Female U.S. soldiers are being “encouraged” to wear headscarves in Afghanistan in an effort to get closer to the locals, according to The Daily Caller.
Major Kyndra Rotunda, the executive director of the Military Law and Policy Institute, says that being “encouraged” to do something in the military is tantamount to being “ordered” to do it, putting the servicewomen in a touchy situation.
The Daily Caller reports:
In an effort to get closer to the local population, American female soldiers stationed in Afghanistan are being encouraged to wear a Muslim headscarf when interacting with civilians. But some question whether the practice constitutes cultural sensitivity or a form of appeasement that is degrading to U.S. soldiers.
Major Kyndra Rotunda, executive director of the Military Law and Policy Institute and AMVETS Legal Clinic, told The Daily Caller that while the women are not being ordered to wear the head scarf, encouragement is tantamount to a demand.
“They say they are encouraging women to wear the headscarf when they are out and about and on patrol. But the problem is — and I think anyone who has been in the military understands that being encouraged to do something is about the same thing as being ordered — it really puts them in an uncomfortable position when their commander says, ‘We really want you to do this, technically you don’t have to, but we really want you to do this,’” she said.
Lt. Col. Michael Lawhorn, a U.S. Central Command spokesman, stressed to TheDC that while commanders are encouraging American women to wear headscarves while engaging with civilians, they are not having them wear the headscarf in lieu of their kevlar helmets.