Winning isn’t everything

Ashton Carter, who has a brain even if he doesn’t use it, just declared all combat positions open to women. I’ve heard people say that’s ok – sure, hardly any women are as strong as men, but if you hold everyone to the same standards, it won’t matter. But of course we won’t hold women to the same standards. Already we don’t. Almost none of the women admitted to West Point (about a fifth of the class) pass the old standards. Women have qualified as Army Rangers – of course that too involved a thumb on the scale. NO woman can legitimately pass Ranger school.

So why are we doing this? We sure don’t do it in professional sports – because there, winning matters. We don’t seem to care if the offensive line ‘looks like America’ – sheesh, we don’t much care if they’re all felons.

Judging from our actions, winning is the only thing in football – but not in war.

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94 Responses to Winning isn’t everything

  1. AnonymousCoward says:

    In medical surgery, too.

  2. Little spoon says:

    If winning were a thing in war these days, we’d have already beaten Isis.

    • Little spoon says:

      If gender is not determined by sex at birth and trams women are real women, can’t they keep the same standards for everyone and count the transwomen army rangers as women breaking down gender barriers in the military? Like which progressive commandment am I breaking with that one?

      • AppSocRes says:

        “Like which progressive commandment am I breaking with that one?” It’s called cutting through the crap and is one of the seven deadly sins against progressive-think; invariably mortal, and requiring years of public repentance for absolution. Although unlike in RC dogma, absolution is never guaranteed and is always and permanently conditional.

      • Technically, yes, but the # of transwomen is so small (in reality) that trying to find the tiny handful of qualified ones out of the massive quantity of unqualified women is not even worth the effort.

  3. Gabriel Lombardi says:

    Though not a sport, chess also has separate championships for men and women. Women can compete in the men’s championship but no woman currently has a rating above 2700 (44 men do) . As in professional sports, winning matters in chess.


    • Patrick Boyle says:

      It used to be the case that no woman except Helen Sobel had ever been a Grand Master at Bridge. This is particularly relevant because the large majority of all Bridge players in America are female. Furthermore modern contract Bridge had been designed to appeal to women by Eli Culbertson. It is a game for girls.

  4. peter connor says:

    Bingo! But in anything involving the tenets of cultural marxism, winning is never the point, power in the marx-o-sphere is the point.

  5. AppSocRes says:

    It’s not just that girls/women can’t perform themselves; they also have dramatically adverse affects on unit cohesion, morale, and performance. The Israelis dropped their left-wing attitudes on women in combat very quickly when they saw the results. Yugoslav partisans in WW II had to use women but there was a strictly and regularly enforced death penalty, applied across all ranks, for any form of sexual fraternization. This at least kept problems to the minimum possible.

    The US experience of women in the military has been a disaster. They are always on the sick roster at far higher rates than men; they regularly engage in sexual fraternization with other ranks; they have a disconcerting habit of getting pregnant just before a major deployment. The other “progressive” experiment with the military has proven just as big a disaster. Homosexual rape has skyrocketed since homosexuals have been allowed to openly serve.

    At some point the military’s bedrock foundation, the traditional male warriors — mostly white middle and working class, and drawn from cultures with military traditions, e.g., descendants of Celts, Normans and Germans — are going to start withdrawing in disgust. (Contrary to the limp-wristed morons who are now running this country they do quite well in other useful professions, e.g., engineering. They need the military a lot less than the military needs them. ) At that point the military will be full of political officers, women, homosexuals, and unqualified NAMs, all seeking a safe government sinecure. This country’s progressives can then once again rejoice at having taken down still another of the very few public institutions they had not yet succeeded in destroying.

    • beancrusher says:

      Just today I was talking with a former Army sniper who was commenting on

      • beancrusher says:

        Is there no delete button?
        Anyway commenting on how much the math and geometry he used as a sniper is helping him in his construction job…
        Perhaps this is why we need to press women towards STEM at all costs…future combat.

    • Ventron says:

      Israelis dropped their left-wing attitudes on women in combat very quickly when they saw the results.

      Israel belongs to the only three countries in the world that have mandatory military service for women. Could you elaborate on the current status of women in the IDF given their bad combat record?

