Before we let exaggerated cries of a readiness crisis scare us into letting the Pentagon off the hook on further budget cuts, we need to think harder about what we want our armed forces to be ready to do.
The insufficiency of this catch phrase as justification for opposing policy changes on issues of critical importance to our nation sound eerily familiar to those of us involved in previous efforts to change military policies.
When women are by law declared unfit to carry out essential functions of the armed services because of their gender, they are not treated equally. The official policy that legalizes discrimination creates an automatic power imbalance, with only men at the top.
David Petraeus will be trading the honor of a possible fifth silver star for the solemn responsibility -- and honor -- of ensuring that the ultimate sacrifices represented by the more than 100 stars forever carved on that Memorial Wall will not have been for naught.