Tag Archives: Dempsey

Iraq and Afghanistan Dominate Senate Budget Hearing

Iraq and Afghanistan Dominate Senate Budget Hearing

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Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel testifies before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense about the Defense Department's FY15 budget request June 18, 2014. DoD Photo

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel testifies before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense about the Defense Department’s FY15 budget request June 18, 2014. DoD Photo

With aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) and its battle group and amphibious transport dock USS Mesa Verde (LPD-19) in position in the Persian Gulf, senators on Defense Appropriations Subcommittee asked very few questions about the budget but plenty on the rise of insurgents in Iraq, if will Afghanistan face the same fate in two years and what can the United States do about both on Wednesday. Read More

Opinion: Women in Combat is Old News

Opinion: Women in Combat is Old News

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In a joint news conference on Thursday afternoon, the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs announced the discontinuation of the 19-year-old Combat Exclusion Policy. The removal of existing gender barriers will be implemented on a rolling timeline: the services must report initial plans by this May, and by January 2016 all fields should be opened to qualified service members regardless of gender. The timeline delays are planned to give the services time to comply, to figure out how to apply for any desired waivers, and to evaluate resulting questions or concerns. The end of the Combat Exclusion Policy seems anticlimactic yet absurdly necessary.

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Drafting Women?

Drafting Women?

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The Pentagon announced yesterday it would end its official policy banning women from serving in ground-combat roles, opening an estimated 230,000 positions to female servicemembers. The unexpected move by departing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has met mixed reaction, and numerous questions remain about the practical effects of the decision.

The Thursday announcement by Panetta—who was joined by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey—settles one of the last remaining policy disparities between men and women in combat, allowing females to join infantry, artillery, armor, and other combat-coded posts previously reserved solely for men, including the special operations components. But, while the policy change topples some of the last remaining walls for women in uniform, it also poses serious questions for policy makers, chief among them being the status of women vis-à-vis the Selective Service System.

Lance Cpl. Stephanie Robertson, a member of the female engagement team (FET) assigned to 2d Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7, in Marjah, Afghanistan, in 2010. USMC Photo

Lance Cpl. Stephanie Robertson, a member of the female engagement team (FET) assigned to 2d Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 7, in Marjah, Afghanistan, in 2010. USMC Photo

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