Leah Bolger Statement: Women in Combat? It’s Nothing to Celebrate.

January 26, 2013

Veterans For Peace (VFP) looks upon the recent announcement by Secretary of Defense Panetta that women may now serve in combat, as a hollow victory. VFP believes that every person should be allowed to do any job for which they are qualified and capable, no matter if they are gay or straight, black or white, male or female. But VFP also knows that we currently live under an economic draft whereby low-income young people are being exploited by the military, which promises them a steady job, health care, and money for college. The military is now saying that opening up front line combat positions is the key to advancement and opportunity for women, but in fact, if our government really wanted to support women, it could send 40 of them to college at $25,000 a year for the same price it costs to send one of them to fight in Afghanistan. Women who join the military also have a one-in-three chance of being sexually assaulted by their fellow soldiers—one of the repercussions of life in the military that the recruiters never mention.

VFP urges the removal of all combat troops—men and women—from fighting in the illegal and immoral wars of choice in which the U.S. in engaged. The grotesque Pentagon budget should be slashed, and that money used for education, health care and jobs programs—that is the real answer for the advancement of women.

Submitted by Leah Bolger, Member of Board of Directors