      • teageegeepea says:

        One version I heard is that they are required to serve, but aren’t in combat positions. The Israeli movie “Zero Motivation” shows some of what they do. I had a thread on the subject here, but not much got cleared up.

        • j says:

          My daughters all served in the Israeli army: one in the Karakal (wild cat) unit, charged with frontier guarding; one in mechanized artillery in some technical job inside the command vehicle, third in monitoring enemy territory from airborne systems, and the fourth secretary in the high military court. Their friends mostly go for teaching and social service jobs. There are no females in Golani and other infantry combat batallions. There is none in frontline positions. It cannot be contemplated a scenario where a female soldier falls into the hands of Arabs.

    • Mark F. says:

      Reports of male rape have increased, but how do you know that’s not just because people are more likely to report it? I suspect rape (especially male on male rape) is seriously underreported in the military, and always has been. Also, are the male on male rapists necessarily strictly homosexual, or is it something like a prison situation where normally “straight” guys do it because no women are available and it is a way to humiliate and control others? How do we even know that there are actually more homosexuals in the military? It’s always something you can lie about, and my friends in the military say that a lot of gay men are not coming out now because they think it will hurt their careers and cause them trouble.

      • reiner Tor says:

        my friends in the military say that a lot of gay men are not coming out now because they think it will hurt their careers and cause them trouble

        How do they know?

    • reiner Tor says:

      At that point the military will be full of political officers, women, homosexuals, and unqualified NAMs, all seeking a safe government sinecure.

      Since the US government seems to be controlled by progressives and other kinds of weirdos (like GW Bush and his pro-Israel coterie), I’m not sure if that will be a bad thing.

      Also I think the more absurd the PC system is getting, the more likely it will collapse under its own weight.

  6. primemonad says:

    The irony is that it’s mostly because we already have such an effective military that we can get away with the diversity. If there were any serious doubt that we would regularly win engagements even with diversity, it wouldn’t fly even in the upper echelons in the military. We can corrupt our military forces because we can afford to. Sure, more of the grunts (i.e., men) will die and get injured because of diversity, but that’s a small price to pay for good thinking, right?

    • gcochran9 says:

      “If there were any serious doubt … it wouldn’t fly”

      Sure it would, if promotion depended upon it. Requiring all JCS candidates to marry a pig would be accepted if you led up to it gradually.

    • Charlie says:

      The US military is so very effective. It is lavishly funded but can’t win in Afghanistan. It has the best weapons but can’t win in Iraq. It has the best night vision equipment but is no use in defending the Southern border. The Islamic state has a few guys in old pick up trucks but the US military can’t bomb them effectively.
      A lot of this is lack of will and political failure, but then good leadership is part of having a good military.
      With this kind of capability it’s hard to see what difference it would make.

  7. Erik Sieven says:

    what is an army needed for anyway? All real threats could be met by a few clever guys with drones etc.

  8. brian h. says:

    I’ve heard people say that’s ok – sure, hardly any women are as strong as men, but if you hold everyone to the same standards, it won’t matter. But of course we won’t hold women to the same standards.

    There’s also any number of things that can’t be measured by a physical exam or test. Women are much more prone to injury in lots of ways and they take a lot longer to heal. So maybe an athletic woman can push herself to her limits to finish a training system, but that’s not sustainable long-term. She’s just wearing her body down at an accelerated pace. When she tears an ACL and breaks her ankle on her first deployment in the field, her male squad-mates can have the fun of carrying her, and her gear back to base.

    The elephant in the room is also rape, which is always a problem in war. When your main enemies are mostly Islamists you can be absolutely certain a female soldier captured is going to be made a sex-slave. Now think about the psychological effect this is going to have on male soldiers who feel the natural desire to defend her. Are they really going to be able to think objectively in that scenario? It’s a crazy idea.

    • Gerard Mason says:

      This is why you need more homosexuals in the military. I can guarantee you I would feel absolutely no desire to defend the silly female.

