>31 January 2002
>Women's Groups Blast 'Politically Correct' Pentagon Policies
>By Lawrence Morahan, CNSNews.com Senior Staff Writer
>Arlington, Va. (CNSNews.com) - Women's groups attending the Conservative
Political Action Conference, called on the Bush administration Thursday to
put an end to what they called the Pentagon's "politically correct social
engineering projects," saying a gender-integrated military drives up costs,
complicates missions and endangers lives.
>"If our troops are to receive the best training as well as the best
equipment, as the president has said, then co-ed basic training must be
brought to an end," Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military
Readiness, said at a press conference.
>Donnelly also called for an end to "gender quotas, pregnancy policies that
subsidize single parenthood and create deployability problems, incremental
steps to force women into land combat, and Clinton-era social policies that
undermine discipline."
>Donnelly blasted the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services
(DACOWITS) - a 35-member panel of mostly civilian women, as "a tax-funded
feminist power base within the Department of Defense." The panel is
demanding that women be allowed to serve in so-called "tip of the spear
units," including Special Forces and on submarines, and as combat helicopter
>Donnelly charged that DACOWITS is insisting on the inclusion of female
soldiers in certain surveillance units of the newly forming Army Interim
Brigade Combat Teams, land combat units designed to fight for intelligence
in hostile environments such as the caves of Afghanistan and the streets of
>"Women are not eligible to serve in these all-male land combat units, but
Army resources are being misused to train women in them anyway. The policy
started under President Bill Clinton, but President Bush and Secretary
[Donald] Rumsfeld must bring it to an end," said Donnelly, who served on
DACOWITS under Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in the mid-1980s.
>Nancy Pfotenhauer, president of the Independent Women's Forum, denounced
feminist groups that push "for quotas that establish equal outcomes, not
equal opportunity. We state that these are just not sensible goals,
especially at a time of war with heightened concerns of readiness."
>Charmaine Yoest, a board member of the Independent Women's Forum, condemned
the "institutionalized schizophrenia" of Pentagon policies that call for the
inclusion of women in combat units while also promoting courses for
commanders on breastfeeding.
>When the nation watches the Superbowl on Sunday, Yoest said, there will be
no women on either team, for the obvious reason that men are stronger than
women. "And yet, we now send women into combat. A truth that we intuitively
grasp and automatically accept in the sports arena, we blithely ignore and
rationalize away for the military," she said.
>DACOWITS was formed in 1951 to promote the recruitment and retention of
women in the military. The defense secretary appoints one-third of the
members each year for three-year terms.