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The Breakdown of Military Discipline

Copyright © 1998 by David E. Ross

The commission studying sexual harassment in the military released a report advocating that women recruits be segregated from men during their training. In the report, civilian and military leaders admit that our nation's troops cannot be trusted to obey the simple order: "Don't touch!"

To some extent, this is very similar to some of the reasons why gays are not allowed in the military. Early in President Clinton's first term, generals and admirals told Congress that they would not be able to stop their military forces from physical assault against gays. They even admitted the possibility of a mutiny against direct orders from the President to enlist gays. The Congressmen accepted these arguments without question.

The issue of women or gays in the military is minor. Instead, we must focus on the breakdown of discipline within the military, which represents a severe danger to our nation. We have our nation's leaders telling us they cannot trust our troops to obey orders. How then can we trust the military to defend our nation? Armed forces might even stage a rebellion against the Commander-in-Chief. How can we trust them to respect our Constitution, which puts civilian authority over the military? What other issues will cause the military to ignore their sworn duty?

Segregating women from men in the military merely hides the failure of discipline. If the generals and admirals cannot command their forces to obey orders against sexual harassment, they must be replaced. If men in uniform cannot respect women in uniform, we cannot allow them any contact with civilian women in an area of conflict. They too must be removed our armed forces. Finally, Congressmen must be voted out of office if they accept these admissions of a breakdown in discipline as justification for segregating women.

18 January 1998

High officials in the Army, Navy, and Air Force apparently reject the commission's recommendation to segregate women recruits from men in the military. ("Apparently" because they decline to be named.) The reason for this rejection is that troops who must work or even fight together must also be trained together. Enlightenment!

11 March 1998

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