      It’s very odd that of the instances so far stated, it seems always to be the ones where the end result matters that are the most infected by PC bias. The armed forces and surgery being the ones where it matters most, and chess and sport being the ones where it matters least. I suppose it’s always very clear who wins in chess and sports, because of their artificial character, and not only in the championships but at all points along the way. In war and surgery outcomes can be less clear cut along the way, and we see clearly what was effective and what wasn’t only at the very end, when it is too late to do anything about it.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Of course winning isn’t everything. The army is just another government program, and all the important groups need their slice of the pie. Every bureaucratic organization in the country needs to hew to the same institutional values, no holdouts allowed.

  10. Jim says:

    If one stated that professional football teams must on average be about half female, people would think you were nuts. Yet it’s apparently taken seriously that we might fight the Chinese army with female combat troops.

    The looney left of years ago seems practically sensible compared with the left of today. Mao or Stalin certainly never contemplated an army of female combat troops.

    • wolf says:

      why do right wingers like David Cameron support it.

      • Jim says:

        I would guess that David Cameron never expects the British Army to have to actually fight a war. If all you expect your army to ever do is march around in colorful uniforms then I guess it could be made of women.

      • Toddy Cat says:

        Besides, Cameron is only a right-winger insofar as there are people to the left of him. By the standards of thirty years ago, Cameron is a moderate leftist.

  11. Bob says:

    Isn’t this primarily just decadence from lack of a serious conventional military challenger?

    Are there likely to be serious conventional military challengers in the future and conventional military conflicts in which low level combat personnel, rather than firepower and nukes, are decisive?

  12. MawBTS says:

    Has anyone read this? Good for a cringe.

    Reminds me of that “MedievalPOC” person, who is convinced that there were tons of black people running around feudal-era Britain and any attempt to depict an all-white scene in art is ahistorical.

  13. JV says:

    I doubt that today’s military has a need for pure strength. Hi tech equipment today and in the future will require different skills so the entry standards may need to change anyway.
    Have you ever wondered if misogyny is primordial? I can see it in your attitude.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Despite what you may think, infantry are not babies. They are soldiers that spend a lot of time walking. They have to carry a lot of gear – rations, weapons, ammo. It’s heavy. The average rifleman’s load is about 90 pounds – (88 in warm weather, 101 in cold weather). Roman legionaries carried similar loads. Basically, about much as possible.

      American tanks, so far, don’t use autoloaders. A guy picks up the round and rapidly puts into the breech. It weighs ~50 pounds. That calls for pure strength. Few women are up to it.

      You are an ignoramus. Seek professional help.

    • Esso says:

      I’ve done my compulsory military service in a unit with women in it, some of them athletes. (Men are drafted, women are volunteers.) You are wrong about hi tech. It’s heavy and expensive, and the basic drill of “make fist around the handle, walk, don’t open fist until told to do so” is even more important. Women just can’t do that.

      Of course on long marches women have great endurance. Even on expedited marches they don’t lag, provided that some guy carries their stuff.

      Finally, I think I saw some maternalistic behaviour towards subordinates.

      As someone whose been there (peacetime), I wouldn’t recommend mixed military to anyone, unless some other constraints force you into it.

      About high tech, it also substitutes for skills, like point-n-shoot cameras. Sometimes this enables draft of less trained and skilled conscripts for the mission. Strength will always be a requirement.

      • Fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

        Of course, the problem with high tech is that the designers and developers cannot think of everything and every possible situation.

        When if fails, you have to fall back on thinking brains with the testictular fortitude and muscles on their frames to do what is necessary.

        Of course, not all men have it, but even less women have it, and in the presence of injured, crying women, a largish proportion of men go stupid.

    • ivvenalis says:

      I wanted to say that I eagerly awaited the discovery of massless ammunition, but then I realized it wouldn’t be physically possible for it to cause any damage.

  14. jb says:

    Are women actually barred from from professional sports? I.e., if some freak of a woman could actually compete at that level, would there be anything stopping an NFL or MLB team from putting her on the roster?

    I would actually prefer to bar women from all combat roles, even those they might be physically up to (e.g., pilots). For all of human history organized violence has been an exclusively male thing. I believe that this is part of our biological heritage, and I would prefer to acknowledge and respect that heritage.

