In an historic 2015 announcement, Defense Secretary Ash Carter declared all combat positions would now be open to women. But for some it was not welcome news.
In strong opposition was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford. Carter had no military background before taking the Pentagon’s top civilian job under President Obama. (Nor did he stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night or play a military person on TV.) In fact, his doctorate is in theoretical physics. Dunford, meanwhile, is a Marine general with several tours of duty in the Iraq War, plus Afghanistan. At the time of the Carter announcement, Dunford presented evidence that women suffered drawbacks not only in the more obvious areas involving strength and stamina, but were even much less capable of hitting a target. All of which Carter simply pooh-poohed as “just not definitive, not determinative.”