Over the weekend the Marine Corps Times reported that Rep. Seth Moulton (D., Mass.) has written a letter to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter calling for the release of the full, 900-page version of the Marine Corps’ study on integrating women into combat arms units. Moulton is a Marine veteran of Iraq and a liberal member of the House, not to say an outspoken supporter of the Iran deal. Considering his politics and constituency, his request for the public release of the study and willingness to imply some skepticism over the wisdom of opening Marine infantry jobs to women is remarkable. The Marines are believed to be the only service requesting an exception to the order to integrate all ground combat jobs beginning in 2017.
If it weren’t for the large sample size, you would think that the results of the Military Times survey of troop morale couldn’t possibly have been accurate. Released last December, the numbers were brutal. In response to the statement, “The senior military leadership has my best interests at heart,” only 27% agreed, down from 53% in a previous survey conducted in 2009. As for, “Overall officers in the military are good or excellent,” only 49% agreed, down from 78% in the 2009 survey. Agreement with, “Overall my quality of life is good or excellent,” dropped from 91% agreement in 2009 to 56% in 2014, and President Obama’s personal approval rating was an eye-catching 15%.
Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council called Russia a “military adversary” in its defense doctrine released today. The document defines the “conditions for the liberation” of territories in eastern Ukraine, according to a statement by the council. The doctrine also declares that Ukraine will retract its non-aligned status in favor of pursuit of NATO membership. …
Sending the newest class of Coast Guard officers out into the world yesterday, dangerous as it is, President Obama decided that the most pressing issue they needed to hear about from their commander in chief was the threat of climate change. There were plenty of objectionable elements to the remarks. The implication that an anticipated rise in sea levels is more of a concern to the uniformed services than terrorism certainly grated, as did Obama’s anti-democratic insistence that the issue “cannot be subject to the usual politics and the usual rhetoric,” presumably because things have reached such a crisis that we all must just do what he says. The notion that climate change poses risks of “instability” and “conflict,” not to say the possibility of “climate refugees,” sounded just delusional, considering how much instability and conflict, and how many refugees, are out there right now because of the the various crises caused by American withdrawal from the world.