Monday, December 13, 2004

Torture policy still on the way
Jess Bravin reports in Monday's Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that the executive branch has been working somewhat less than expeditiously to produce new policy guidance after the airing and repudiation of its "torture memos" this summer. In a June 2004 press conference, White House counsel Alberto Gonzales went so far as to disown the memoranda, and explicitly say they would be revised and reissued. It now appears that this has not happened, although it's not clear to what extent the old flawed guidance remains in effect.
Six months later, that process remains unresolved, leaving the Defense Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and other agencies without definitive legal guidance for interrogations in the war on terrorism.

Friday, a senior Justice Department official said the project "hasn't been abandoned" but simply delayed because of the "press of business" in other counterterrorism efforts. The official said Deputy Attorney General James Comey wanted it finished by year end, and the department expects to publicly release the document.

Drafts have been circulating since July at several agencies, including the CIA, Pentagon and State Department. Recent versions, the senior Justice official said, have examined "what is torture, what does it mean, what are useful sources for interpreting the statutory language, but it won't go into the president's ability to order torture if he wanted to."

Several officials said they doubt a revised Justice Department opinion ever will emerge. "There's a lot of water between now and then," an administration official said. Some officials don't want to commit a definitive policy to paper, while others see no need to bring up the subject since congressional and public interest in it is flagging, people familiar with the discussions say.

"The question is: Why do people have to write opinions about how far you can go?" said one official.
To be precise, here's what White House counsel Gonzales said in June 2004 regarding the continued viability and validity of the torture memos:
These are tough issues, and some of the conclusions by the lawyers you may find controversial. These opinions set forth a broad legal framework in which the President and his team considered and ultimately adopted more narrowly tailored policies.

Now, to the extent that some of these documents, in the context of interrogations, explored broad legal theories, including legal theories about the scope of the President's power as Commander-in-Chief, some of their discussion, quite frankly, is irrelevant and unnecessary to support any action taken by the President. The administration has made clear before, and I will reemphasize today that the President has not authorized, ordered or directed in any way any activity that would transgress the standards of the torture conventions or the torture statute, or other applicable laws.

Unnecessary, over-broad discussions in some of these memos that address abstract legal theories, or discussions subject to misinterpretation, but not relied upon by decision-makers are under review, and may be replaced, if appropriate, with more concrete guidance addressing only those issues necessary for the legal analysis of actual practices. But I must emphasize that the analysis underpinning the President's decisions stands and are not being reviewed.
So... the sweeping assertions of executive power in these documents are incorrect. But according to Mr. Gonzales, the analysis of torture is correct. I'm not sure whether this remains in force now; there's been a lot of political activity on this issue since June. Nonetheless, it seems like a good question for the Senate to ask Mr. Gonzales in his confirmation hearings. Setting aside for a moment how we got to a precarious position in Guantanamo and at Abu Ghraib, what did Mr. Gonzales do to fix that legal situation once we were there?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The Year in Ideas
I always love to read the New York Times' "Year in Ideas" magazine issue, because it's chock full of cool stuff that may or may not change the way we live. This year's magazine issue is no exception -- it has great articles on all kinds of neat stuff. Among other things, it covers the "Blogo Ad", the Pentagon's human exoskelton and Phraselator (also described at DefenseTech and in this Slate article), "lawfare", "popular Constitutionalism and "democratic providentialism", the soccer model of warfare (as opposed to the football model), and virtual autopsies called "virtopsies". Some of these ideas may last no longer than the shelf-life of this issue; others may redefine our world. But they're all worth considering.
When the front lines come to the rear area
The Army must adapt its tables of organization and equipment to reflect the new reality of warfare — there are no more rear areas

On the op-ed page of today's New York Times, I argue that the real failure evidenced by Secretary Rumsfeld's ill-faited town hall meeting was not the current administration's failures to plan for the war. Rather, the real failure belongs more broadly to the military establishment, for failing to the new face of war and adapt accordingly. Simply put, support units (broadly defined) have come to this war wholly unprepared, thus necessitating the need for their soldiers to dumpster dive in search of "hillbilly armor".
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, however, the military has slowly recognized that its fundamental assumptions about warfare are being rendered obsolete. In Somalia, American troops faced guerrillas adept at trapping military convoys in ambushes in urban areas. In Bosnia, partisans on both sides used land mines to great effect, making every road a potential hazard. And now in Iraq, the insurgency has transformed the battlefield into one that is both nonlinear and noncontiguous, with sporadic fighting flaring up in isolated spots around the country.

