Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Combat for G.I. Janes in Iraq?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Combat for G.I. Janes in Iraq?

Article excerpt

About 2 percent of American soldiers killed in Iraq have been women. Is that figure now high enough to officially proclaim that women are effectively serving in direct land combat, and should be allowed to do so by law?

Many female GIs say they're already in combat whenever they're being shot at or bombed by terrorists - even in mess halls. And some Army planners wonder whether the current scramble to find more male recruits means women will be needed in go-get-'em offensive operations soon.

One Army plan on the table, for instance, would reportedly integrate forward support companies, which now include women, within combat units rather than their current backup role.

Step by step, both the Pentagon and American society are inching toward supporting women in combat. In 1994, after women showed skills as good as or better than men in the Navy and Air Force during the Gulf War, the Clinton administration adjusted Pentagon policy to allow them to serve in combat aircraft and on ships. …

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