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Women break the combat barrier in Iraq, Afghanistan

Staff Report • Nov 20, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Before 2001, America’s military women rarely saw ground combat. Their jobs kept them mostly away from enemy lines, as military policy dictates.But according to a New York Times report, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars have changed that. In both countries, women have repeatedly proved their mettle in combat. The number of high-ranking women and women who command all-male units has climbed considerably along with their status in the military.“Iraq has advanced the cause of full integration for women in the Army by leaps and bounds,” said Peter R. Mansoor, a retired Army colonel who served as executive officer to Gen. David H. Petraeus while he was the top American commander in Iraq. “They have earned the confidence and respect of male colleagues.”Their success, widely known in the military, remains largely hidden from public view. In part, this is because their most challenging work is often the result of a quiet circumvention of military policy. Read the full report at New York Times Web site.

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