He argues that women on combat duty do not contribute to the armed forces purpose of defending the nation, rather, women in combat create problems for the armed forces which has caused the decline in the armed forces physical standards. While the author mentions several valid points about the problems associated with women on combat duty or even within the military, he fails to convince the reader how prohibiting the assignment of women on combat duty or stopping the recruitment of women into the military will solve these problems.
Revels referred to a previous article by Debatto (2004) as supportive of his claim that women should not be put on combat duty. He mentions that 15% of the current active force is composed of women and that there is a higher percentage of women in the Reserve and National Guard units but have not enlisted for active duty. He mentions how many women have been killed on active duty. He is critical about the growing number of sexual assault complaints in the military and contends that the reason for this is the fact that women are being allowed to go on combat duty. The article also contends that senior leadership has been ignoring the decline in physical standards of the military which is brought about by the increasing recruitment of women to address the pressures for providing equal opportunities for women in the military. It makes mention of the Tailhook scandal which resulted from consensual sexual activities in the navy and which tainted the careers of those involved. The article concludes that the army's purpose is not to provide employment but to defend the nation and women can contribute to national defense but not as warriors on combat duty. Therefore, assigning women to combat duty should be seriously reconsidered by the senior leadership of the military.
Points presented by the article and responses
The first point presented by Revels is that the reason for the increase in sexual assault complaints in the military is due to the expanding recruitment of women. The author supports this point with the reference to the article of Debatto where it was mentioned that the environmental conditions of combat duty promote both non-consensual and consensual sexual activities, thereby increasing the occasion for sexual assault. The author also quotes the statistic that 15% of the active force is women and that there are higher percentages in the Reserve and National Guard units who have not enlisted for combat duty, begging the question that such statistics represent huge proportions, therefore again, increasing the occasion for sexual assault. Although the statistics do not directly warrant the claim that the increase in sexual assault complaints is due to the increasing number of women in the military, the opinion of Debatto does so quite logically. It is logical to conclude that the increasing sexual assault complaints are due to the increasing number of women in the military, but without statistics on the trends of increase, the generalization is hasty and therefore fallacious. Moreover, it can be argued that the increase in sexual assault complaints are caused by a lack of standards and procedures for prevention, rather than just blaming this on the number of women, making the claim fallacious because of a doubtful cause or a false dilemma.
The second point
James W. Revels is a retired U.S. Army colonel and a contributing editor of DefenseWatch, the official magazine for Soldiers For The Truth (SFTT), an educational organization started by a group of concerned veterans and citizens to inform the public, the Congress, and the media on the decline in readiness of the U.S…
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