    Of course keeping women out of combat roles implies openly rejecting the doctrine of absolute egalitarianism. And frankly, I not only see that as a good thing, I think it would be a much bigger deal than merely avoiding a moderate degradation of our military capacity.

    • MawBTS says:

      Are women actually barred from from professional sports?

      At the risk of sounding like Bill Clinton, it depends on what you consider a woman.

      About 1 in 10,000 people are born with a sexual phenotype that’s…abnormal. Klinefelter’s Syndrome, sexual mosaicism, etc. There’s also the case of women who are at the extreme end of a bell-curve, and have very high levels of testosterone, muscle mass, bone density, etc.

      It’s true that human sex differentiation is not a spectrum (not unless you also consider there to be a “spectrum” of fingers, where some have four, some have five, some have six, et cetera.)…but it’s also true that there are some individuals who can’t really be described as either sex.

      In the 60s, there were two Soviet athletes called the Press sisters. They looked like men, set 26 world records, and when the IOC announced mandatory gender testing in 1968 they immediately retired. Makes you wonder.

      I don’t know what would stop a woman from competing in the NFL. Probably nothing. If you can beat a doping test, you could probably beat a gender test.

      The locker room might get a little awkward.

    • TWS says:

      No they are not barred. None can perform at a high enough level. A basketball team drafted a woman but she played on the developmental league forever. Boys high school basketball teams regularly demolish women’s college teams when somebody is stupid enough to try it.

      • Asher says:

        As a soccer fan I’m aware of reports that the US women’s team scrimmages in California against U15 boys select teams. They get slaughtered by U17 mens teams. Yes, the top 18 women in the US get slaughtered by 16 year old boys in teams that number in the thousands, if not more. As a pretty advanced soccer player myself I have seen local Over 40 men’s rec teams that would give the US women’s nats a run for their money.

  15. bob sykes says:

    In as much as the primary function of any military is to control its own population, an incompetent military is not a bad thing, especially in a country like the USA, which is immune to invasion, or could be.

    Anything that weakens Leviathan is good.

    • CliveMcDerbert says:

      Anything that weakens Leviathan is good.

      Yes! Let’s all go back to the anarchy of caveman times!

      • Chip Harding says:

        How did you prove that there’s no middle ground between anarchy and Stalinism?

        In any case, an anarchy composed of white Mainers, Vermonters, or Wisconsinites would be very pleasant. They aren’t cavemen. They cooperate well and very few of them solve problems violently. They’re armed to the teeth — I bet there’s a lot more guns per capita in rural Maine than Waziristan — but stultifyingly peaceful.

        Why is this? One theory is selection pressure: Their ancestors back in the old country spent 1,000 killing and gibbeting anybody who committed murder. They kill very well in large organized groups. Just not willy-nilly on Saturday night, like some folks can’t help doing.

    • Sam says:

      Even if that’s true, “primary” is not the same as “only”.

  16. IC says:

    Obviously he is motivated by social validation (approval rating, popularity). A politician or politicician wannabe. At end of day, politicians are just another form of salesmen who are about verbal manipulation of mass. Truth does not matter here. Politicians change their stance according to wish of their constituency.

    When a scientist starts seeking social approval rating, he could no longer do scientific work anymore because he has become a politician.

    • IC says:

      Military action is both technical and political in nature. Politics are unavoidable in war. This reminded me about how Chinese communist army dealt with this complicated issue.

      At every military unit and level, there were always two leaders in charge. Unit commander and political officer.

      Commanders: father like figure, cold, indifferent, nerdy/introvert, with upper class or elite background and trained in military academy, planing battle/campaign strategy with cold technical calculation in term of manpower, weapons, terrain. Basically a nerdy eningineer (very good visual-spacial skill) who design war/battle. Often have bad interpersonal relationship due to their terrible social skill.

      Poltical officers; Mother like figure, giving motivation speech (propaganda), solving soldiers personal issue/psychological problems, very sociable/popular, often with non-elite background and trainedin soical political ideological education (verbal field). Their job is to secure loyalty, displine, obedience, morale, camaraderie from soldiers. They knew their role as assistant to nerdy commanders. When in crisis, they should sacrifise themselve to save commanders who are more valuable and rare.

