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    I think it's been established that the US military short of a draft does not have the troops necessary to commit some 500,000 for an extended period in Afghanistan. We now have a plan to ramp up the Afghan army and throw it at the bad guys. TP now has up a study that the situation for women "may" deteriorate with the escalation in Afghanistan.

There seems to be a significant doubt as to the ability to raise a sufficiently large force in a short time. OK here's a thought you Arm the women and teach them to fight.

Plight of Afghan Women

   The already dire plight of women in Afghanistan risks deteriorating further as the US and its allies take steps to turn around the war against the Taliban, according to a report by Human Rights Watch today.

   Eight years after the Taliban were ousted from power, rapists are often protected from prosecution, women can still be arrested for running away from home, and girls have far less access to schools than boys, the report says. [...]

   Rachel Reid, of Human Rights Watch, said the situation "could deteriorate". She added: "While the world focuses on the Obama administration’s new security strategy, it’s critical to make sure that women’s and girls’ rights don’t just get lip service while being pushed to the bottom of the list by the government and donors."

Let's look at russia or as it was once known as "The Soviet union". This extract from a Pentagon study.

Warning PDF:

During the war, Russia experimented with the extraordinary participation of thousands of women in direct combat roles. Prior to the Revolution (1914-1917), relatively small numbers of women disguised as men served side-by-side with men in combat units. One of only a handful of woman, however, Maria Bochkareva, held the distinction of serving, with the government’s approval, as a female in a combat unit. After the abdication of the Tsar in 1917, Bochkareva organized and commanded the "Women’s Battalion of Death" under the Provisional Government of Alexander Kerensky. The success of the "Women’s Battalion of Death" prompted Kerensky to organize other women’s combat units. Estimates assembled from
various unofficial published sources suggest that significant numbers, approximately 5,000 to 6,000 Russian women, participated as combatants in WWI under the Provisional Government.2 Members of one of these women’s units achieved notoriety for helping defend the Provisional
Government at the Winter Palace in Petrograd during the Bolsheviks’ seizure of power in November 1917.

Russian Women in WWII

Women played a large part in most of the armed forces of the Second World War. In most countries though, women tended to serve mostly in administrative, medical and in auxiliary roles. But in the Soviet Union women fought in larger numbers in front line roles. Over 800,000 women served their Motherland in World War II; nearly 200,000 of them were decorated and 89 of them eventually received the Soviet Union’s highest award, the Hero of the Soviet Union. They served as pilots, snipers, machine gunners, tank crew members and partisans, as well as in auxiliary roles.[1] Very few of these women, however, were ever promoted to officers.

The Israelis

The image of the Israeli Army woman, in fatigues and sometimes carrying a gun, has long been viewed around the world as a sign of equality in the only country that drafts women as well as men.

For years, the Israeli Army has touted its recruitment of women as proof of an egalitarian approach lacking in the armed forces of other nations.

But a recent court case in which an Israeli woman won the right to qualify as an air force pilot has highlighted a gulf between the roles of men and women in the Israeli military, where women generally serve in support of men and are excluded from combat.

In a landmark decision on Nov. 8, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that Alice Miller, a 23-year-old officer serving as an aeronautical engineer, could take qualification tests and join the air force flight-training course, opening the door for Israeli women to become pilots.

Admittedly we haven't figured it out yet for our own military but the Russians and the Israelis have. Maybe just maybe they have the right idea and same for same it might just address both issues of number of Afghan troops and the rights of women.

Originally posted to Julian Michael Lobachewski aka JML9999 on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 09:55 AM PST.


Arm the Afghan women

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Comment Preferences

  •  A woaman in a burka would be carring a concealed (6+ / 0-)


    •  Or carrying a concealed french Spy (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, drmah

      A former spy convicted of fraud in the United Arab Emirates has told how he made a bid for freedom by donning a wetsuit disguised under a burka before diving into the ocean.

      Frenchman Herve Jaugbert, an ex-naval officer, alleges the Dubai secret police had threatened to insert needles up his nose and that he was about to be thrown in jail for a crime he didn't commit.

      Read more:

      Afghanistan:Graveyard to empires-It's not just a bumpersticker

      by JML9999 on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:06:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  500,000? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You said 500,000 American troops?

    That's kind of different than what I've heard.

    Be safe every day, President Obama.

    by Grumpy Young Man on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:01:16 AM PST

  •  I beleive the Soviets tried that (8+ / 0-)

    during their occupation. The Soviet backed regim3e was a high point for women's rights in Afghanistan, and learning from that lesson, the US has gone out of its way to show its support for the tribal patriarchy, so as not to alienate the elders. Making the occupation another vehicle for modernization would end as badly as the Soviet experiments did.

    Anyway, you should check out today's Kurdish women peshmerga, now there is a people at war.

    Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

    by Marcion on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:03:19 AM PST

    •  The Soviets didn't make an honest effort (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      As the Trotskyites would say, the USSR was by the late 1970s a bureaucratically degenerated state that had lost its attachment to socialist values.  

      Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

      by Rich in PA on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:32:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  unlike the present situation (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza, JML9999, Rich in PA

        The Soviets actually had a viable, energetic partner in the Afghan Communist movement, and it was the local Afghan communists who pushed through reforms for women and agrarian reforms aimed at breaking the power of the tribal landowners. The Soviets did not set domestic Afghan policies, by and large, they only interested themselves in the proxy fight against the West.

        Of course we will have Fascism in America, but we will call it Democracy. - Senator Huey Long

        by Marcion on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:42:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I suspect it was the division of the Afghan... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...Communist party that really doomed the Soviet project (to use a neutral term) in Afghanistan.  Of course, what I know about this could fill the world's shortest book.

          Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

          by Rich in PA on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:59:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  More the 1st communist Government. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, DrFitz

      The revolution/coup was initiated by Khalq faction, who were more communist than they were tools of the Soviet Union, They were in turn ousted by a faction more directly loyal to the Soviets.

      The Communist Regime in Afghanistan 1978-1989
      Taraki and Amin imposed extreme reforms to be carried out in a short period time with little concern for the Afghan culture. Some measures such as the emancipation of women were desirable but, given the cultural setting, were imposed too rapidly. These measures provoked resistance which spread throughout the country.

      The Soviets accepted Amin's acquisition of power and tried to work with him. But Amin was, of course, very wary of the Soviets. The Soviets wanted to put troops in Afghanistan because they feared there would be an American invasion of Iran as a result of the hostage crisis. Amin feared the Soviet troops would be used to depose him.

      Amin fearing for his survival and uncertain of whom he could trust started putting his relatives into positions of power. Amin put one of his nephews in charge of the secret police, but that nephew was assassinated. Amin moved his headquarters out of Kabul in concern for his own safety.

      The Soviets decided to invade Afghanistan. They sent paratroops to capture and execute Amin. After Amin was taken care of, a bogus call was make for Soviet troops to enter the country.

      Prime Minister, and then President,Hafizullah Amin had studied here in Madison under Trotskyist Prof Harvey Goldberg. Creating womens' units was his idea.

      Resisting Dumb wars since 1968

      by ben masel on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:54:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your reference to not doing it ourselves (8+ / 0-)

    is your first clue as to why it will not work in Afghanistan. The mixed forces of Israel is a result of, and not the cause of gender egalitarianism in Israel.

    Handing weapons to women who have been battered and dominated for generations will not empower them, for the most part. Most of those weapons would be beaten out of their hands by their abusers within days.

    Cultural changes always come first. As Captain Kirk said, paraphrasing, you might as well otherwise be beaming a hundred serpents into Eden.

    If apes evolved from humans, why are there still humans?

    by Bobs Telecaster on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:06:55 AM PST

  •  Most of the women are Pashtuns, etc.; we are (3+ / 0-)

    warring against the Pashtuns,etc.

    "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini

    by enhydra lutris on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:13:07 AM PST

    •  Pashtuns had to look it up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Pashtuns (Pashto: پښتون Paṣ̌tun, Pax̌tun, also rendered as Pushtuns, Pakhtuns, Pukhtuns), also called Pathans[11] (Urdu: پٹھان, Hindi: पठान Paṭhān) or ethnic Afghans,[12] are an Eastern Iranian ethno-linguistic group with populations primarily in Afghanistan and in the North-West Frontier Province, Federally Administered Tribal Areas and Balochistan provinces of Pakistan. The Pashtuns are typically characterized by their usage of the Pashto language and practice of Pashtunwali, which is an ancient traditional code of conduct and honor.[13]

      Afghanistan:Graveyard to empires-It's not just a bumpersticker

      by JML9999 on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:19:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Arm them in Darfur. In the Sudan. In Rwanda. (12+ / 0-)

    Years ago, my father said that women were "lucky" because they weren't required to serve in combat.

    Lucky? Really? Were the women in Bosnia who had their children slaughtered before their eyes and then were hauled off to military brothels to be raped twenty times a day "lucky"?  In WWII, were the women in China who suffered the same fate "lucky?"

    Are the women in Darfur who are being raped and slaughtered lucky? Are women all over the world caught in the middle of wars with no weapons, no training, no way to defend themselves and their families lucky?

    "I think," I told my father, "that if you gave such women the choice, they'd take guns and the training to use them."

    I also once talked to a Vietnam veteran who said that the most deadly fighters among the Vietcong were the women. His comment? "Once they decide you deserve to die, they are going to kill second thoughts, no regrets."

