Recruiting women for war is bad for the U.S. armed forces and bad for women

If you’re wondering what Republicans are doing in Washington, look no further than the Senate Armed Services Committee, where a majority of them voted to create the predicate for the enlistment of women in the military.

Surprisingly, only five of the 13 GOP committee members voted against an amendment requiring women to begin registering for Selective Service.

It’s unclear why this is an urgent national need, or why anyone believes it would help during a major war. Perversely, however, this is seen as a blow to gender equity and, of course, overrides all other considerations for Democrats. and Republicans alike.

As it stands, males between the ages of 18 and 26 must register with Selective Service. This is the database that, in theory, the nation would draw upon in the event of military conscription.

A project, which we haven’t had since the Vietnam War, is not meant to be a mechanism to make people feel good about themselves or a tool for so-called social justice. Its purpose is to funnel manpower into the military as quickly as possible during a national crisis.

A project is a gargantuan effort. As Max Margulies of West Point and Amy Rutenberg of Iowa State University note, during World War II more than 180,000 volunteers helped process recruits at 11,000 recruiting and appeal boards. In Vietnam, 31,000 people have done this work.

It would unnecessarily complicate this inherently difficult task of equally screening all young women in the country to find those suitable for military roles at a time when, presumably, we would need to quickly find and train new soldiers en masse.

Although women serve admirably and honorably in the armed forces, the military remains predominantly male. According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, the share of women in the military increased only slightly, to 16.5% in 2018, from 15.1% in 2004. The figures are minimal when it comes to weapons of fight. At the end of 2019, 653 women were serving in combat roles in the Army and 231 female Marines in combat arms cantonments.

With few exceptions, women are not as physically capable as men. A Marine Corps study published in 2015 found that all-male units performed better than gender-integrated units in 69% of tasks. All-male units were faster. They were more accurate in firing weapons. They engaged targets faster. They were better at negotiating obstacles. And they were better at evacuating the wounded.

The Marine study noted higher injury rates for women than men, resulting from higher levels of fatigue, because women simply aren’t as strong. Women injured themselves six times more than men during baseline training, and at study evaluation, the musculoskeletal injury rate for women was 40.5%, compared to 18.8 % at men’s.

The men in the study weighed an average of 178 pounds, with 20% body fat; females 142 pounds, with 24 percent body fat. Women had 15% less aerobic power (women’s upper 25th percentile overlapped men’s lower 25th percentile) and 15% less aerobic capacity (women’s upper 10th percentile overlapped men’s lower 50th percentile).

Israel, which recruits both men and women, is often cited as a counter-example. Surrounded by larger hostile countries, it is an international outlier, however, truly desperate for its numbers.

Getting women into the draft is a longstanding priority of ‘men’s rights’ groups who believe it’s unfair that men in the United States are asked to shoulder a disproportionate burden to defend their society. as men have done in all cultures since time immemorial. .

Then there are feminists who believe that only by talking about the possibility of recruiting women to fight in our wars can women truly become first-class citizens.

Neither is a good argument, but Congress is prone to using Selective Service to make a social point anyway.

Twitter: @RichLowry