Simply put, there are no more front lines. In slow recognition, the Army purchased light armored vehicles in the late 1990's for its military police to conduct peacekeeping, and more recently spent billions of dollars to outfit several brigades with Stryker medium-weight armored vehicles, which are impervious to most small arms and rocket-propelled grenades and can be deployed anywhere in the world by airplane.

But the fact that there is no longer a front line also means there aren't any more "rear" areas where support units can operate safely. Support units must now be prepared to face the same enemy as the infantry, but are having to do so in trucks with canvas doors and fiberglass hoods because Pentagon procurement planners never expected they'd have to fight. Remember that Pfc. Jessica Lynch, the Iraq invasion's most celebrated prisoner of war, was a supply clerk with a maintenance company.

* * *
As Americans found out this week, the more enterprising of these soldiers find ways to improvise armor, diving into Kuwaiti scrap heaps or cannibalizing damaged American vehicles. Some, like the soldiers of the 343rd Quartermaster Company, refuse their missions entirely, risking court-martial instead of facing combat with broken or unarmored trucks. Others simply drive on, with blind (and some would say foolish) faith in their equipment.

None of these approaches are acceptable. The Army (and to a lesser extent the Marine Corps) must reshape its entire force, front to back, to fight the noncontiguous, nonlinear battles. Every vehicle must have sufficient armor to protect its crew; every convoy must have the right mix of light and heavy weapons to protect itself; every unit must be equipped with night-vision goggles and global positioning systems; every soldier must have the skills and training to fight as an infantryman.

One of our military's great strengths is its ability to learn from its mistakes - when things go wrong for a platoon or company, its soldiers and officers put together reviews to make sure it won't happen again. On the larger scale, that system has broken down: the Pentagon has had more than a decade since the cold war ended - and 20 months since the fall of Baghdad - to identify and fix these problems to protect its support troops. There is no excuse for its failure to do so.
Comments: Fortunately, some parts of the U.S. military establishment have seen the light. The Army's training and doctrine command has been very aggressive in incorporating "lessons learned" from Iraq and Afghanistan into the Army's training and doctrine systems. Similarly, the reserves and National Guard have bolstered their pre-deployment training with these lessons, and support units now conduct live-fire exercises they did not do during the first two rotations to Iraq. (The 507th Maintenance Company ambush had a lot to do with this change.)

However, there remains a giant elephant in the room: equipment. The Army's "MTOE's" — "modified table of organization and equipment" — have not changed much, except for organizational changes such as the move to create "units of action" that are more flexible and modular. Unfortunately, these units still contain much of the same flawed equipment allocations, such as light-skinned vehicles with no armor to protect the crew and too few crew-served weapons for force protection. These MTOEs were drawn up a long time ago. Though they have been revised many times, they have not been changed to incorporate the new realities of warfare. That's a real problem, and it's one that must be fixed.

There are signs of improvement. Influential members of Congress (like Rep. Ike Skelton) on both sides of the aisle have taken a real interest in this story; that's important because Congress must ultimately fund or authorize major policy changes in this area.

But there also signs of warning. According to an unclassified Army summary of combat fatalities dated October 5, 2004, hostile small-arms fire accounted for 279 fatalities, or 23.3% of the total. Improvised explosive devices accounted for 219 fatalities — or 18.3 % of the total. [Note: there is reason to think these percentages have changed as a result of the fight for Fallujah.] Many of these casualties, judging by the DOD casualty announcements I read every day, were for soldiers driving in vehicles that were either ambushed or hit by an IED. It stands to reason that some of these fatalities could have been avoided — or at least, converted into wounded in action statistics — had there been better vehicle armor, better armament for these convoys, and better training.

