. Marie deYoung served in the U.S. Army for eight years. She is the author of This Woman's Army: The Dynamics of Sex and Violence in the Military and numerous articles about gender issues in the military.

Both authors also draw on a broad range of empirical data and are deeply committed to their respective positions. For Lorry Fenner, it is unequivocally clear that women should be fully integrated into the military and should serve in whatever capacity for which they are qualified, including combat units. Marie deYoung believes just as strongly that serving in combat would be a personal and social disaster for women.

Lorry Fenner argues that the nation-state is based on the government's ability to protect its sovereignty and the lives and prosperity of its people. The armed forces are a core institution, and combat in this institution is a defining feature. The U.S. military should reflect the democratic society it serves—and such reflection involves women in the military serving in any position for which they are qualified. If women are to be considered on par with men, they must have the right to serve in the military wherever they are qualified.

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