    Women are human beings. Why shouldn't they have a right to the tools and training they need to defend themselves from violence?  There's only one reason: When its a matter of fists, spears or swords, an average man, physically stronger than the average woman, will win. But a man with a gun has no advantage over a women with a gun...and that thought scares the hell out of a lot of men.

  •  Quick route to a bloodbath. (6+ / 0-)

    Just sayin.

    Afghanistan has a brutally mysogynistic partriarchal culture, in common with many primitive societies, where the greater average physical strength and aggressiveness of men over women becomes set in concrete as "the natural way of things".

    Having a foreign occupying force arm women in such a culture is the quickest way to provoke massacres of women and an even harsher regime of patriarchal abuse.

    If you really want to help women, the route is education and economic development. Too bad Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld's mind-boggling incompetence 9 years ago makes it almost impossible to reverse this fiasco now.

    •  This doesn't work, though (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, Ralphdog, cynndara, Clio2

      Female education and development projects are targets for murderous attacks, not just by the Taliban but by the otherwise-silent male majority that only knows one thing: they don't want an Afghanistan where women are anything other than chattel.  

      Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

      by Rich in PA on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:31:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "The Night Witches". (7+ / 0-)

    During WW2, Soviet night pilots would fly into the general area of German ground forces.  They'd cut their engines, glide in over the unsuspecting troops, and then cut in their engines as they strafed the living f*** out of the invaders.

    Those pilots were all women---and they earned their nickname well.

    Now, imagine the look of horror, should the Taliban suddenly find itself faced with many thousands of extremely pissed-off women, all armed to the teeth and fully pleased with the idea of killing every last one of them as a precursor to establishing an Islamic matriarchal society.  Why, the thought alone just might end the war....

    A wildcat strike against a recalcitrant, apologetic Party is the order of the day. Every day.

    by Liberal Panzer on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:18:13 AM PST

    •  there's an urban legend that the greatest fear (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, Lepanto, Liberal Panzer

      amongst the Nazis being sent to the Russian front was running to Russian women.

      Afghanistan:Graveyard to empires-It's not just a bumpersticker

      by JML9999 on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:21:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A n interesting idea from Pamela's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, JML9999

      Land of Utopia, is when we're "protecting the population as best we can via the Afghan Surge" (not validating the escalation, just saying it's a fait accompli), maybe that is when we should be identifying women (and men) who assisted us, educated women and their kids, and those who just want to leave and spirit them out of the country to 1 safe place where they can preserve and maintain their culture.

      I know this sounds like wild-eyed idealism but am not sure why we shouldn't attempt it.  Case in point:  Valerian's War.

  •  Afghanistan needs total social revolution (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, cynndara

    I'm all for arming women, because they're the most oppressed, and because arming them would be the most socially destabilizing thing we could do.  I place absolutely no value, and in fact a strong negative value, on the stability of Afghan cultural norms and the preservation of the Afghan way of life.  

    Afghanistan needs an Enver Hoxha.

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:30:04 AM PST

    •  LOL. (0+ / 0-)

      Man, I don't know if I agree with you 100%, but I have to hand it to you for daring to say the unspeakable.  Enver Hoxha indeed!

      BTW, I have read that it was an old custom in Albania, that if a woman pledged herself a virgin, cut her hair, and dressed as a man, she was accorded the social privileges of male gender without molestation.  I was interested to read of this in semi-modern times, because of course this was a pretty common custom in the area back before God supposedly got himself incarnated in Jerusalem.

      But if they could do it in Albania, I really don't see why a small-scale experiment couldn't be tried out in Afghanistan on the order of Marion Bradley's Renunciate Guild.  The main thing the guys there are paranoid about, is their wives cheating on them; all the other rules and regs are built up on that paranoia.  A small group of secular nuns living in a self-sufficient female-only environment might not raise as many hackles, as just indiscriminately arming every girl on the block, but it could provide a safe-haven and alternative for those women who are pushed beyond their limits.

  •  Special "K-ball" knives concealed in burkhas? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That might give Taliban phallocrats second thoughts.

  •  What makes you so sured that, if armed, Afghani (3+ / 0-)

    women wouldn't start shooting first of all at American soldiers?
    Women have indeed been great fighters - think of the women in the French, Yougoslav etc resistance movements during WWII.
    But when women fight, they usually do so to free their country from foreigners.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 10:40:41 AM PST

  •  I'd love to see a woman use a burka... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, JML9999, DrFitz, CherryTheTart Clint Eastwood used his poncho in A Fistful of Dollars.

    There was Allen, a gaunt midwesterner who smiled, when he smiled, with all the humor of a skull. - (from A Rumor of War)

    by dov12348 on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 11:41:20 AM PST

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