Forget fighting the Iraqi insurgents. The U.S. military has to waste time and resources fighting the battle of the sexes in Iraq. A report from the intriguingly named Feminist Daily News Wire reports that Secretary Rumsfeld has ordered an investigation into allegations of the sexual assault on female soldiers by fellow U.S. soldiers.

“This review was called for after a series of reports were issued regarding male soldiers assaulting and abusing female soldiers who were also denied adequate counseling and medical care during duty in Iraq and Kuwait,” reports the news service. It cited the WaPo, according to which, 88 cases of sexual misconduct have been reported over the past year in areas where the Central Command operates, including Iraq and Kuwait. Thirty-eight female officers say they have been sexually assaulted in Kuwait and Iraq, of which 12 reported the assaults to the authorities.

The Department of Defense is “responsible for ensuring that the victims of sexual assault are properly treated, their medical and psychological needs are properly met, our policies and programs effective, and we are prompt in dealing with all issues involved,” Reuters reports. In addition, Rumsfeld stated that he wants to ensure that there are private channels that exist for victims to report attacks.

Nobody is second to Inkwell in demanding that men behave like gentlemen. Assaulting women is a grievous offense. But the story overlooks that fact that the women should not be in these conditions in the first place. Putting women close to combat distracts the military from fighting the real war.

There’s another thing to remember’war is assault. Soldiers from one group assault soldiers from another. We don’t want women assaulted by our soldiers’or enemy soldiers. This distraction in the midst of war should remind us of the nature of war. Women don’t belong there.