Oh my God. Beating heart be still. Equality of opportunity is sweeping through the military and it is time to get moist in the shorts. Praise God! The injustice is being ended.

Okay, excuse me while I puke. The self-congratulatory bullshit being touted on the cable news channels as they celebrate word from the Pentagon that women will be allowed into frontline combat units reminds me of awarding participation ribbons to participants in the Special Olympics. Yes, it is a heartwarming event and mentally and physically challenged kids and adults get to feel special. But don’t kid yourself. Special Olympics is not Olympics. Neither is war.

Now, don’t misinterpret my outrage. Women should be allowed to serve in combat roles where physical strength and close quarters are not important. Female pilots in fighter aircraft and attack helicopters? I don’t see a problem there.

How about on board a destroyer or aircraft carrier? Hell, that’s already going on. What officers don’t want to admit is there is a lot of fucking going on and many women come off a cruise pregnant. But, I suppose that’s the “price” of progress. The Navy already refers to these cruises as the “LOVE BOAT.” No amount of politically correct pontificating will overcome nature and sexual differences (as well as sexual attraction).

What about infantry and special operations units? That is also a case-by-case event. Some of the SAP intelligence units (SAP means Special Access Program) that conduct Advance Force Operations aka AFO do have women. But their opportunities for promotion are limited. Why? Because the parts of the world were a lot of the AFO is going on does not welcome a woman walking around on her own. It is one thing to deploy female military personnel into countries in Europe that share the view of pretending sexual differences do not exist, but it is an entirely different cat if you ask a woman to stroll the streets of Riyadh.

Same thing applies to units like the Rangers and Special Forces. The physical demands of operating in those units exceed the ability of 99% of women. It is not about intelligence, it is about bulk and brawn. Testosterone does different things to the body then estrogen.

Okay. That should get you fired up. What do you think?

UPDATE–I suspect most of you reading here have no understanding nor appreciation of what it means to carry a 80 pound backpack and operate on the frontlines in an infantry capacity. I am not talking about driving around in a vehicle. You are walking. You do not get to pull off at a rest stop and run to the toilette. Sometimes, if you happen to be lying in ambush, you may have to piss yourself while in concealment. Privacy goes out the window.

My point? If women will surrender their right to privacy and modesty and not file sexual discrimination suits when their male colleagues are copping a combat jack or making inordinately rude, sexual comments, then fine. Come to think of it, if we start putting women outfront in combat units then a combat fuck (while I’m sure it has happened) will become more common. Can you deal with that? It may be dandy for the lucky soldier/marine’s morale but could be destructive to the unit. If you want a sense of the environment, HBO’s Generation Kill captured the atmosphere pretty accurately.

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.
  • Judith Wright

    Mr. Johnson your views regarding women are well documented on NoQuaterUSA. And you certainly add to them with this post.

    So women in combat roles in the armies of Israel, Canada, Norway, France, Australia, New Zealand, etc. have been a failure? There have been plenty of studies that show that women perform no different then men in combat roles. Russian women were important combat troops in WWII.

    There are plenty of male soldiers that struggle at carrying an 80-pound pack and plenty of women that have no problem carrying it.

    “For the women who did sign up and ended up fighting in Afghanistan, many found the experience rewarding. As part of a two-person, heavy machine-gun team, Infantry Cpl. Katie Hodges regularly carried 80 pounds of equipment, including 220 rounds of ammunition, and sometimes went out on patrol for up to four days in a stretch. “It was great,” she said.”

    “Canadian commanders have said women fighters perform as well as their male counterparts.”


    The problems are not with the women, but with the male soldiers and guys like you.

    To compare our women warriors to the “special olympics” seems a bit extreme, even for you.

  • getfitnow

    Yeah, what about the “real” living conditions?
    Excellent article.


  • KenoshaMarge

    I am all in favor of women serving in every way that makes sense. I’m also sure that some of the very women who are cheering this idea would scream bloody murder should the draft ever be reinstated and they found themselves serving, as so many men did, whether they chose to or not. Equality would have a whole nother look then I suspect.
    A combat fuck may seem like a good idea at the time but I suspect it would not be. Because of all the times and all the places where you need to concentrate on the job at hand, no pun intended, combat would be high on list.

