Defending America
David Hackworth
23 September 1997


"Have sex and die." was Yugoslavia's Marshal Josip Broz's (know to his followers as Tito) stern warning to his men and women partisan soldiers during WWII. They did, and many frisky couples went before his firing squads.

Tito beat the Nazis but he didn't win over nature. Even the threat of death didn't prevent his co-ed grunts from keeping one foot on the foxhole floor.

For 20 years the U.S. military has been engaged in the same battle with similar results: Sex 100, Pentagon O.

Millions of 'thou shall not", orders have been barked and hundreds of thousands of lectures given, but GI Joes and Janes always seem to find the time and place for doin' what comes naturally.

Daily we are barraged with media reports about male and female service members being, sent to prison, booted out of the armed forces or investigated for playing footsie with a member of the opposite sex. Those accused have run from four star generals and admirals, to top non-coms, to rank and file grunts.

A lot of energy and a lot of dollars have been devoted to nailing the guilty parties, from a female B-2 pilot to the senior male admiral in the Pacific.

Sensitivity training has just about replaced combat training as the No. 1 priority. A Marine captain reports that his unit was scheduled to spend the day on the range. Instead of practicing their battlefield skills, however, they spent the day learning how male Marines should act around female Marines.

This forced sexual integration of the sexes is ripping apart our military. A cadet at West Point says that if a male cadet looks at a female cadet for "longer than nine seconds" it's considered sexual harassment. Imagine the tension this creates not only at our gender sensitive service academies, but on every ship, base and battalion in our armed forces!

A full colonel who quit the Army in disgust in spite of an obviously brilliant future says he could never be alone with his female driver because "people would talk" or he would be "vulnerable to charges of sexual harassment."

A climate of fear -- both for males and females -- now exists from boot camp to the highest jobs in the Pentagon. A look, an accidental touch, a misunderstood nuance can be read wrong, reported to the ever enthusiastic sexual political commissars, and the most perfect record can go up in flame.

Gender bender has become the rule. Many women are not strong enough to meet the minimum physical fitness standards that years of battlefield experience say are needed to survive the rigors of combat. So the bar has been lowered and lowered until the point where women are being held to a standard that's as dangerous as it is insulting to women who are fit.

Enemy gunners don't discriminate between men and women. On the battlefield the slow and the weak die. And if a woman medic can't man-pack a wounded male comrade, so does he.

This terrible situation exists is because President Clinton has put politically correct civilian dorks in charge of the Army, Navy, and Air Force and then placed go-along-to-get-along lap dogs at the top of each service. Everyone of these self-serving four stars should be charged with dereliction of duty for not standing tall and sounding off about how this issue has crippled our armed forces.

Too, if our politicians would stop counting votes and ask the warriors, the truth would come out. But this discussion would have to be held away from the dorks and high brass, since if junior leaders come out in the open, it's a total career killer.

It's not going to get any better. If the services did nothing but give sensitivity training, install security cameras on each member's helmets and issue chastity belts rather than armored vests, sex between consenting males and females would still happen.

Until science can develop a pill that will cause men and women from the ages of 13 to 81 -- Anthony Quinn just fathered child number 13 at that age -- to play scrabble rather than have sex, our politicians better have a hard look at what sexual politics has done to our nation's war-fighting capability.

In a word, it's in ruins.

The end