WOMEN IN COMBAT
Don’t look for Congress this year to debate legislation that would lift the ban on women in land combat units below the level of brigade.
The congressionally created Military Leadership Diversity Commission recommended in January, in a split vote, to lift the ban that has been the law since 1994.
Congress had asked for a comprehensive report from the Pentagon on women in the military and their current roles. Women may now serve on combat aircraft and ships.
The report was supposed to be done last spring. But a House aide tells reporter Rowan Scarborough that the Pentagon requested an extension to October.
“Based on the extensive nature of the requested review and the desire to conduct a thorough and comprehensive review, the department will provide the report in October 2011,” Pentagon spokeswoman Eileen Lainez told Inside the Ring.
“The nature of today’s conflicts is evolving,” she said. “There are no front lines in Afghanistan. While women are not assigned to units below brigade level whose primary mission is direct combat on the ground, this doesn’t mean they are not assigned to positions in combat zones that could place them in danger.”
Bill Gertz can be reached at insidether firstname.lastname@example.org.