Richard Land on Women in Combat

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, had this to say about the recent decision to allow women into all combat roles:

Land…called the change a “tragic mistake” that will have “grievous consequences.”

“[But] not because women are not capable of performing most of the combat roles to which they will be assigned,” Land said. “They certainly are capable in modern warfare of flying planes and driving tanks and driving jeeps and operating artillery, etc. The problem is if they are captured, they will be treated very differently than male captives have been treated. This is the reason the Israelis, who used to have women in combat, have taken them out of direct combat roles.

“We discovered in the first Iraq war that our female pilots were treated much more barbarously than the male pilots were that were captured. This has been largely covered up by our government, but the fact is we are dealing with enemies who do not obey the Geneva Convention and they will much more savagely mistreat women prisoners than men prisoners and I’m aghast that our government would put our female citizens in such danger,” Land said.

Like the issue of homosexuality, the question is not whether someone can — it is whether the US military should.

There are many second-, third-, and higher order effects to such a decision, many of which will not be realized until they occur.  It is not as simple as “allowing” women to go into combat so they can get promoted.  Even now, the Marines have indicated the policy shift does not, by default, mean women will be allowed in all career fields.