Booby Traps at the Pentagon
Charmaine and Jack Yoest introduce you to the Pentagon’s babes in arms. What do they want? An “open dialogue” on breastfeeding.

On September 10th, 2001, the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services, the group most responsible for promoting women in combat, gathered in Pentagon Conference Room 5C1042. This civilian advisory committee, whose members have the protocol status of three-star generals, monitors the concerns of women in uniform. And what was the topic on the eve of the worst attack in U. S. history?

After briefings from representatives of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard, DACOWITS, as the committee is known, issued a formal request for more information on what they deemed a matter of paramount military significance: breast-feeding.

As the terrorists prepared to hit the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon itself, our military leaders were directed “to engage in open dialogue” on lactation tactics. . . .

The DACOWITS recommendations from the last ten years read like an act from The Vagina Monologues: sexual harassment directives as a constant refrain; lobbying for increased child care services; and, most critically, a persistent drumbeat for expanded combat roles for women. A recommendation from 1991 chastised the Marine Corps for continuing to use the slogan: “A few good men.” The previous year featured a suggestion that the secretary of the Air Force develop a maternity coat as a uniform option.
~Winter 2002

A Peace of My Mind
Dave Shiflett takes on bellicose pacifists.

Have you slapped a pacifist today? If not, get to it. It’s one thing to protest a war undertaken in some remote jungle you have to take a long flight to, and whose purposes may be a bit gauzy. It’s quite another when the enemy is dive-bombing New York and Washington. The fact that our enemies are determined to return the world to the seventh century and force our women to dress in sacks makes the anti-war position all the more controversial. There seems little choice but to douse these people with the hot oil of ridicule.

At the outset, it should be pointed out that these contemporary pacifists are not cut from the same cloth as history’s grand Mahatmas, whose neutrality may have sometimes been in error but who were people of large and often courageous spirit. They took the tough pathway toward their High Ideals and would follow their principles into the jailhouse and perhaps into the grave. One would feel very bad about training the water cannon on them.

Not so the new breed, which appears to be largely made up of self-absorbed snots. When the heat shows up, they run. If they get jugged, they get someone to post bail, preferably on Daddy’s AmEx card. Some do a bit of car-burning and looting on the side. They blossom most brilliantly in the spotlight, which they are forever seeking, and they hail from the expected provinces: Hollywood, the Ivy League, the Ivory Tower, Trust Fund City. Many hold dual citizenship.
~Winter 2002

My Sex, Right or Wrong
James Bowman explains why men are better suited than women for war.

When I was a boy, my father, a veteran of the Philippines campaign during the winter and spring of 1945, told me his story: Once when his unit was pinned down by Japanese fire from, seemingly, all directions at once, a man cracked and went running toward what he imagined was the enemy with his hands in the air screaming, “Don’t shoot!” My father, then a not-quite-nineteen-year-old corporal and the senior non-commissioned officer in that particular foxhole, was ordered to shoot the man dead-and did so, he said, without hesitation. My father and everyone who saw what he did instinctively understood that the first hint of cowardice under fire had to be ruthlessly and instantly suppressed, lest panic begin to spread and the morale of the whole unit, the whole army, collapse.
~Autumn 1998

In Search of the Noble Warrior
Anita K. Blair had heard a lot about the Eleven Bravos. She was surprised when she finally met them.

Civilization and war are inextricably linked. If not for their city-states, their farms, their way of life, the Greeks probably would have cut and run like the barbarians. But they had a civilization to defend and were willing to do so with their lives. The plausible threat of war is essential for the survival of any civilization. If not for the threat of war, as waged by soldiers and warriors, barbarians would freely maraud, plunder, and destroy civilized communities.

In a world where conflict is inevitable, the opposite of war is not peace, but disorganized conflict-a condition, as we see in the former Yugoslavia and elsewhere, that is most unhealthy for women, children, and other living things. War is extreme. Those who wage war must be prepared to kill or be killed.

“War has changed and so the military must change.” That is the argument of those who say that the military must change to adapt itself to increasing numbers of female recruits. It is a dangerous and possibly fatal argument. Certainly, technology has continually transformed the tools of warfare. Archers gave way to musketeers and cavalry to tanks. But the fundamental nature of war and the warriors who must fight have not changed in the nearly three thousand years that have elapsed since Greek soldiers stood obedient unto death at Thermopylae.

Even so, many advocates of an increased female presence in the military argue that, far from hindering effectiveness, accommodating increased numbers of women at every level will actually improve the military… But the objective for many who advocate a greater female influence in the armed services is not so much to conquer the military as to conquer manhood: They aim to make the most quintessentially masculine of our institutions more feminine.
~Summer 1999