American Proscenium

Janie's Got a Gun

The bodies were barely cold at Ft. Hood when writer William Saletan unlimbered his guns.  It is, he announced, time for the military to lift its policy exempting women from combat.  His reason?  A female civilian cop, Sgt. Kimberly Munley, took down Maj. Nidal Hasan and stopped the shooting spree that left 13 dead and 36 wounded.  Her partner, a man, watched, apparently in utter stupefaction.  Military brass put the gloss on Munley’s derring-do.  “It was amazing.  Without her, there would have been a lot more people killed,” said the fort’s commanding officer.  Thus, Saletan’s salvo: “The exclusion of women from combat is a failed social experiment.  It’s time to end it.”

Actually, after 200 years of exempting women from combat, the experiment is putting them in, but in any event the Ft. Hood story turned out to be too good to be true.  Munley’s black partner, Mark Todd, took out the terrorist.  The truth of this case does not change the fact that women are playing increasing roles in combat operations, in which they are regularly maimed and killed.  That truth means the military violates its own policies.  It has to, because it has permitted so many women in the ranks that it cannot perform its mission without using them in combat zones.

The statistics speak for themselves.  As ABC News recently...

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