In combat, you must always accept some risk, as it is an inherently dangerous and chaotic business. But you must never accept so much risk that you are taking a gamble, or accept risk that you can easily mitigate. We have known about the new way of war for some time; enough time to fix these issues. There is no excuse for failing to do so now.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Kerik withdraws
I don't have much to add regarding the well-reported withdrawal of Bernie Kerik's nomination for Secretary of Homeland Security. I wrote a piece for Slate last week making what I felt was the best argument for his appointment — that America could use a former beat cop at DHS who understood the fundamentally local nature of homeland security. However, it's now clear that Bernie Kerik was probably a flawed pick for this job from the start, both for personal and for political reasons.

There's a lot of speculation over who the President will pick to replace Kerik. My recommendation is the guy I recommended in my Slate article that Kerik tap as a deputy: Asa Hutchinson. He may not circulate in the White House orbit and he may be too close to the existing DHS bureaucracy for some people. Still, I think he has a lot of good qualifications, most notably his experience before and after DHS's creation. There's something to be said for bringing in an outsider like Kerik; there's also something to be said for promoting a consummate insider and professional like Hutchinson. We'll see where the White House goes.
U.S. begins winter offensive in Afghanistan
The Associated Press reported on Saturday that U.S. forces have launched a major offensive involving at least two brigade combat teams in Afghanistan to hunt down Taliban and Al Qaeda elements still at large. More than 18,000 troops are involved in the offensive, which comes on the heels of President Hamid Karzai's inauguration and just before the Afghan parliamentary elections in the spring.

The U.S. military said Saturday that it hoped the new push, dubbed Lightning Freedom, would persuade insurgents to accept an amnesty offered by President Hamid Karzai that could stabilize the country and allow foreign troops to pull back.

"It's designed basically to search out and destroy the remaining remnants of Taliban forces who traditionally we believe go to ground during the winter months," spokesman Maj. Mark McCann said. "It's going on throughout the country of Afghanistan."

* * *
But Maj. Gen. Eric Olson, the No. 2 American commander here, told The Associated Press last month that the operation would include a redeployment to tighten security on the border with Pakistan and raids by special forces to snatch rebel leaders.

* * *
The new military drive, which involves the entire 18,000-strong U.S.-led force here, also is aimed at persuading militants to take up an offer of amnesty from the American military and the Afghan government, McCann said.

Lt. Gen. David Barno, Olson's superior, told AP last week that if a large number of Taliban foot soldiers give up the fight in return for a promise that they can return to their villages, U.S. troop strength could be cut by next summer — once the parliamentary election is complete.

* * *
Compared with last winter, the United States has several thousand more troops strung out across the south and east, where insurgents are strongest.
Analysis: The AP story also goes into some detail about the civil affairs component of the operation. The U.S. military's "nation builders" are being deployed in concert with its infantry to conduct a multi-faceted effort, one that will employ both the carrot and the stick to secure more of the Afghan countryside. Presumably, U.S. units will work in conjunction with NATO forces and non-governmental organizations in Afghanistan, but that's not clear from the story.

What's interesting to me is that this operation does not seem to have much to do at all with Osama Bin Laden and the manhunt for him which has existed since Sept. 2001. It looks like U.S. forces are tasked with more general security missions here than simply hunting down Al Qaeda's top leadership, with the purpose of providing general security and stability for the country of Afghanistan. I think that's a more pragmatic approach, and one that in the long run will pay more dividends than the manhunt. But it's an interesting shift that's occurred over the past year or so. You rarely hear breathtaking stories of U.S. units on the hunt for OBL anymore, although that could be because such missions are being conducted by highly secretive special operations units. Instead, the main effort in Afghanistan now appears to be one of nation building and security.

Thursday, December 9, 2004

Rumsfeldian Transformation, Act Two
Does the SecDef have the political capital to push through his vision of Pentagon transformation?

Greg Jaffe has a great piece in today's Wall Street Journal (subscription required) on the Pentagon's upcoming Quadrennial Defense Review, and how Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld plans to use this process to push his view of defense transformation. The secretary swept into the Pentagon in 2001 with big ideas of how to transform the military and its lumbering headquarters on the Potomac, only to run smack into the exigencies of war after Sept. 11. Now, with responsibilty for the day-to-day conduct of the war delegated to his combatant commanders, Rumsfeld is poised to refocus on transformation. According to Mr. Jaffe:
Key to that effort is a major review conducted every four years and scheduled to be delivered to Congress by early 2006. If successful, the review will drive the military away from an almost all-consuming focus on wars against conventional military forces toward a future in which it will be more prepared for guerrilla fights, like the war in Iraq, as well as catastrophic terrorist attacks using chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

* * *

At the core of the current review is a controversial effort to create a list of potential 21st-century real-world crises that the services must be prepared to address. Explicitly defining the possible problems the Pentagon faces will force the services to figure out which competing programs can best deal with the threats and which are anachronisms.

