The feminist view that women soldiers belong in the front lines hasn’t really prospered in the Iraq war.
The Washington Times reports today that the U.S. military in Iraq has been confronted with a problem unique in the annals of war: pregnant soldiers.
There are no figures available, the newspaper reports, because “Central Command is not tracking the number of troops who must leave the Iraq war theater due to pregnancy, prompting military advocates to charge the Pentagon wants to keep secret what could be an embarrassing statistic.”
Pfc. Lyndie England, last seen leading an Iraqi prisoner by a leash, is the most famous pregnant soldier in the Iraq theatre. She became pregnant at the Abu Ghraib prison.
While there are no statistics available, Rowan Scarborough reports that there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that quite a few soldiers are making love while making war. Apparently, this was also the case in the Gulf War, when one destroyer was known as the “Love Boat,” and around ten percent of the female soldiers on it had to be sent back to the U.S. because of pregnancies.
A London newspaper reported that 82 of Great Britain’s soldiers in Iraq have had to return to England because they were pregnant.
“Pregnancies,” the Washington Times notes, in what is certainly an understatement, “can hamper readiness by creating hard-to-fill vacancies. A presidential commission in 1992 found that pregnancy was a main reason why the non-deployability rate for female troops was three times higher than for men during the 1990-91 Persian Gulf conflict.”
Elaine Donnelly, a long time critic of women in the front lines, has said that, if the military were to release figures on pregnant soldiers, “It might raise questions about having so many women in so many unprecedented positions.”