The Future of Women and LGBTQ Rights may be Imperiled by allowing Them into Combat Today
Individualist vs the Collective mindsets
In the United States and the rest of the Western world, we have pursued individuality and the pursuit of Self to the extreme. Self-esteem, self-expression and self-actualization all swing around to be in front of where ever we turn our heads. Self is always at the forefront, always celebrated, always hungry, always yearning for more yet never grasping the greater significance of feeding its appetite. By all means, feed the Id, we think. What could possibly go wrong?
It seems that so few of us have served in the military and so few understand it’s collective mindset that that it’s understandable many yearn to put women and homosexual men in combative positions in the military. We tend to see the military as just another job and do not see why if someone can physically and mentally perform the job why they should be prohibited from getting that position. We think of the value of the individual as supreme. He or she must be allowed to do whatever they are capable of. It’s deemed oppressive to do otherwise.
We’ve watched our military as they engage in the recent skirmishes and wars, spending incredible amounts of money not only to kill efficiently but to avoid being killed and we think that war will be this way forever. We consider the wars fought throughout history where hundreds of thousands, even millions died on both sides as a thing of the past. As if we would never have to absorb the extensive body counts like we’ve had to before. Sure, we may think of nuclear war where millions die, but thousands of our own dying in but one battle of a greater war that may claim millions never seems to cross our minds.
“We have far more important battles and wars being fought right here at home”, we think. There is oppression. There is intolerance. There is hate. Those things are a far greater of a threat to us than other countries or ideologies. So, obviously we see the military as yet another battlefield for which those struggles can be fought. There is territory there that has not been claimed yet. We want to plant our flag there as well.
In the military, individuals and individuality is intentionally devalued. This is, after all, one of the main reasons why most people do not join. Military personnel call each other by their last names instead of their first ones. They wear the same haircut and they wear uniforms so they will appear uniform (this is where the word is derived from.) They have anti-fraternization laws in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. All of these practices exist for one reason; to ensure that personnel remain expendable and readily replaceable. In war, huge masses of people are killed. The collective well-being matters, but an individuals well being should not.
Why love weakens the military
29 years ago this month, I started Navy boot camp in Great Lakes (AKA Great Mistakes) Illinois. 29 years ago I was told in no uncertain terms that if someone was in a compartment and could not get out in time, I was to seal off those sailors to save the ship. A person is not worth as much a ship. Every person on that ship is not worth as much as that ship. A submarine is worth more than 300 Sailors. An aircraft carrier is worth more than 5,000 sailors. The ship must be fought for, even to death. And I would have done it too. I would have sent people to their death, including myself in a heartbeat. 25 years later if, God forbid, I was put back on a ship of war, I still would do it. That’s what Sailors are supposed to do.
That’s what Sailors did just a few days ago, in fact.
Last reports stated that seven bodies were founded in flooded birthing compartments. They were probably sealed off and left to die in order to save the ship. [addendum: They WERE sealed off as I expected.]
But if you were to put my bride on board, I would say “fuck the ship, fuck the fleet, fuck the country, fuck the world, I would burn it all down if she could breathe for just a few more seconds.” That’s what husbands are supposed to do.
Love makes individuals irreplaceable and more important than the collective or the mission, so it has no business in the military. Love doesn’t have to be requited either. Even if it only happened when we were kids, we’ve all loved someone who not only didn’t love us back but didn’t even know we were in love with them. Still, they were the most important people in the entire world to us.
Not only is allowing the potentiality for love to blossom in war catastrophic, it’s also barbaric. Civilizations were only capable of growing once the fight was moved from the camp or village to the battlefield. This is why terrorism is so evil. It moves it transforms the city into the battlefield where family can be slaughtered. If there is pair-bonding taking place and people inevitably fall in love then they form a family unit.
I’ve had the honor of knowing combat veterans from every war over the past 100 years, and every one of them would tell me that the worst part about war is seeing their buddies die or be gruesomely wounded. This is because they loved them. How much more traumatic would it be if it was their one true love? If the potential for pair-bonding and love is allowed on the FOB or ship, then those locations become a de facto village. In a way, we are moving our homes into the battlefield, and the” citizens” of those “villages” are watching families being blown to pieces. This is barbaric, and societies and villages don’t cope will with barbarism.