"If we are successful, we will have a top-down competitive planning process with winners and losers," said one senior defense official involved in the review. "We need a new range of defense-planning scenarios that look radically different from the past scenarios we have used to build the force," the official said.

Unlike past scenarios, which were oriented around conventional wars in places such as North Korea and Iraq, the new scenarios will force the military to prepare to fight messy counterinsurgency wars while simultaneously dealing with potentially catastrophic attacks by terrorists or rogue nations on the U.S. and allies using nuclear weapons.

Because some of the scenarios involve U.S. military action in countries considered U.S. allies, they have triggered diplomatic blowback. Some State Department officials worry that planning around possible crises like the takeover of a nuclear-armed ally, such as Pakistan, by Islamic extremists could alienate important friends in the war on terrorism. Pentagon officials counter that the scenarios spelled out and addressed in the defense review must be detailed if they are really going to force change. "The more the scenarios hit a nerve ... the more I know I am onto something," a defense official involved in the effort says.

The military services worry that new defense scenarios could lead to big cuts to their modernization programs, most of which were hatched well before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Major weapons systems, such as aircraft carriers, fighter jets, artillery cannons and submarines are likely to be much less useful in unconventional wars.
Analysis: The QDR is always a contentious process. There are a bunch of stakeholders who play a part in the process, such as the four main services and some of the larger DOD agencies. Each has its set of interests; each has its own concept of the operation; each has overt and covert means of fighting for its interests. It's not at all clear that Secretary Rumsfeld has what it takes to push his transformation vision through this process. President Bush said shortly after the election that he had accumulated a great deal of "political capital", and that he was going to spend it on programs and policies he felt he had a mandate to pursue. Even if that's true of the White House, it may not be true of the Pentagon's senior leadership, including Rumsfeld and his chief lieutenants Paul Wolfowitz and Doug Feith. They have spent a lot of their political capital (and borrowed a lot to cover their bets) on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, on various small-scale transformative efforts, and on budget fights inside the department and the executive branch.

One could say that Rumsfeld has a lot of political capital in Washington, based on his performance in the recent fight over the intel reform bill. But it's my assessment that he does not have that much capital within his own department. He may still be able to push some transformative efforts through, or accelerate efforts already underway. But I'd be surprised if he could effect the kinds of massive change we've heard him mention in the past, because the DOD stakeholders just aren't going to get on board. But we'll see... I imagine this will be one of the big policy stories to follow in the second Bush administration.
Women warriors
Setting the record straight regarding the assignment of women to front-line roles in the U.S. military

Mac Owens is a really smart guy, and I frequently enjoy reading his columns in National Review Online. However, today's column titled "GI Janes, By Stealth" gets it wrong. [So does the Washington Times in this news article. Prof. Owens dramatically writes:
The U.S. Army is quietly making a radical change in its personnel policy that may well see the 3rd Infantry Division redeploy to Iraq early next year with mixed-sex support companies collocated with combat units. The move violates not only Defense Department regulations, but also the requirement to notify Congress when such a change goes into effect.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the military opened a number of specialties to women, permitting them to serve on the Navy's fighting ships and to fly Navy and Air Force combat aircraft. There were several reasons for this. First, some military women — mostly officers and pilots — and their civilian supporters argued that women could never attain the highest levels of command unless they had the opportunity to serve in combat. Second, there was widespread acceptance of the view that technological advances had completely "changed the nature of war": Emerging technologies and "information dominance" would reduce the risks inherent in warfighting. If this were the case, why did we need these old restrictions that hampered the progress of women? As former congresswoman Pat Schroeder famously remarked, a woman can push a button just as easily as a man.

Even so, women continued to be excluded from units that engaged in direct ground combat. This prohibition extended to the support units that were collocated with these forces as well.

