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National Security

What's missing from Marine survey?

Chad Groening   (OneNewsNow.com) Tuesday, February 05, 2013

A military watchdog says a survey of Marines fails to show support for women serving in direct ground combat.

Donnelly

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 important questions.

"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.

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