      This combination is most likely the very reason that communist army was more successful in war. Their ability to beat superior enemy was not entirely propoganda. They developed such unique military organization through many years of trial and failures. Like any living creature, strong selection pressure often breeds stronger offspring if selection pressure was not strong enought to cause extinction. Now I am thinking about HIV treatment (cocktail better than gradual/sequencial treatment). Most likely Cancer treament is similar. Back to war, ISIS is better dealt with overwhelming force to cause its extinction instead current piece-meal style fight which only makes them evolve into something harder to fight.

      • JayMan says:

        “Commanders: father like figure, cold, indifferent, nerdy/introvert, with upper class or elite background and trained in military academy, planing battle/campaign strategy with cold technical calculation in term of manpower, weapons, terrain. Basically a nerdy eningineer (very good visual-spacial skill) who design war/battle. Often have bad interpersonal relationship due to their terrible social skill.

        Poltical officers; Mother like figure, giving motivation speech (propaganda), solving soldiers personal issue/psychological problems, very sociable/popular, often with non-elite background and trainedin soical political ideological education (verbal field). Their job is to secure loyalty, displine, obedience, morale, camaraderie from soldiers. They knew their role as assistant to nerdy commanders. When in crisis, they should sacrifise themselve to save commanders who are more valuable and rare.”

      • AnonymousCoward says:

        “This combination is most likely the very reason that communist army was more successful in war.”

        Uh. What?

        A track record of success in war?

        Would you, uh, perchance be Chinese yourself?

      • j says:

        From where did you imagine those things? In each military or factory unit there was a Communist Party cell headed by the Party secretary. The Party was in power, the military was its instrument. No father figure at all, but a brutal enforcer of the Party’s orders. The very life of the commander depended on his reports.

        • IC says:

          What you said is true for Soviet communist. In Chinese communist, it is other way around during war time. But you are right that party boss was responsible to monitor commander also. Party boss’s job was keeping up loyalty and morale. However, party boss was ignorant about making war.

          At end, military is tool for political purpose in any country. But politics and enconomics are connected. The final end is wealth seeking struggle for its own constituency.

          How do I know this? Well, I got relatives serving in both both sides (nationalist and communists) from world war 2 to korean war. I got stories from both sides. My personal sympathy is for defeated nationalist side since most my family served in Chiang Kai-shek government. But I resepcts what I consider objective facts from history. Let personal emotion to determine what to believe is for unsophisticated people.

          To some people, you dont have to read this since you can not trust any word from a chink. Obviously some body is new on this site, has no idea yet. Less you know, better for your mental health. Ignorance is bliss.

          • IC says:

            Chinese nationalist failure in civil war was really political failure. Had they started the land reform for peasants earlier, they might have won the civil war. Again they thought the land reform should be done during peace time as they did later in Taiwan. But communist started land reform right way in their occupied area. This greatly motivated the peasants and won their loyalty to communist army. Party boss job was to remind of all peasants soldiers about what they needed to defend and fight for, their newly acquired land.

            Noble communist ideology means nothing for regular peasants soldiers. All they cared was who could give them financial benefit. Who look like nice guys caring for them. In korean war, communist used the same motivation by labeling USA as protector of rich landlords. American amy was to restore land ownership back to its former land owners (if true, I am for it).

          • AnonymousCoward says:

            Don’t be silly, I’m not saying that “you’re a Chink, ergo untrustworthy on this issue”.

            But you’ve got to admit, “successful in war” is not a description typically put forth about recent Chinese army history.

            It’s a bit like if somebody claims that the Russians did great against the Finns in WWII. You just naturally guess that the person making the claim is a Russian. And indeed, IC… I guessed correctly. You are Chinese. National pride is what it is.

          • IC says:

            I also guess it right you are really new and……….

  17. TWS says:

    If those women passed the Ranger tests, why did the Army stonewall congress for the records then say they shredded them? Any time you have a physical skill that 20% or so of men cannot perform you’ll have zero women who can do it.

    • Boris Bartlog says:

      Maybe if you limit it to strength-based skills. Backflips, swimming five miles, splits, climbing 5.11 – all things that 20% or more of men can’t do and yet some women can. Not that this diminishes the original point, but I think your claim is an overreach.