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      You are a wise lady

  • Sally Vaci

    I find the timing bizarre, with the backdrop of the absurd debate on gun control. On the very same day we have an announcement from DOD about sending women into combat, the doddering fool Feinstein has a press conf right around the corner, babbling away about drying up gun supplies. I think most of Congress exhibits enough mental illness to be denied access to any/all firearms for life.

  • HARP2

    Great. The enemy won`t stand a chance. 50,000 women with PMS carrying a gun.
    Goodbye radicals.

    • foxyladi14



    for a break. this is one of the most awesome ever just becauses


    you have to see this video

  • no_longer_a_democrat

    I agree with the update post.

  • MG6
    • HELENK2

      it would be awesome if it is true

  • JohnnyTwoDog

    Larry, I agree with both your physical and sexual points against women in combat. But I don’t agree with your Special Olympics metaphor. Nowadays everyone gets a trophy, Special or not.

  • Fred82


    You’ve done it again!

    Now maybe Washington DC should repeatedly be slapped in the face with the fact that we basically lost two wars in recent times and haven’t won a real war since World War II. Are there not more important things to worry about than social engineering in the military BS?

    • KenoshaMarge

      To an obamacrat there is nothing more important than social engineering. And that includes the economy and jobs. All these little distractions keep people from talking about the abject failures and lies of Obama.

  • no_longer_a_democrat

    I’m all for equality. the jobs described in the post, fighter pilot etc, yeah, those can be done by women as long as their qualifications are the same level as men.

    as for the special forces, No, I don’t want to see the combat forces for our country to be some social engineering nonsense. People’s lives are at stake, there are probably some combat roles, pilot, etc, that women, if the are the same level as men, can do, but others like special forces, NO! what happens when one of the special forces personnel needs to be lifted and helped, women are not as physically as strong as men, so those jobs, no, they should not get it. Others, yea, sure, that makes sense so long as they qualify under the same standards as men.

  • Popsmoke

    We have driven the proverbial bayonet into the last vestage of the family unit…. Now the insult, your mother wears combat boots has an entirely different meaning….

    • HELENK2

      and she looks damn good in them too

    • foxyladi14

      These boots are made for walking.

  • getfitnow
    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      Semper Fi, General.

  • TeakWoodKite

    I think the chivalric code is dead.

  • buzzlatte3

    Perhaps reality will be that there won’t be that many women who actually go for combat training and assignments. If they wash out, they wash out. No going back or doing the Affirmative Action jive and lowering the standards, either.

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      How about if the politicians determine that the standards “aren’t fair to women?” It’s coming.

      • getfitnow

        It’ll happen. Look what’s happened in some police/fire depts across the country. And God help us if a minority woman “washes out.”

    • getfitnow

      It shouldn’t be up to the individual woman. Like for the men, it’s not a request, it should be an order.

  • getfitnow

    I agree with Allen West. this is no time to play social experimenting with our ground troops.

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      Ah, but it is. That’s one of the reasons why the American voter elected Obama.


    ot again sorry but this had be shown


    we are so screwed.
    per Kerry : Pakistan hasn’t gotten enough credit for the killing of ben laden

    • JohnnyTwoDog

      And in that moment both Rand Paul and John Kerry revealed their core values.

      Honestly, who could possibly defend the incarceration of the man that provided vital intel on the location of Scum Laden?
      Apparently John Kerry can. I actually voted for that putrid turd.

      • HELENK2

        so did I unfortunately

    • Retired_from_SPOnaj

      Well, we could substitute a few hundred billion in money for lack of credit (no pun intended). That’s what the Paks want, anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/beyondpartisan beyond partisan

    So I’ve been thinking about WHY they are doing this at this time. And you know it’s not about Obama actually caring about women’s rights. But my theory is this – Obama has to pull out all these “progressive” advancements to appease his base. Notice how this announcement came a few days after Obama was getting crap for his appointees being almost all white men. So then his administration announces “women on the front lines!” and that’s what the low-information women voters will remember in a few years. They’ll remember that the Democrats broke the barriers to gays and women in the military. At the same time, the GOP will react “like troglodytes” on the issue, as I saw on that Victor Davis Hanson article in the comments. So it’s primarily a PR stunt.

