U.S. military veterans know firsthand that putting women close to the front lines is not only idiotic but perverse.  Yet that’s been U.S. policy for more than 30 years.  Previously, women served in support roles far behind the front lines.  The only exceptions were some registered nurses, following the tradition of their noble forerunner, Florence Nightingale, in the Crimean War.

In the Vietnam War, more than 58,000 U.S. troops died, but only eight were military women, all nurses: Two died of natural causes, one from shrapnel, and five from aircraft crashes.  By contrast, in the ongoing Iraq war, about 4,400 U.S. troops have been killed, including about 110 women, more than in any other American war.  In the ongoing war in Afghanistan, about 1,400 troops have been killed, including 24 women.  Few in either conflict have been nurses.

In January, the Military Leadership Diversity Commission recommended that girls also be sent directly into combat.  (The new action came on the heels of the outgoing Democratic Congress’s vote to end Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, allowing open homosexuals to serve.)  Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he expects women will serve even in the Green Berets and other elite combat units.  The report found that “The Armed Forces have not yet succeeded in developing leaders who are as diverse as the nation they serve.  Minorities and women still lag behind white men in terms of number of military leadership positions.”  Because combat quickly advances an officer’s career, women are being denied that opportunity.

The Diversity Commission was established two years ago by Congress, when Democrats controlled both houses.  Now that Republicans have taken control of the House, a key indicator of their worthiness will be their response to the Diversity Commission’s recommendations.  So far, they haven’t responded at all.

Common sense tells us that women shouldn’t be in combat.  Women are what you fight for, not the fighters.  They’re the mothers of warriors, not warriors.  From a biological perspective, women have one-tenth the testosterone of men and half the upper-body strength.  They also tend to get pregnant when they are young, healthy, and surrounded by men.

In 1981, when I was in the U.S. Army in West Germany, our military-intelligence unit actually went on alert and drove into the Fulda Gap with a young wife who was six-months pregnant.  She didn’t have time to get the chit from a doctor that would have allowed her to stay in the barracks.  So she stayed in our communications hut and made coffee.  She was a nice kid, 20 years old, and we treated her well.  But the absurdity was obvious.  This was during the “conservative” administration of Ronald Reagan.

At heart, humans remain hunters and gatherers.  It’s in our genes.  Men go out in packs and hunt for protein; when necessary, they hunt fellow humans in what is called war.  Women gather fruit, berries, and vegetables, and shop.  Women fight only when all their men are dead.  Moral societies try to limit war, but wars still come.

The U.S. military accepts women because it is a bureaucratic organization that finds it difficult to get recruits without a draft.  The 14 percent of women recruits fill the gaps left by men who don’t join in sufficient numbers a military overextended by commitments to more than 130 countries.  Also, the government schools are so incompetent that the military judges one quarter of American youngsters too dumb to use complicated equipment and high-powered weapons.

Women will likely be in combat because there is no direct military threat to our own shores and borders.  Illegal immigration is a problem solved, in part, by more civilian border guards; terrorism, by efficient police work and a foreign policy that isn’t designed to stir up foreign radicals.  Neither of these falls within the true mission of a military.  A military exists to kill enemies.

If America’s shores and borders really were invaded by a real army, all the politically correct nonsense, along with the bootlicking p.c. generals and admirals, would be jettisoned faster than you can say, “Gen. George S. Patton.”