  18. Federalist says:

    Women have never been held to the same standards. The Army Physical Fitness Test (generally called the PT test) is essentially the minimum physical qualifications for all soldiers. A 17-21 year old male must do at least 42 push-ups in two minutes, while a female in the same age bracket is required to do only 19. Similarly, in the two mile run for the same age bracket, a passing time for a man is 15:54. A female get a full three extra minutes. Really, most women who are in the Army cannot meet even the most minimal standards required of all men, let alone the standards of elite troops.

    If women really were held to the exact same standards (which will never happen) and were allowed to do any job for which they qualified, that would be fine. We would see far fewer women in the Army than is the case today. It would be extremely rare for a woman to make into a combat arms branch like armor or artillery and probably never in infantry, let alone Special Forces or Rangers. The reason that women were excluded from combat arms, Ranger school, etc. was not to keep out the utterly extraordinary woman (if any exist); it was to keep out the women who are not physically qualified. Basically, the idea was to not let the same thing happen to combat arms that happened to the Army in general.

    Supposedly a couple of women passed Ranger School. Sometimes in the Army, it is clear to subordinates what “needs to happen” without any direct order being issued. People follow instructions even when they are not technically given an order. It is part of the culture. This is especially true when there is a lot on the line in terms of the soldier’s career. Anyone involved with the Ranger School is extraordinarily dedicated to succeeding in the Army. Can you imagine the hell that would rain down on someone who publicly challenged the story that women legitimately passed Ranger School? Also, recall that it came from the top that women were going to pass.

    • CliveMcDerbert says:

      The basic problem is “equality” used to mean equality of opportunity, but now people take it to mean equality of outcome.

    • Unladen Swallow says:

      Wasn’t that the case of the female Navy pilot who crashed and died in the mid 1990’s? The Navy swore up and down that standards weren’t lowered but during the investigation it came out that they were. Yeah, having two women pass the same Ranger class was a dead giveaway, no single woman ever passed before and now two suddenly pass? Ranger training is hard, most soldiers will never pass the physical and psychological punishment they are put through, it’s inconceivable that two women in the same group would given the requirements. I notice only the Marine Corps is really fighting this and that makes sense because political correctness has the least amount of traction there. Just this year a female Marine Officer Candidate just washed out of Infantry School on the very first day, making it 29 failures in 29 attempts.

      • Fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

        Yes, Kara Hultgren. Look here up on Wikipedia (which doesn’t seem to like people grabbing links at the moment because they want cash).

        Some wag combines her name with another and refers to the Hultgren-Curie syndrome.

  19. melendwyr says:

    It’s also a demonstration of power. If you make a reasonable demand, and it’s fulfilled, what of it? But if you make a crazy demand, and people obey, that proves you’re truly potent.

    And people will put up with it, won’t they? It’s not as though career military personnel are going to start resigning, or new recruits stop signing up. People will tolerate the nonsense, and if they’re going to put up with it, why shouldn’t it be doled out to them?

  20. Frank says:

    As many people have noted, today’s military is a laugh. And of course winning is clearly not the goal. It is mostly a political dance.

    Why on earth do we need soldiers to carry around 90 pounds of equipment and load 50 pound shells by hand? It’s like requiring UPS workers to carry 200 pound boxes all day. They don’t do that anymore because they get injured, which is really expensive. So they use a little trolly with wheels, and work out other options, instead.

    The budget for the US military is what, around 600 billions dollars a year? How much does it cost to ship supplies and vehicles and fuel anywhere in the world? I know lots of guys who ship their vintage Ferraris all around the world so they can do tourist drives without a second thought.

    You could buy one brand new van for every 5 deployed troops, every single year, and the fuel to drive them through the desert all year, with air conditioning blasting, for less than 1 billion dollars. You could update the entire worldwide supply chain for this reason alone for only another billion. If things went over budget by 20x, it’s still less than 4% of the annual budget for this stuff.

    In reality, they make soldiers carry things on their backs so that they feel like they are real soldiers. It is a mental test on a daily basis to make sure they will follow absurd orders without question, if necessary. And hell, it will probably be extremely necessary at some point in their career. But to pretend that this has to do with brute physical strength is stupid.