    Secondarily, I have to wonder if they aren’t going to try to find an excuse to draft all of our young men and women when the time comes. A lot of us have had bad feeling about Obama being a Hitler figure of sorts, though so many people laugh us off about it. But when you recall his comments on mandatory community service for all citizens, and now this, I seriously wonder what the long end-game is. At any rate, I am not celebrating this…there’s something rotten in the core of it.

  • DianaLC

    As a totally wimpy woman, I agree with you completely on this issue of women in the military.
    I remember the cat fights that would occur in the evening in my home town. They were often over who stole whose boyfriend. I was always amused by that because I could never wrap my brain around a boy being some girl’s possession. But also, it was the hair pulling and the clothes ripping and face scratching that would cause me some cognitive dissonance also. Was that proving anything?
    I think of the shows that have titles like The Bad Girls Club (or something like that).
    So when I heard this news, I said to myself, “This is a whole new directions in warfare. Girls calling the enemy nasty names, scratching at their uniforms, trying to pull their hair.”
    I know I am being offensive to many women in law enforcement and in the military, but I am also being realistic about the strength issues and the distraction issues you make in regard to sexual attraction between the troops.
    I know of the female Civil War soldiers in disguise. I know that women have courage and determination. I just agree that we need to be realistic.
    I think our movie and television industry has given us a warped sense about all this when we see beautiful, slender youn actresses playing the roles of butt-kicking crime fighters, trained in the Oriental arts of fighting.

    • http://twitter.com/beyondpartisan beyond partisan

      Yeah, like Anne Hathaway running and fighting in those ridiculous stiletto boots as Catwoman in the last Batman movie. Because all women are capable of doing the splits in high heels as a means of subduing their captors. 😛

      • JohnnyTwoDog

        God bless Hollywood for pandering to my adolescent fantasies.

        • http://twitter.com/beyondpartisan beyond partisan


    • JohnnyTwoDog

      Being a cop or fireman is not the same as being a combat soldier. Just ask the combat soldiers who are ordered to be cops.

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    How about making women eligible for the draft? I don’t see that level of equality being proposed by anyone.

    • Hokma

      . . . we don’t have a draft.

      • DianaLC

        But now maybe we should have one, so women can be drafted.

        • sowsear1

          I don’t see why anyone has to be drafted…

          • TeakWoodKite

            clones and drones. Ak’s for days.

          • DianaLC

            Well, we didn’t think so either during the Viet nam undeclared war, but it happened to many young men I knew and whom I was related to. I remember feeling guilty because I didn’t have to make the choice to fight for a cause I didn’t believe in or to burn my card or flee to Canada or something like that. When women have to make the choices that men do about fighting for unpopular causes, then I agree. I think the women who will choose to go will not choose the more dangerous assignments in equal numbers as the men do.
            I also remember clearly that some of the most popular anti-war productions came from ancient Greek writers: Lysistrata comes to mind, as does The Trojan Women.
            Many women are wanting this for “career” moves, just as many women are now in politics for career considerations mostly. I agree with LJ below that a military is about winning a war and about protecting our country. Many people do make a career out of it, but it should be about competence and fit for the position and nothing else. Most young people in a time of conflict should want out immediately after the conflict, as happened with our parents’ generation.

      • Retired_from_SPOnaj

        But we still have a provision for draft eligibility. Men are eligible, women are not. Shouldn’t women be eligible for a draft, as a matter of equality? I’m sure that the National Organization for Women, which speaks for all women, would favor this. Or do they?

        • Hokma

          I was pulling your chain expecting you to come back with “when did that happen?”

          Yeh, I know but they would find some reason to be opposed to it.

        • TeakWoodKite

          Especially from a civil defense POV.

        • KenoshaMarge

          And I’m sure that the same women who cheer the “rights” of women to serve would be applalled were they ever required to do so. So hard on the mani-pedi donchaknow.

        • KenoshaMarge

          Maybe we should start getting our little girls used to the idea now.

    • http://twitter.com/beyondpartisan beyond partisan

      Alex Jones is saying they are planning to draft women…though that is Alex Jones saying that.

    • HELENK2

      no problem with that at all. see no reason why they should be exempt

  • cat

    Larry, you probably could have made your point without bringing retards into it.
    Just sayin.

