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The military is not the place for social engineering

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Transgender Military

Recently, President Trump told the military to discontinue Barack Obama’s proposal allowing transgendered individuals to be recruited into the military. And, right on queue, came screams of bigotry and discrimination. Shocking.

My only view regarding the transgender ban is that any obligations already made be honored. This is non-negotiable to me. If we make a promise to a servicemember, we must uphold it. period.

The politicians and media can fight over the specific rule and whether it is discrimination or not.

We the people will once again be the adults and have the necessary discussion – whether the military is strengthened or weakened by the integration or ban of transgender service members.

The only thing that matters in the military is that our squads are the best they can possibly be.

A couple years ago, there was controversy over another military integration proposal. It was the question of whether women could be in combat roles.

As a man, putting women into combat roles makes me uneasy. It feels morally wrong to knowingly put a woman in harm’s way. Whether it is my toxic masculinity, my white privilege, my male privilege, or my cis privilege, something just feels wrong.

But feelings alone aren’t enough to pass a judgment. Facts don’t care about my feelings, either. So let’s look at some facts.

There was a yearlong comparison between an all-male and mixed male and female units. It looked at varying situations that could occur in combat and assessed the effectiveness of both groups.

From NPR’s article summarizing the study, “all-male squads performed better than mixed groups in 69 percent of the tasks evaluated.” It also showed that men had more speed, more lethality, and were less prone to injuries.

The full study also stated that “all-male squads, teams and crews and gender-integrated squads, teams, and crews had a noticeable difference in their performance of the basic combat tasks of negotiating obstacles and evacuating casualties.”

They continue, “during casualty evacuation assessments, there were notable differences in execution times between all-male and gender-integrated groups” with the exception of “casualty evacuation as a one-Marine fireman’s carry of another (in which case it was most often a male Marine who “evacuated” the casualty).”

Feel free to look through the study yourself and see what you find.

While this is just one study, it doesn’t ease my concern. This study gives reason to doubt the effectiveness of gender-integrated combat units. I can only imagine the effectiveness of a gender-integrated combat unit where some of the men identify as women and women identify as men. How do you even study that?

How do you even study that? Are male-to-female transgenders counted as females and vice versa? If every female in the previous study was a male-to-female transgender, they would still have had the benefits of increased testosterone levels. It would be an absolute nightmare to figure out.

To pretend none of this matters, that the ends of equality justify the means, is immoral. One small mistake and someone can die. If our combat units are slightly less efficient than they could be, more lives will be lost. One is too many.

Until a change in the makeup of our military services is shown to be as effective or more effective than an all-male squad, then I support prohibiting it. (Note: Defense Secretary Mattis has postponed the “transgender ban” pending studies for implementation.)

Call it discrimination, I don’t care. Call me a bigot, I don’t care. I’ll gladly trade being called names if it will save just one life.

This isn’t a matter of personal opinion on transgenderism or feminism. It is literal life and death.

The battlefield is not the place for social experimentation. The risks are too high and the reward of good feelings can never outweigh the risk of losing another American in war.

If we knowingly send out a sub par combat unit, then we are leaving Americans behind before they even see an enemy.

And we don’t leave anyone behind.

To all those who serve in our military, thank you.
Leave no man behind

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Foreign Affairs

Would the White House pressure Benjamin Netanyahu to form government with left-leaning parties?

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Would the White House pressure Benjamin Netanyahu to form government with left-leaning parties

On the surface, it may be difficult to imagine President Trump, a Republican, quietly pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next Israeli government in a coalition with left-leaning parties should he win the April elections. But dig a little deeper and the thought becomes plausible. Why? Because it’s very likely his much-touted Middle East peace plan includes provisions for the Palestinians that conservatives in Israel may not allow.

A pair of articles out of Israel hint at this possibility:

My Take

It isn’t just those supporting such a move who are talking about it. New Right candidate Caroline Glick told the Jerusalem Post in an interview: “It’s mystifying that [Trump administration officials] think there’s a deal to be made when there so obviously isn’t one from the Palestinian perspective.”

