A military watchdog says a survey of Marines fails to show
support for women serving in direct ground combat.
The Center for Naval Analysis last week released a "Quick-Look Analysis of Survey Results Assessing
the Implications of Possible Changes to Women in Service
Restrictions" [PDF]. The five-page paper, dated September 2012,
summarizes results of a survey of active-duty Marines conducted
last summer on the subject of women in combat.
But Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military
Readiness (CMR), says the study failed to ask the most
"For example, how would the assignment of women to Marine
infantry and special operations forces improve mission
effectiveness? It also could've asked, 'Do you favor or oppose the
elimination of all direct ground combat exemptions for women,'" she
suggests. "They didn't ask those questions, and conclusions cannot
be drawn from questions that are not even asked."
But Donnelly points out that the information that has been
released reveals some major concerns "about such things as
habitability, sexual harassment, accusations of sexual harassment,
personal involvement that detracts from unit cohesion. There [are]
an awful lot of issues that the Marines volunteered, but all of
those were kind of downplayed, swept under the rug, only mentioned
in passing at the end of this five-page summary."
She contends that the complete survey must be released,
particularly to members of Congress for their oversight.