US Army Considers Including Women in New Combat Structure
The United States Army is currently in discussions with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's staff about formally including women in the new brigade combat team structure the Army plans to implement early next year. The new structure, comprised of “self-contained and self-reliant” combat units called “units of action,” would replace larger divisions that are more unwieldy, according to the Stars and Stripes. The US Army would like to have the ability to assign women to Forward Support Companies that would be permanently attached to the new units of action. Currently in both Iraq and Afghanistan, women are already active in units that support combat units, with the difference being that they are temporarily “attached” and not permanently assigned, the Stars and Stripes reports.
While opponents of women in combat roles decry this proposal, insisting that it violates the ten-year-old ban barring women from combat units, Lt. Col. Chris Rodney, a spokesman for the US Army, has said that in modern war, there are no “front lines,” and that due to this any position in the Army can quickly become a combat role, the Washington Times reports. “The artificial designation of a combat zone has no reality in modern warfare, and it has only served to restrict women’s advancement in the military,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation.
According to the Women’s Research and Education Institute, roughly 10 percent of the US military serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are women. Since the United States invaded Iraq in March of 2003, 793 of the more than 1,000 US soldiers who have been killed were delineated as “combat deaths.” Twenty-four of those combat deaths were women, the Stars and Stripes reports.
6/18/2013 Supreme Court Strikes Down Proof of Citizenship Voter Requirements - On Monday, the United States Supreme Court struck down an Arizona law requiring voters to provide proof of citizenship before being allowed register to vote.
In an opinion written [PDF] by Justice Antonin Scalia, the Court ruled that the Arizona statute violated the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA, also known as the "Motor Voter Law") of 1993, which created a federal form that individuals can mail in to register to vote in federal elections. . . .
6/18/2013 Pakistani Women's University Bus, Hospital Bombed - A bus for a women's university in Pakistan and the hospital that treated victims from the blast were bombed on Saturday, killing 14 students and 24 others at the hospital.
The bus was transporting female students and teachers from Sardar Bahadur Khan Women's University in Quetta, located in the southwestern part of Pakistan. . . .
6/18/2013 Taliban Attack In Afghan Capital As NATO Transfers Power - Yesterday, NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) transferred responsibility for the country's security forces to the Afghan government after a bomb blast targeting a political official left three civilians dead in Kabul. . . .