    • JohnnyTwoDog

      Yeah, that bugged me a little too. But not as much as your “retards” comment.

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    Larry wrote: “Because the parts of the world were a lot of the AFO is going on does not welcome a woman walking around on her own.”
    Well, we just may have to impose change on those parts of the world so that they do welcome women walking around on their own. Just like we did in Afghanistan. We can do it, we have the technology. America—fuck yeah!




    where is the execution order that backtrack says he gave to send help to benghazi??

    not brought at the hearings

  • http://twitter.com/beyondpartisan beyond partisan

    I have always been a staunch feminist but at some point we do need to recognize that male and female bodies DO develop differently. Now…would a 6’2″ woman be more capable of fighting a big man than a 5’2″ man? Probably. So there are definitely deviations from the norm. But I have to wonder if in our blind quest for equality we have destroyed some of the bonding and natural pride that comes from being part of one gender or the other.

    I love watching Deadliest Catch and it does not offend me one bit that there are no female deckhands. It does not offend me that the rescue swimmers in Coast Guard Alaska are men – heck, I would frankly PREFER a man to rescue me in drowning seas. Men have been so emasculated by all of this politically correct overcorrection that it has been very damaging for the male psyche. Let men be the strong brutes many of them want to be. Frankly, I’m perfectly happy doing my sewing, and no, that’s not insulting, it’s a wonderful craft and art.

    • binky354

      Men have been so emasculated by all of this politically correct over correction that it has been very damaging for the male psyche.


    • JohnnyTwoDog

      Frontline combat is a physical game. If women excelled at a man’s game of fitness they would be showing up in equal number in professional sports. Professional sports are profit driven. If women could perform in the mens’ game people, me included would watch it and pay for it.

      a 6’2″ woman is less than 0.5% of the female US population.

      Women 5’8″ or taller are less than 5% of the female 18- 35 year old population.

      Women comprise about 15% of the military.
      A combat company is approximately 100 soldiers.
      Panetta equality means that 15 of those combat soldiers will be women, while statistically only 1 of them will be as physically able as the men.

      Unless you want to believe that only tall women enlist and therefore the tall women percentage is higher in the military than the general population.

      Except that the men in the military are taller and more fit than the general population average (statistical mean) male. So that is likely a wash.

      Larry is right that 99% of the combat ready women will not be able to match the physical skills of the men. That means downgrading every combat platoon by 14 soldiers.

      Larry was wrong about the Special Olympics comparison. They’ve been giving out trophys for just showing up to EVERY kid since the 80’s. No need to be Special.

      And, since my niece is a Special Olympian but can use a computer by eye movement better than 99% of the dexterous US population, his metaphor is a little offensive. More out of ignorance than any intent though, so he is forgiven.

    • Justine00

      “Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters this week that now that women will be serving on the front lines that the military may have to look at requirements and ask, ‘Does it really have to be that high?’…”

    • stodghie

      yup like drop everything because a woman was captured and might be raped by every enemy soldier for 5 miles. there are reasons why women were not included. the purpose of the military is to win battles and not serve as a proving ground for some type of game obama is playing.
      i own my own company and operate on my own but i hope i have the common sense to see the difference.

      • JohnnyTwoDog

        Yes, that is also an issue.

  • buzzlatte3

    OT: But the main photo on Drudge is priceless.

    • HELENK2

      well we all know what flies are attracted to.

      i laughed so hard when I saw that

    • Dave L.

      You mean the picture with the fly on the pile of shit ???

      • buzzlatte3

        Yep – that pile of shit and fly



    here is a different take on combat ban.

    creates two classes in the military, contributes to sexual assault problem



    hamas to establish military academy in Gaza for children 9 to 12 years old

    • Hokma

      The reason it only goes as far as 12 years old is because when they graduate they get to be suicide bombers which is the ultimate honor with this maggots.

    • TeakWoodKite




    now this woman is against it. It seems she does not have a high opinion of women

  • wyntre

    I agree. The male of the species, in general, has superior physical strength. You can’t overcome biology.

    And I am speaking as a fiercely independent woman. But reality is what it is.

    I will never forget my brilliant valedictorian sister telling me the reason she did not continue in the Coast Guard Academy after the first year is that it was so clear the men did not want her there.