    If you are worried about rape and pregnancy, then, number one, what does that say about the selection process for being in today’s volunteer military. So then why not make separate units with limited contact? See what happens. If women’s units are extremely dangerous, I’m sure it would sort itself out.

    • reiner Tor says:

      Frank, I’m under the impression you read very little about wars and don’t have a very good idea of what wars are like. Your idea of carrying their equipment by minivan and never or just rarely needing their strengths sounds a little bit ridiculous for me. Actually, more than a little bit.

      But who knows, maybe I’m wrong.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are right about how wars are actually done. But not right about how they could or should be done. Wars are a show. They stimulate the economy and put a lot of the not smartest people to work, and supply contracts for lots of businesses, at the taxpayer’s expense.

        But what have they accomplished in the last few decades? Are things better or worse? I think that is unanswerable.

        • reiner Tor says:

          If you read through my comments here, you’ll find I expressed the same thing – the people who have been controlling the US military for the past few decades and maybe earlier are people with stupid ideas and it might be better that their military is taking a hit now. But my point here was that it’s making the military worse and that it can’t be fixed by the ridiculous idea of purchasing tens of thousands of minivans or whatever.

          • I had a long talk with an Army Ranger Colonel which encouraged me not everyone in the military is a fool. Thus guy was brilliant, he spoke four languages, and he and other top brass are doing their best to rebuild the armed services to what it should be. It is their intention to cut the total enrollment of military personnel by 90% (yes, congress protecting pork barrel spending will never let it happen) and at the same time triple the size of the special forces. They don’t want women for the same reason they don’t want middle aged men unless they are officers.The beltway bunch will of course muck up their best intentions but at least their are some military out there that are doing there best to update the military to what it should be.

            Cochran had a post a while back stating that all we need is a small number of elite troops deployed very sparingly. This Army Ranger Colonel was saying the same thing. You need elite troops to perform these operations and that excludes well over 90% of the population.

          • ursiform says:

            Special ops are good at what they are good at, which are typically missions requiring small teams of highly trained people.

            They aren’t going to replace regular soldiers in combat at a 10 for 1 ratio. Different missions required different forces.

            • gcochran9 says:

              Special ops are sexy, but how often are they strategically useful? Especially considering the opportunity costs, because they draw off some of the most talented and enthusiastic soldiers from regular formations. We’ve used them a lot in Afghanistan: I don’t think that use achieved our strategic objective, assuming that we have one.

          • It’s a damn good question what will strategically work to make muslim countries like Syria wracked in civil war peaceful again. Bombing them? no. Send in a great big conventional army? no. Food and pallet loads of hundred dollar bills. no. Ignoring them till millions come flooding over your borders. no.

            Where is Otto Skorzeny when we need him. Maybe Putin is up to the task of finding able replacements.

      • TWS says:

        He thinks they are carried out by soccer moms on a trip to the mall. That’s how it sounds. He might not be as dumb as he writes. Who knows? But it was an entertaining read.

    • Bob says:

      Infantrymen tooling around in minivans? That’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard.

      In what kind of battlefield do you imagine these minivans won’t be big fat targets and will have any practical value? They already ride around in armored humvees when they can, but that’s mainly on patrols on streets, and they’re not really used or effective in battles. They’re easy targets for IEDs and the like.

      Infantrymen are already transported via boat, plane, train, truck, etc. over longer distances when they can be. But battlefield terrain generally can’t be traversed easily by vehicles during battles, which is why you need infantrymen to lug their stuff around.

  21. RCB says:

    Curmudgeonly posts aren’t why I come here, but I’ll chime in anyway.

    Suppose it were true that everyone were held to the same standards. Even then there are arguments to be made for not allowing women to apply for combat positions, and physically demanding jobs in general.

    First, evaluating job applicants isn’t cost free. If it’s possible to identify demographic groups that are very unlikely to pass an evaluation, or last more than a few months on the job, then it might be more cost effective to not spend the time and money to evaluate them in the first place.

