Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Military, Scientific, and Technological: Beyond the Band of Brothers: The U.S. Military and the Myth That Women Can't Fight

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Military, Scientific, and Technological: Beyond the Band of Brothers: The U.S. Military and the Myth That Women Can't Fight

Article excerpt

Military, Scientific, and Technological Beyond the Band of Brothers: The U.S. Military and the Myth That Women Can't Fight BY MEGAN MACKENZIE. Cambridge University Press, 2015, 200 pp.

The demands of combat require infantry troops to form strong emotional relationships based on trust and mutual dependence, to become a "band of brothers," in the historian Stephen Ambrose's phrase. At various points in U.S. history, military leaders and civilian defense officials have relied on that fact to resist the integration of African Americans, gays, and women into the infantry, arguing that their presence would disrupt the bonding process. In each case, the demands of maintaining an all-volunteer army, along with rapid changes in social mores, rendered that resistance futile: all three groups are now part of the American fighting force. …

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