Inhofe: Panetta Sidestepped Congress by Announcing Women in Combat
by AWR Hawkins 25 Jan 2013, 10:29 AM PDT
Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) criticized the Pentagon for telling the public about a policy change on women in combat without telling Congress about it first.
In particular, Inhofe "blasted" what he saw as a tactic of leaking the news to build momentum for it before Congress was even informed.
Although Inhofe made it clear that he supports the contributions women have made to the military, he said there are "practical barriers" which the Pentagon ignored in announcing it will open up combat roles. Specifically, Inhofe cited a "2012 report" which indicated there are "safety and privacy" issues that must be resolved before broader roles for women and military readiness can be simultaneously realized.
Because of these things, Inhofe says the Senate Armed Services Committee, of which he is a Ranking Member, will "have a period to provide oversight and review."
"During that time, if necessary, we will be able to introduce legislation to stop any changes we believe to be detrimental to our fighting forces and their capabilities. I suspect there will be cases where legislation becomes necessary."