The indefatigable Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness has discovered that the Army has surreptitiously begun to violate these regulations without advising Congress, which requires notification of any changes to policy within 30 legislative days, and when both houses are in session. Unfortunately, Ms. Donnelly's longtime commitment to the combat effectiveness of the military is often not matched by that of the very leaders who are responsible for ensuring it. As she has illustrated time and again, no branch of the military is completely free of political correctness.

Right now, for example, the Army is beginning to implement an innovative structural reorganization designed to make its new "units of action" (UAs) more rapidly deployable while maintaining a high degree of lethality. One of the factors enhancing the effectiveness of the original UA concept was that support troops would be collocated with maneuver battalions 100 percent of the time — essentially becoming an organic part of the direct ground-combat units. But if such a forward-support company (FSC) is part of a maneuver battalion, current Defense Department policy says that it cannot include women.

So Army commanders have simply transferred FSCs from the maneuver battalions into "gender-integrated" brigade-support battalions, thereby avoiding the requirement to report the policy change to Congress. Of course, no matter where the FSCs appear on a table of organization, the fact is, they will live and work with the maneuver battalions all the time.
Wrong. I've interviewed Ms. Donnelly, and I appreciate where she comes from on this issue. However, she has taken Prof. Owens for a ride here.

The truth is that these policy changes have been in place for some time, the 3ID MTOE redesign is merely the latest evolution of policy changes made during the 1990s which opened ground combat positions to women. Those changes were first introduced in 1995 as part of the Army's Force XXI redesign, which made a number of very significant changes to the tables of organization and equipment for logistics units, combat support units, and combat units in the Army. As I write in "War Dames", for the December 2002 Washington Monthly, these changes reflected evolutions in the nature of warfare, as well as the way the Army wanted to task-organize for future conflicts:
... one quieter transformation was also on display in the desert: Capt. Streigel--first name: Jennifer --is a woman. Ten years ago, Streigel could never have commanded a front-line chemical company in the U.S. Army. But the next time the United States goes into battle, women will be as close to the front lines as any infantryman. During its minefield operation, Streigel's company fought shoulder to shoulder with the combat engineers and deployed more armored vehicles than a tank company--and four of its five officers were women. In fact, Streigel is just one of thousands of women who, since the Gulf War, have been steadily migrating to assignments that place them at or near the line of battle.

Since the Gulf victory in 1991, a series of largely unnoticed policy changes have opened new opportunities for women to fight alongside, and even to lead, front-line troops. The Navy and Air Force, with some fanfare, allowed women into the cockpits of fighters and bombers. But less well known is how vastly the Army has expanded the role of women in ground-combat operations. Today, women command combat military police companies, fly Apache helicopters, work as tactical intelligence analysts, and even serve in certain artillery units--jobs that would have been unthinkable for them a decade ago. In any war in Iraq, these changes could put thousands of women in the midst of battle, far more than at any time in American history.

This new role for female U.S. troops is the product of three different forces. One is congressional pressure to integrate the military by gender as it previously had been integrated by race. Another is the ongoing enlistment shortage; the military remains reluctant to admit women yet is unable to recruit enough competent men to staff an all-volunteer Army. But the most important reason has been pressure from women within the Army who need combat experience to advance their careers, nearly all of them in the officer corps. And yet this experiment has been conducted largely below the threshold of public awareness.

The wisdom of this integration is sure to be tested in any sizable ground war with Iraq. If female soldiers perform poorly, they could put their comrades' lives at risk, strengthen the hand of conservatives who oppose women serving as soldiers, and provoke a backlash from the American public. But if, in the heat of battle, women fight bravely and effectively, it could spark a different sort of debate among the military and the public at large over why regulations and military culture still conspire to keep women from many prime assignments in the nation's service.

* * *
In response to the Gulf War, the Defense Department Advisory Committee on Women in the Services moved to open up a wide range of military occupations to women. When Bill Clinton became president, the committee's more activist members and their allies in the military found a kindred spirit in the White House. Suddenly, high-level Pentagon officials were more receptive to recommendations for opening combat roles to women. Key members of Congress, who had watched women perform well in the Gulf, were also more supportive. Through their efforts, Congress repealed the combat exclusion laws in 1992. Two years later, Secretary of Defense Les Aspin revised the risk rule in favor of a "Direct Combat Probability Code" ("DCPC" in Pentagon-speak) that measured risk more narrowly--by unit, not by geography--and created thousands of new opportunities for wo-men by allowing them into all positions but those most likely to see ground combat: the "trigger-puller" front-line formations such as infantry, armor, artillery, and Special Forces.

