Security Challenges
Volume 14, No.2 (2018)

Beyond the Band of Brothers- The US Military and the Myth that Women Can't Fight

“The presence of the female Marines [in Afghanistan] brought to the fore issues of human security. Female counterinsurgents are one of the few advantages we have over our adversaries”. As Hudson and Leidl recognise, American women have existed in combat situations in most major wars of the past century. Despite this, it could be said that our history books have done little to document women’s presence and contributions, almost to the point where many would believe that prior to the 2013 decision to reverse the combat exclusion of women in the United States, women simply were not involved in combat. Within this context, reading Megan Mackenzie’s book Beyond the Band of Brothers (2015) is a welcome relief to know more about women in combat and learn more of the controversial nature of their engagement.

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