Just as President Obama wanted to make his mark with the Iranian nuclear deal, so too would President Trump want to do what no world leader has been able to truly accomplish in history: a negotiated and firm peace in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians. It would be a crowning achievement if that was the only thing in his legacy. It would be truly historic.

Of course, most experts on Middle East affairs agree that there’s no chance for such a deal or a lasting peace without a two-state solution on the table, which is almost certainly what the Trump administration is going to push on Israel. The left in the Jewish state seem amicable to the idea, but conservatives are generally opposed. Doing so would weaken them militarily, forcing them to cover areas they currently control and bringing the potential for attacks against Israel nearly impossible to repel.

It’s the hope of any American leader to bring peace to the Middle East because it’s never been done before. Unfortunately, the path to peace is one that would eventually be covered with Israeli blood. That’s the nature of the hatred towards the Jews.

 


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Foreign Affairs

As Benjamin Netanyahu meets with world leaders, focus centers on Iran in Syria

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As Benjamin Netanyahu meets with world leaders, focus centers on Iran in Syria

The threat represented by Iran in the war-torn nation of Syria manifests in multiple ways. Other Middle Eastern nations are concerned that if Iran’s military is allowed to get entrenched in Syria, they will have too much direct access to the region in ways that threaten the peace. The United States and western allies are concerned that exerting control over the Syrian regime will turn them into a puppet state that will not solve the problems faced by the Syrian people.

Meanwhile, Israel faces the greatest threat as the nation that wants to wipe them off the map would be next door neighbors if they continue to fortify themselves in Syria. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knows this all too well and has not been shy about expressing these views to the world. In fact, he did it today in meetings with 60 world leaders and followed up by sharing his perspectives on Twitter.

Iran is not Israel’s problem alone. They are a problem for all freedom-loving countries in the region as well as powers throughout Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia. Israel needs our support as well as the support of others who realize the threat Iran poses to us all.

 


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Guns and Crime

Former counterintelligence agent Monica Elfriede Witt charged for allegedly conspiring with Iran

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Former counterintelligence agent Monica Elfriede Witt charged for allegedly conspiring with Iran

What motivates people to defect from the United States to work with nations opposed to our way of life? We may never know what Monica Elfriede Witt was thinking when she defected to Iran in 2013, but one thing is certain. If the charges against her are true, her treachery may have put American lives in danger.

Though she defected in 2013, it’s unclear when her loyalty shifted away from the United States. She ended her official and contractor duties in 2010 after serving in a counterintelligence role since 1997, but it’s possible she was operating covertly even after that point. It’s conspicuous that a trip to Iran in 2012 was where she made contact for arrangements to move her to Iran permanently.

“The alleged actions of Monica Witt in assisting a hostile nation are a betrayal of our nation’s security, our military, and the American people,” said Special Agent Terry Phillips of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. “While violations like this are extremely rare, her actions as alleged are an affront to all who have served our great nation.”

My Take

This is thankfully quite rare in the United States today… or at least we hope. Perhaps it should concern us that we’re just now hearing about her even though she defected nearly six years ago. No, I don’t expect the intelligence community to reveal their leaks while in the middle of an investigation, but it still seems a bit too long in the modern era for charges to be filed after it seemed pretty clear she had access to sensitive data and her defection was made known when it happened.

There’s no way to prevent every single potential spy or defector from infiltrating our intelligence services or sharing information with our enemies. If someone wants in, they can go through the long process of participating, pretending to be loyal while hiding their true feelings. Then, there’s the risk of radicalization; those exposed to the enemy may grow sympathetic to them over time.

It may be very scary to think someone with access to sensitive information, including the identities of current operatives, could be working with the enemy. Thankfully, these cases seem to happen less frequently in America than in other nations.

 


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