    She is no shrinking violet. Neither am I. We were raised with five brothers.

    • TeakWoodKite

      “You can’t overcome biology”….
      won’t stop folks from trying…wonder what Darwin would say.

    • JohnnyTwoDog

      “the men did not want her there”
      Misogyny and racism are different than not being physically capable. I saw enough of that.


    If the woman can do the job, then there is not problem. The standards should be the same for both sexes. I do understand what you mean about body strength. But hey Annie Oakley could shoot better than a lot of men.

    Working in a male dominated field for many years, I remember all the worries that are now being stated about women in combat.
    Can she lift a knuckle and help me carry it on a single track to the middle of the train to replace the broken one?. Can she really drive a locomotive?

    for all of history women have fought to save their homes, or their country. Most woman can do what they have to do when it is necessary.

    During WW2 women were in the Free French and in Israel women due their part in the military

    It will work out and after awhile be part of everyday military life

  • Hokma

    The Israeli Defense Force has had women in combat for a very long time but with exceptions. As you point out there are a lot of roles under the banner of combat.

    What the IDF does not do is place a woman in a situation where she might be captured as a prisoner of war. They understand who their enemy is and are not likely to follow Geneva Convention rules. In fact, their concern is that a woman soldier if captured could be brutalized and raped.

    I think about half the IDF are women and about a third of their combat force are women.

    • FloridaFI

      “their concern is that a woman soldier if captured could be brutalized and raped.”

      Thank goodness we don’t have to worry about that happening to our male Ambassadors.

      • Hokma

        Actually I believe that Stevens was gay and they knew that. But of course their penchant for extreme brutality is common practice with them

        • FloridaFI

          It is actually a very common form of mutilation/humiliation of one’s enemy in Arab countries. They also did this to Qaddafi.

    • TeakWoodKite

      “a woman soldier if captured could be brutalized and raped. ”

      Point fact trough out the history of human war that has been the norm for male prisoners of war. I think if a woman can operate what achieves the best pound for pound punch, from pulling the trigger on the cannon of a Warthog or B1…down on the ground it depends. The sad fact is an American woman on any given day 1 in 5 and has a 25 percent chance of being raped in her life time and it gets worse from there.

  • LindaAnselmi

    Larry – you make some valid points – men and women are not the same, and most women can not reach the same level of brute strength as men. And yes, sex activity is and always has been an issue. The reason women want this is to have greater opportunity and promotion. Unfortunately, I don’t think this will be the magic equalizer that women hope for. Motivated and creative minds could have found ways to expand opportunity and promotion for women. The biggest road block will still be the patriarchal mind set.

    • KenoshaMarge

      I don’t think the biggest road block will be the patriarchal mind set, although it is always a factor. But when you are in combat you don’t have to be of a patriarchal mindset to prefer someone next to you who can carry your butt to safety if the occasion arises.

      I think the biggest road block will be from women who love the idea of equality but when push comes to shove want no part of actually having to compete on a physical level with men. (That is not counting the few, very few, women who are big and strong enough to do so.)

      Ask women tennis players if they want to go toe to toe with male tennis players. Ditto golf.

  • http://www.missmalevolent.com/ Miss Malevolent

    If they can do the job…then let them. The reason women have fought so long for this is a lot of them are career military and there is no room for advancement if they can’t be put in these combat roles.

    I leave it up to the commanders to make the decisions where having a female in a combat role would be a hardship to their unit, i.e. misogynistic Islamic countries. Outside of that…if a woman wants to fight for this country (such as it is) then let her.

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      The military is not and should not be about career and promotion. Treating it that way is the road to defeat. It is about having troops that can operate effectively against the enemy. Women, for the most part, do not have what it takes to work effectively in front line infantry roles. Drivers? sure. Flyers? yep. ground pounders with 100 pound rucks trudging up a mountain? No fucking way.

      • stodghie

        exactly larry! we need to take off our idealogical pink tinted glasses and be frigging REALISTIC.

      • TeakWoodKite

        What about snipers?

      • JohnnyTwoDog

        “It is about having troops that can operate effectively against the enemy.”
        Yes, just like sports. It is about putting up W’s.
        If women were able to put up W’s in the Mens Game(not amatuer leagues) they’d already be doing it.