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Sound of Ideas, The : Women as Combat Troops

Sound of Ideas, The
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, with the backing of the joint chiefs of staff, has announced plans to lift a long-standing ban on military women in combat. It will, he says, "ensure that the mission is met with the best qualified and most capable people, regardless of gender." Critics say women are in for a rude awakening and worry that the dynamic of mixing genders could weaken fighting troops. What do you think?


Victoria Barrientos, U.S. Army veteran
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Jessie Jane Duff (Ret.), Concerned Veterans of America
Peter Mansoor, chair, Military history, Ohio State University
Mirit Balkan, former sharpshooter, Israeli Defense Force