Military needs a return to basics and revocation of the stringent rules of engagement.
A key congressional supporter of Donald Trump says the president-elect’s defense secretary should move quickly to reverse a number of social engineering policies adopted in the Obama years that “have cut down on the warrior mentality.”
Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, told The Washington Times that the armed forces need a counterrevolution. It should reverse at least three policies: women in the infantry, open transgender troops and the near-banishment of the word “man” from Navy and Marine Corps titles.
Mr. Hunter, a high-profile member of House Armed Services Committee, was one of the first in Congress to back Mr. Trump. He co-chaired the New York real estate magnate’s congressional leadership committee and promoted Mr. Trump in op-eds and media interviews.
The Trump transition team is considering Mr. Hunter for Navy secretary or even secretary of defense, a huge steppingstone for a 39-year-old former Marine Corps major.
Here is Mr. Hunter’s Pentagon agenda:
• Reverse the December decision by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to open direct land combat jobs in the infantry and special operations to women.
Mr. Hunter said Mr. Trump should follow the recommendation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Gen. Dunford was the Marine commandant when he recommended continuing the gender ban for infantry and special operations forces, citing Corps studies that show mixed-sex units are inferior to all-male. Mr. Carter and Navy Secretary Ray Mabus rejected his advice.
“Chairman Dunford has been in multiple combat tours,” Mr. Hunter said. “Probably the smartest person in the military, period, and he said leave special ops and infantry out of it. What’s happening now is, again, we’re taking our eyes off the ball and going down on theses side roads.”
The Army and Marines are in the early stages of trying to mold women into the infantry. No woman has applied to be a Navy SEAL, and one failed at becoming a Green Beret.
“It doesn’t do anything to further our capacity as war fighters,” Mr. Hunter said of adding women in direct land combat roles. “It doesn’t do anything to make us more effective or efficient at getting the job done and killing our enemies and protecting our allies. It’s just a distraction. It’s not like there are thousands of women getting into the infantry now. It will never be that way.”
• Nullify the June 30 decision to open the ranks to transgender service members and fund their sex-change procedures.
The Pentagon issued a detailed transgender manual that dictates the responsibilities of medical staff and commanders to shepherd troops through the counseling and medical process.
“Ridiculous,” Mr. Hunter said. “Overturn it immediately because it doesn’t make any sense. How does that help you fight and win wars? That’s what I think Trump is going to bring to this — some common sense. Period.”