News and Events

Let Women Fight: Ending the U.S. Military’s Female Combat Ban

6 November, 2012

Megan Mackenzie publshed an essay in the November/December issue of Foreign Affairs titled: "Let Women Fight: Ending the U.S. Military's Female Combat Ban".

This essay on the combat exclusion policy within the US military is the lead essay in the November/December issue of Foreign Affairs. The combat exclusion was created based on the assumption that female soldiers are weaker and may disrupt combat troop dynamics, thereby detracting from national security. This article examines the current relevance of the policy, given the nature of modern warfare, evidence of women’s contributions to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the impacts of recent policy changes associated with women and war. Research is used to support the argument that dominant contentions used to justify the combat exclusion are not fuelled by evidence about women’s professional performance or their impact on troop dynamics; rather they reflect gendered ideals associated with war and masculinity. Foreign Affairs was recently ranked as  the number one publication in influence among U.S. opinion leaders, ahead of all other media, both print and broadcast, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Unlike many competing publications, Foreign Affairs has seen a steep increase in its readership- including a 42% increase since 2001. 

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