    (Of course, if we applied this same logic to math departments, me might find that they shouldn’t even consider grad student applications from certain minorities. But I don’t think the cost of evaluating a potential grad student is very high (?), so that’s probably not correct.)

    Second, evaluations are never perfect. When one tests an individual’s ability with error, the best estimate isn’t actually the test score itself – it’s a mean-regressed estimate that falls between the test score and the mean test score of the population from which that individual was drawn, with the extent of regression depending on the test error relative to population variance (readers of this blog should be familiar with mean regression!). So, given that a man and a woman scored the same on some physical evaluation for a fire fighting job, who is more likely to be the better candidate? The man. If the test is quite good, then this effect is small, of course.

  22. CliveMcDerbert says:


    • Steven C. says:

      I notice that the female firefighter doesn’t even have a husky build, for a woman, so any woman wanting to be a firefighter gets hired?

  23. James McCormick says:

    As Serious As Football (Jan. 2007)

    “Thus my broader view for the day — America will get the MSM it wants when America takes its national security as seriously as its football.”

  24. Johanus de Morgateroyde says:

    The USMC found that 55% of women trainees couldn’t throw a grenade far enough to keep from blowing themselves up. Sign me up.

    • Fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

      I suspect that is untrue. The bit about keeping from blowing themselves up, that is.

      Of course, I suspect that they couldn’t throw it far enough to avoid injury from metal fragment when the grenade goes off.

      From memory, you need to be outside of a 25 yard radius of the explosion to avoid injury.

    • Fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

      That seems unlikely. Blowing themselves up, that is. The wounding radius of American grenades seems to be around 15 meters, so it is more likely that they could not thrown them at least 15 meters, and thus are likely to wound themselves.

    • oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang says:

      this almost certainly is false.
      i) Army basic training (and Marine, too? But Army for sure) has recruits throw grenades. 55% of people aren;t coming home blown up
      ii) grenades aren’t typically used in open fields, they are used for eg clearing buildings. Throw it in the window and get down.

    • Douglas Knight says:

      The source for this seems to be this testimony. As the Doorman says, it’s about women throwing past the 15 meter casualty radius, not the 5 meter kill radius. The witch doctor explains away his concerns: grenades in basic training are thrown over a chest-high wall, so strength is never an issue for surviving. Also, the recruit is not allowed a lethal grenade until after demonstrating success with demos.

      But that testimony approvingly cites this report, which says that men aim at a target 35m away, while women 25m. That is so much more optimistic that it doesn’t seem compatible. But none of these claims are precise. Is it about the beginning or the end of basic training? What is required to pass?

  25. Toddy Cat says:

    “Especially considering the opportunity costs, because they draw off some of the most talented and enthusiastic soldiers from regular formations. ”

    For what it’s worth, Generals Marshall and Eisenhower agreed with you. Both thought that the reason that the German Army collapsed so rapidly in WWI is that the Germans “creamed off” their best troops into Stosstruppen units, which were very good, but suffered terrible casualties. The German Army then broke under the Allies Fall Offensive in 1918 due to the lack of stiffening from these exceptional soldiers, who were expended in the German Spring offensive.

    Of course, Marshall and Ike may have been wrong about this, but since they were our commanders in the last war that we unambiguously won, I’d say that their viewpoint deserves a hearing. Of course, women don’t belong in regular, non-elite combat units, either.

  26. Bill Joyce says:

    “We don’t seem to care if the offensive line ‘looks like America’ – sheesh, we don’t much care if they’re all felons.”

    Reminds me of the first game my alma mater played during my freshman year. The other team were heavy favorites, expected to crush our boys completely. The mood on campus considerably improved, however, when we heard that something like a dozen players from the other team had been simultaneously arrested for participating in a massive brawl, and would therefore be unable to play. We still ended up losing, but it was closer than expected.

  27. Fourth doorman of the apocalypse says:

    The end result of women on submarines in the US Navy is likely to be that competent men will be drummed out of the navy:

  28. Reality check says:

    Look women can competently do activities like fire fighting, particularly young healthy fit women, but come on combat roles where the only requirement is strength and high intensity physical fitness – this is absurd for goodness sake – unless they have combat suits ready.

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