"... a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier
than killed by enemy fire. The Defense Department estimated that 19,000 cases of
sexual assault occurred last year, 3,200 of which were reported or investigated
by the armed services. It’s hard to watch the film and not wonder why — despite
years of Pentagon studies, congressional hearings, stern talk of “zero
tolerance” and task-force recommendations — there hasn’t been more progress." Washpost editorial
Hard to understand, eh? Well. lemmee try to 'splain it to you all. (Soldier dialect). The great majority of men desire women. I realize that this is not true for some Washpost editorial writers. Nevertheless, as is said in that font of wisdon "When Harry met Sally," men pretty much want women. Really platonic male-female friendship is largely an illusion at least on the male side. As Harry said, "You pretty much want to nail them all."
This is true in the military as well as in the general population. The real question is what the male will do about opportunities he might have. In the military you have youngish, fit, fairly basic men placed in authority in training situations over young impressionable women. The resultant exploitation of the often acquiescent women is frequently a result. Why would the woman acquiesce? In training, enlisted women are homesick, afraid, exhausted and confused. A drill instructor who appears to be a possible protector has a tremendous psychological advantage in dealing with such women. Once the woman graduates from training, she naturally does not want to make such an experience public.
Rape in the military is a different but closely related matter. Our present wars cause soldiers to exist for long periods of time under inhuman conditions. The puritan spirit of the age, is reflected in close policing of; smoking, drinking and certainly addictive drugs. Such things occur but the penalties for getting caught are severe. Local women are out of the question unless one wishes to come home in a box in several pieces. It was not always this way. In my biggest war, the one in SE Asia, women would stand by the side of the road to loudly announce their availability. Life in today's wars is a form of enforced and unwilling monasticism. "Forward Operating Bases," (FOBS) are inhabited by hordes of male and female "fobbits," busily pumping iron, eating a lot of rich food, and surfing the internet. The Post finds rape surprising under these circumstances? The French Army used to have "Mobile Field Bordellos" staffed by girls from North Africa striving for La Gloire Francaise while earning a future dowry for back home. In combat, as at Dien Bien Phu, the girls worked as nurses aides in the hospitals. But, that was the French. We would never do anything as immoral and human as that.
How to deal with all this?
This is a disciplinary matter. Rape is the equivalent of a felony under UCMJ. The use of positions of authority to sexually exploit women in the military is also a major crime. The military must enforce the law. The decision to require a colonel or Navy captain to resolve such matters is a good one. Officers at that rank are usually two or three levels of command distant from the offense. This will make senior officers more likely to believe that the "stain" of this disgrace will not extend to them.
It is a terrible idea to think of injecting civilians into the military chain of command. This would be a step on the road to some sort of dual command situation. the communists had such systems in which a political officer (commissar) exercised "joint command" with actual commanders. This was done to ensure political correctness. Commissars counter-signed orders before they were effective.
Is that what we want? I think not. pl