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GOP platform to keep women off front lines

This year’s GOP message for national security will revolve around the mantra of “peace through strength,” with an aim to insulate American forces from “social experimentation.”

Approved portions of the 2012 Republican National Platform dealing with defense would support conscience rights of military chaplains, censure “social experimentation” in the ranks, and maintain opposition to women serving in infantry units.

According to Center for Military Readiness president Elaine Donnelly, who participated in the platform-drafting process, this year’s Republican message for national security revolved around the mantra of “peace through strength.”

“It‚??s a paradigm, it‚??s a meme if you will,” Donnelly told Human Events Tuesday afternoon. The socially conservative planks built into the platform, she said, serve to insulate American forces from distractions and political manipulation and allow them to focus on readiness and the mission.

“Whatever the issue is, if a decision is made with national security first, everything is going to work itself out,” she said.

The decision to continue to support a women’s exemption from ground combat was not a revolutionary step, Donnelly said.

“What is controversial is what Obama‚??s trying to do. The direct ground combat battalions, to gender-integrate them makes no sense,” she said. “The Obama administration is really pressing hard on the Marines and the Army … The Marines the Army, they‚??re looking for assurance that this too shall pass.”

With the end of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” prohibition on gay troops serving openly, the Republican platform includes planks supporting the enforcement of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in the military — a move to curtail the performance of same-sex marriage ceremonies in base chapels — and opposing the wearing of military uniforms at gay pride parades, a practice that was sanctioned by the Pentagon for a San Diego event earlier this summer.

The core messages of the defense platform received overwhelming support from the delegates, Donnelly said, barring some opposition from Ron Paul supporters.

“This party is quite unified. It‚??s, to me, very refreshing,” she said.

Statements from the platform, as provided by CMR, are below:

  • “We reject the use of the military as a platform for¬†social experimentation¬†and will not accept attempts to undermine military priorities and mission readiness.”
  • “We¬†oppose the reinstatement of the draft, whether directly or through¬†compulsory national service.”
  • “We support the advancement of women in the military…[and] We support¬†women’s¬† exemption from direct ground combat units and infantry battalions.”
  • “We affirm the cultural values that encourage selfless service and superiority in battle, and oppose anything that might weaken team cohesion, including intra-military special interest demonstrations.”¬†¬†(This includes the wearing of military uniforms at gay pride parades and activism for same-sex marriages and benefits.)
  • “We will support an objective and open-minded review of the current administration’s management of military personnel policies and will correct problems with appropriate administrative, legal, or legislative action.”
  • “The spiritual welfare of our troops and retired service members should be a priority of our national leadership….there is an urgent need for¬†the kind of¬†counseling that¬†faith-based institutions¬†can best provide.¬† We support rights of conscience and religious freedom for military chaplains and people of faith.¬†¬†A Republican Commander-in-Chief will protect religious independence of military chaplains and will not tolerate attempts to ban Bibles or religious symbols from military facilities.”
  • “We will enforce and defend in court the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), in the armed forces as well as in the civilian world.”
Written By

Hope Hodge first covered military issues for the Daily News of Jacksonville, N.C., where her beat included the sprawling Marine Corps base, Camp Lejeune. During her two years at the paper, she received investigative reporting awards for exposing a former Marine who was using faked military awards to embezzle disability pay from the government and for breaking news about the popularity of the designer drug Spice in the ranks. Her work has also appeared in The American Spectator, New York Sun, WORLD Magazine, and The Washington Post. Hodge was born near Boston, Mass., where she grew up as a lover of Revolutionary War history and fall foliage. She also discovered a love of politics and policy as a grassroots volunteer and activist on Beacon Hill. She graduated in 2009 with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from The King's College in New York City, where she served as editor-in-chief of her school newspaper and worked as a teaching assistant when not freelancing or using student discounts to see Broadway shows. Hope‚??s email is