Tags: Women's | Groups | Blast | 'Politically | Correct' | Pentagon | Policies

Women's Groups Blast 'Politically Correct' Pentagon Policies

Sunday, 03 February 2002 12:00 AM

"If our troops are to receive the best training as well as the best equipment, as the president has said, then co-ed basic training must be brought to an end," Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, said at a press conference.

Donnelly also called for an end to "gender quotas, pregnancy policies that subsidize single parenthood and create deployability problems, incremental steps to force women into land combat, and Clinton-era social policies that undermine discipline."

Donnelly blasted the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) - a 35-member panel of mostly civilian women, as "a tax-funded feminist power base within the Department of Defense." The panel is demanding that women be allowed to serve in so-called "tip of the spear units," including Special Forces and on submarines, and as combat helicopter pilots.

Donnelly charged that DACOWITS is insisting on the inclusion of female soldiers in certain surveillance units of the newly forming Army Interim Brigade Combat Teams, land combat units designed to fight for intelligence in hostile environments such as the caves of Afghanistan and the streets of Somalia.

"Women are not eligible to serve in these all-male land combat units, but Army resources are being misused to train women in them anyway. The policy started under President Bill Clinton, but President Bush and Secretary [Donald] Rumsfeld must bring it to an end," said Donnelly, who served on DACOWITS under Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in the mid-1980s.

Nancy Pfotenhauer, president of the Independent Women's Forum, denounced feminist groups that push "for quotas that establish equal outcomes, not equal opportunity. We state that these are just not sensible goals, especially at a time of war with heightened concerns of readiness."

Charmaine Yoest, a board member of the Independent Women's Forum, condemned the "institutionalized schizophrenia" of Pentagon policies that call for the inclusion of women in combat units while also promoting courses for commanders on breastfeeding.

When the nation watches the Superbowl on Sunday, Yoest said, there will be no women on either team, for the obvious reason that men are stronger than women. "And yet, we now send women into combat. A truth that we intuitively grasp and automatically accept in the sports arena, we blithely ignore and rationalize away for the military," she said.

DACOWITS was formed in 1951 to promote the recruitment and retention of women in the military. The defense secretary appoints one-third of the members each year for three-year terms.

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If our troops are to receive the best training as well as the best equipment, as the president has said, then co-ed basic training must be brought to an end, Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, said at a press conference. Donnelly also...
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2002-00-03
Sunday, 03 February 2002 12:00 AM
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