The news just broke: Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is lifting the military’s ban on women in combat. The move will open hundreds of thousands of front-line positions to women, clearing away the daunting career barriers that have been in place since a 1994 rule that prohibited women from being assigned to small ground combat units (of course, thousands of women have been “attached” to such units and the world did not end).
No doubt, social conservatives will decry the move as the end of civilization and at least one gadfly will use the announcement to raise funds for her questionable organization. But women are already on the front line and this nation could not go to war without them.
It was true back in 1999, when I shared a leaky, muddy tent in Albania with women warriors during the Kosovo War:
And it remains true to this day in Afghanistan.
Bravo to the Pentagon for lifting the already irrelevant ban on women in combat.