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Should women serve on the front line?

After David Cameron revealed yesterday (20th December) that woman could be allowed to fight in combat roles in the UK’s armed forces, one of Britain’s former military leaders, Admiral Lord West, has said that he did not agree and was “nervous” about having women soldiers fighting alongside men.

His view is women have 30% less upper body strength and would not physically be able to cope and in addition do not have the aggression needed for these roles.

Other former officers like Colonel Richard Kemp have agreed and said that having women in the front line of the army would be wrong as these roles are so physically demanding and soldiers are obviously often placed in great danger. Many other armies like Israel do not allow women into the front lines with men because of the negative effects they believe this has.

However David Cameron told the Sunday Telegraph: ‘We’ve already lifted a number of barriers in our Armed Forces with the introduction of female submariners and women reaching the highest ranks in all services’. Britain is now one of only three NATO countries that bar women from these roles and even the USA lifted its ban last year.

What are your views?  Do you think women should be fighting on the front line? Would women create a positive or negative impact fighting alongside men? There are now female fighter pilots and submariners so should women serve as combat soldiers or is it a step too far? 

Should women serve in the front line?

245 people have already voted, what's your opinion? Yes No

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caaland
21st Mar 2016
0
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Women have a very important role to play in the military, and the ground forces BUT some of these women are wives and mothers and I believe as a mother myself that putting women in the front-line and the possibility of not returning to a husband or children adds extra and unnecessary stress on a family. Yes, let us women join the ranks of men but there is a lot of scope and job opportunities even in the war zones without being on the front line.
normanfrank
1st Mar 2016
0
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I can all sorts of problems with mixed sexes in the front line. Some time ago I was an umpire in an exercise with American trroops being 'attacked' by British soldiers. In a trench being attacked there was American airmen and one Woman who wanted to use a toilet but was too shy to go in front of the men so she stood up and got out of the trench to find bush or tree to shelter her self. this in a real war would have resulted in coming under fire from snipers. Probably men would have the same
mercury
17th Feb 2016
0
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If women are paid the same as male soldiers, carry the same rank and have the same training then I see no reason why they shouldn't face similar dangers on the frontline. Otherwise, their pay should reflect their safer option, whatever that might be. Women are always moaning about equality, well they can't be expected to pick and choose their battles (no pun intended).
celtwitch
1st Feb 2016
0
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Only if the enemy are women. Imagine what would happen if they were captured by the Taliban, or, even worse, IS.
wiffler
16th Jan 2016
0
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I once met an American couple whose daughter had served in the army. She was very bitter saying that she had been told that women get no respect. Women are not encouraged to complain. This is dreadful if true.
shunter
1st Jan 2016
1
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Its something that will be debated from now til eternity : Point is in this day & age Equality rules the day & if they're in the kitchen
they've got to put up with the heat-- So YES they get all the perks that go with a military career so Yes they should be "On the front line" just like their Male Counterparts !,
celtwitch
1st Feb 2016
0
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An interesting, though confusing, use of both upper and lower case text.
Interesting also is the way you weaved the word 'kitchen' into your misogynistic post. And, what exactly, are 'all the perks' that female soldiers on the front line will revel in? Will the 'perks' be greater, or lesser than those enjoyed by their 'Male Counterparts?'
leo-lady30
30th Dec 2015
2
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As an ex member of the armed force, if I had, had to I would of gladly joined my male colleagues on the frontline, there are many women who would join the forces in a infantry role and many women who join in a support role as do many men, we now have women fighter pilots who do a wonderful job alongside their male counterparts, I truly believe that female soldiers, airmen and sailors would help to bring a calming element to conflict, as the comment by T33.
roverT33
26th Dec 2015
1
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I was in The Army. If women think they can do It then they will have to understand that you have to put up with a pack of animals. We were with the Americans a few times, and one of them described us as dogs. Maybe Ok in support. But your front line have gone through some pretty tough mental and physical challenges to get to the front, and some of the conditions there can get really bad.
jeanmark
4th Jan 2016
2
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Women are not stupid, they understand how hard it is. As for having to put up with a pack of animals, they're are used to it - look at the history of what women have been through. If we want true equality we have to be seen to be equal in all aspects of life. If a woman does not want to be on the front line then don't join the armed forces.
Westminster
26th Dec 2015
-1
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We do not need women to fight on the front line, it is only in cases of desperation that armies use women as warriors.
We have sufficient men to fight for us.
Munsterlander
4th Jan 2016
-1
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Yes I totally agree with this-its madness that we make women fight
mercury
26th Dec 2015
3
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If they're paid the same as fighting men then they should be subjected to the same conditions and that includes fighting abroad.
zenamary
23rd Dec 2015
2
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The Israeli's tried it and it did not work
thefilthycripple
23rd Dec 2015
1
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The downside of equality !
steveb355
22nd Dec 2015
2
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I'd dread to think what would happen if our girls got captured by the animals we're fighting.
Munsterlander
4th Jan 2016
0
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jeanmark
4th Jan 2016
1
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I don't necessarily disagree with that statement but it isn't only the 'enemy' that rapes women. Try visiting a 'Battered Woman's' centre to see what men are capable of (and women).
jeanmark
4th Jan 2016
0
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I apologise, my above comment no longer make sense as it appears to have been edited. Although no profanity was used there are obviously some words that are considered inappropriate for mature adults! I have worked in a rape crisis centre and now wonder if that will be edited.
alwyn
22nd Dec 2015
4
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As one who served for 25years, I have heard the argument for both sides. The main concern is its in the male DNA should anything happen is to protect the female. This will cause problems for NCOs commanding to keep the soldiers focused.
female soldiers do a great job within the Army so why change it now.
Munsterlander
4th Jan 2016
0
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Yes why change something that is not broken-simples
bertieostrich
22nd Dec 2015
3
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in this day and age of equal opportunities I don't have a problem with it as long as the medicals and training tests are passed. If a woman wants to fight on the front line then so be it.
JohnHerb
21st Dec 2015
3
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Can you imagine women flighting in conflicts like Iraq & Afghanistan. They are brilliant at other jobs in the military but not on the front line.
Barbara58
21st Dec 2015
6
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Wilf's comments make me worry about our military training.
Do you think the Women are worried about you to the detriment of their job, and, possibly, their life?
If you lack the grip and guts to focus on the job and are condescending to the women who want front line duties then
RESIGN.
I for one don't want you to risk your life because you've left your training instructions behind and are willing to risk your life so the little lady is ok!
I'm really angry Wilf!
Wilf
21st Dec 2015
2
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No I really do not think they should for one simple reason. Many men-myself included are protective of women and rightly so. If I was in a trench with woman soldiers I would be worried about them getting hurt which would detract me from fighting the enemy.
jeanmark
4th Jan 2016
0
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Does that mean you don't worry about your male comrades? Have you ever seen a mother protect her child? Mothers are very protective of their off-spring and don't want to see them go to war even if they are sons.

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