"An unabashed liberal wish list" is how the Associated Press defined Obama's last inaugural address. Obama's in-your-face liberalism includes lifting the ban on women in combat. If gays can serve openly, why shouldn't women have every opportunity to serve in the one-time male brotherhood of combat arms? Such an opportunity, if that's what you'd label it, has arrived as the ban was lifted allowing America's daughters into the "grand gruntship" of Uncle Sam's war machine.

All's fair in love and war has finally come full circle, 21st century style.

Perhaps, in the order of equality, all 18-year-old women must register, like their male counterparts, with the Selective Service.

Please understand all salient points against women serving in combat have absolutely nothing to do with courage, devotion to duty, sexism or misogyny. Women have served our military faithfully since the American Revolution.

Women do many things as well as men and some things better.

Once upon a time, the military was a bastion against the bankruptcy of the liberal ethos. Those days have been washed away by the likes of Democratic Sen. Carl M. Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who believes sending women to fight, "reflects the reality of 21st century military operations." Levin is another prototypical elitist who skipped his opportunity to pick up a weapon and serve, instead opting for a Harvard deferment during the Vietnam War.

Not one politician or general has made the substantiated argument why and how this change will improve combat efficiency. The lack of Congressional debate is a dereliction of duty.

To insinuate women are physically different from men is to be liberated from the dominion of politically correct ideology. Such a divergence of physicality should be applauded rather than viewed as defective. During the tumultuous days of the sexual revolution, women were burning their bras; now they'll be chanting "pick up your rifle and follow me, I am Marine Corps infantry."

Perhaps after enduring boot camp and then combat training while fighting off the advances of affectionately starved grunts, taking on terrorists will be cake.

Men and women have always had separate physical fitness standards. Yet those standards would be lowered according to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey, "If we do decide that a particular standard is so high that a woman couldn't make it, the burden is now on the service to come back and explain to the secretary, why is it that high? Does it really have to be that high?"

The "USMC Women in the Service Restrictions Review" found that women have 20 percent lower aerobic power, 40 percent lower muscle strength, 47 percent less lifting strength and 26 percent slower marching speed than men. When standards are lowered it only invites defeat, and is a disservice to our country and military. Why should anyone accept someone who can't make the grade? Such changes will ruin unit cohesion. Like it or not, war is the ultimate exercise in inequality. Be prepared to withstand the horror awaiting female POWs, not to mention plenty of body bags.

Of all the male veterans I queried, everyone agreed that this is not in the best interests of anyone - sans some hardcore, braless feminists with a bayonet to grind. Under the guise of feminism, equality is all that matters, regardless of the consequences to combat efficiency, morale and readiness.

Combat arms is one thing - victory by attrition - to kill the enemy with the most lethal and effective means possible. Logic dictates only the most capable should bear that responsibility.

Rationalizing that those women who honorably served in Iraq and Afghanistan have proven their mettle in combat is flawed with false assumptions. Getting shot at and being exposed to IEDs is not the same as extended offensive ground campaign. Just because women can now serve in forward areas in supporting roles and can return fire when engaged does not run parallel to attacking firefights.

One old Marine cannon cocker was as blunt as only a Jarhead can be, "I don't know of any woman who is going to pick up a 90-pound fused round, chest high and shove it into the hot breach of a 155mm towed howitzer and do it repeatedly. Anyone who cannot keep up is a liability, and since most gun crews rarely have a full complement, everyone must execute every function without fail."

Heterosexual relationships in a confined and unorthodox environment result in what Huffington Post reported: "the high rate of pregnancies - one of the best non-secrets among troops." When placed in the constricted venues, especially under stressful conditions, things happen. What happens when a couple breaks up but must still work side-by-side, facing an enemy who wants to kill them? I wonder if Obama would approve of his two daughters deploying to a hot landing zone, pregnant?

Combat effectiveness is based on unit cohesion. The relationships among members of a unit can be irreparably harmed by muddling societal criterions. Ask any fraternity brother if men act differently around women. Introduce sexual envy into a unit whose decisions mean life and death and you are likely to get more of the latter.

The military is not a PC laboratory for Marxist social engineering. Equality in the field of fire does not exist among the sexes; just like it doesn't exist in the NFL, NBA, NHL or MLB.

What our civil leadership fails to grasp or, worse, doesn't care is that unit cohesion is irreplaceable in the success of any mission. Sadly, our PC culture is so exploited by politicians who don't serve the military, but they use the military to serve them and their agenda. Equality does not mean that we are physically the same. To disregard the unique attributes of the sexes insults everyone. Combat is no place for a woman. Grunts know this. So do most women. As a nation, do we want to live with the intended and unintended consequences?

(Maresca, a local freelance writer, composes "Talking Points" for each Sunday edition.)