As it happened, the trigger-pullers saw most of the action in Afghanistan. But if the United States invades Iraq, women will play a far wider role than ever before in any ground offensive. Female chemical officers will lead the way through contaminated areas; female engineer officers will help direct any efforts to bridge the Euphrates; female helicopter pilots will shuttle the infantry into and out of combat areas during any assault.

Army policy still forbids women from being assigned to combat units at the battalion level and below. (A battalion contains 300-500 soldiers and is likely to be very far forward.) But women can serve in infantry, armor, artillery, and other units at the brigade level and higher--the units directly behind combat battalions on the battlefield--as well as support units like military police and aviation that often work alongside combat units. Recent changes in Army practices and policies include, for example, formally assigning female lieutenants to mixed-gender brigade headquarters while informally attaching them to all-male combat battalions, as the Army does at Ft. Hood, Texas. Why? Because the shortage of male lieutenants is particularly acute in specialties like chemical warfare and intelligence.

Since 1995, the Army has also experimented with a new organizational design for its combat units, transferring many support positions from all-male combat units to mixed-gender support units. Consequently, large numbers of fuelers, medics, and mechanics who now support the fighting arms are women--a change now spreading through the rest of the Army, including the reserves, that will potentially shift thousands of women farther forward on the battlefield than ever before.
Granted, I support the assignment of women to front-line roles. I served in the 4th Infantry Division during its Force XXI redesign, and I led mixed-gender platoons of combat support MPs in Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division and Fort Hood with the 4th Infantry Division. So I have a bias here. But I also have experience here that tells me women can be as effective (if not more so) in many roles than men. And when women can't do the job, it's not because they're women per se — it's because there's a standard for performance that they can't meet. That standard should be applied evenly to men and women, but its existence should not be used as a bar to completely exclude women.

At the end of my piece, I offer this parting thought on the future of women in ground combat:
... so far, as in the Gulf, the worst predictions have not come true--no reports of mass pregnancies or other issues have come to light in Afghanistan. "I'm learning what grunts do, [and] they learn what I do. As MPs, we search people and look for weapons ... I never thought we would be walking for hours or be on the front," MP Sgt. Nicola Hall told a reporter in Afghanistan after the mission. "[The 82nd Airborne soldiers] have been nothing but respectful to us; as long as you walk, carry your own weight and don't whine, you're respected."

Indeed, if mixed-gender units perform as they have in the California desert--and in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan--it would strengthen the integrationist trend in several ways. The least likely possibility would be the elimination of all rules barring women from full combat service, from special forces to light infantry. But even if this were to happen, surveys suggest that only a small number of women would apply. And only a fraction of those who do would have the physical ability and fortitude to make it through, say, the crucible of Army ranger school, from which a majority of qualified men wash out before graduation.

The second, and more likely, possibility is that certain combat jobs currently off-limits to women would be opened. For instance, women can currently serve in Patriot air-defense units, but not in short-range air-defense or offensive artillery units closer to the front--even though the skill levels are virtually the same. Female soldiers frequently win the Army's highest awards for marksmanship and even participate on the U.S. Olympic marksmanship team--but outside the MPs cannot be snipers. If Saddam's Baathist regime falls to U.S. forces that include women, these kinds of job limitations may collapse, too.
By and large, I think the record is clear: women have performed well in Afghanistan and Iraq, in every job imaginable save those select few (e.g. the infantry and special operations forces) where they're still excluded. Several of my close female friends from the military have served in harm's way as MPs (fighting essentially as HMMWV-mounted infantry), Apache helicopter pilots, chemical warfare officers, intelligence officers, civil affairs officers, physicians, and the list goes on. They have all done well; none have failed to accomplish their mission.

The 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, has a motto: "Deeds, not words." It's a powerful motto to me, because it sums up what it means to be a professional warrior. It's not about the uniform, the medals, the show, or the bragging. It's about what you do when you're in a tough spot and your unit is depending on you. Women have proven, by their deeds, not words, that they are worthy to serve our nation in uniform — and to do so in harm's way.