This should not be. This profoundly weakens the military and puts us all at risk.
There is an old saying, probably started by warriors themselves, which states that the object of war is to kill people and break things. Just like SNAFU and FUBAR, this saying underlines how the cannon fodder does not understand the reasoning of those who order the firing of cannons. That saying is false, of course. The real objective of war is to break the opponents will to fight. It’s really no more complicated than that.
Consider the Revolutionary War. The US did not destroy or break the British Empire. It still encircled the globe. Their Navy was the best in the world. They developed tactics then that will always be studied and used as long as there are ships of war. Their army was the best in the world as well with the best and most technologically advanced weaponry. Their wealth was staggering. So, how did we win?
We made it so that it was not worth it to continue. They could have ushered enough firepower to crush the rebellion, but it would have cost them. They didn’t want to pay that price. Maintaining the American colonies was not worth it to them. They did not have the will to continue, while our Founders maintained theirs.
Consider the Civil War. Hundreds of thousands died and even more were wounded. The Rebels were starving, shoeless, outnumbered and outgunned, yet they still continued to fight. It took what would be considered war crimes by today’s standards to break their will to fight. Cities were under siege, crops were burned, and railroad tracks were ripped up and twisted around trees. A southern historian once said that one would have to travel hundreds of miles to find two forks with unbent tines. There was raping, pillaging and utter destruction. Only then did they surrender, and they continue to pay the price for the war to this very day.
In World War II, Japan had such will to fight that firebombing Tokyo and other cities didn’t deter them. In the battle for Tarawa, only 17 Japanese soldiers lived out of 4,700. Let that sink in, only seventeen survived. Nuking one of their cities wasn’t enough. Two cities had to be essentially vaporized, and even then, there were generals who attempted to assassinate the emperor to avoid surrender. It took this to win. It took all of this to make them surrender.
“”No war is over until the enemy says it’s over. We may think it over, we may declare it over, but in fact, the enemy gets a vote.”- General James “Mad Dog” Mattis.
Sooner or later, there will be another great war. It may not be a World War, but it will be a massive one nonetheless. It will require the brave and the cowardly alike to march a horrifying and agonizing death. There will be tens of thousands of them that die that way. Flag-draped coffins by the thousands will return for that war, many containing mutilated and incomplete corpses. Aircraft will be shot down. Ships will be sunk. Tanks will burn from the inside out like a blow torch with Soldiers and Marines still trapped inside. Dying warriors will cry for their mothers as they have since before history was recorded.
How much of this will our military be able to absorb before it loses its will to fight? How much will our country absorb before we lose our will to fight? How many loses will a unit endure before it refuses to engage the enemy and stay “home” which is what the FOB has become? How would the risk of sending families into harms way effect our leader’s willingness to apply military might when it’s needed? How will this endanger or allies?
As much as the West has been maligned, LGBTQ and women’s rights have been promoted, championed, and defended more by Western institutions and nations than any other. The rights of these oppressed people are only now beginning to be recognized. Women suffrage has only been around for about 100 years. Gay marriages have only been allowed to legally marry for only 2 years. Unfortunately, as rapidly as those freedoms and rights have been exploding, Western might as been imploding just as fast.
Eastern and Middle Eastern countries could well become a credible threat in the not too distant future. Their concepts of mercy are different than ours and their will to fight must not be underestimated. Chinese society already has a collective mindset so will be more willing to suffer losses. To a lesser extent, Russia is the same. Religious zealotry of radical Islam insulates them from the pain of individual loss as well. They care very little for LTBGQ, racial minority or women’s rights. To radical Islamists, such things are sinful and members of those groups would be the first to suffer.
There is no doubt in this authors mind that fully integrating females and LGBTQs into combat positions will not only weaken our military, but it is doing it already before the integration has even started. If we put women in the selective service, it will be the final nail. I pray that reason will win out over ideology and collective strength will supersede egalitarianism in this. But I fear it is a lost cause. No one really cares about people in the future, 20 trillion dollars and rapidly counting in debt proves that.