A 'gender gap' in Obama administration’s approach to war?
Senior men in the Obama administration argued against a no-fly zone in Libya. But several prominent women, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Ambassador Susan Rice, pushed for military action.
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With women in uniform fighting – and dying – in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’re long past the point where it’s extraordinary (although still argued about) to see women earning Purple Hearts and other combat decorations. They’ve been fighter pilots for years.
But as I read about the Obama administration’s evolution in support of military action against Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi, I couldn’t help but notice an important distinction in the line up of senior officials.
Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz said laying the groundwork for a no-fly zone would take “upwards of a week.” That was two days ago, and already the bombs from allied jets are falling on Libyan military targets. So are cruise missiles from US Navy ships in the Mediterranean Sea.
But as Qaddafi’s army and air force kept pounding the rebels and the United Nations moved – faster than its typically glacial speed – to stop the Libyan dictator from killing more of his own people, it was senior women in the administration who pushed the process toward military intervention.