The debate still rattles on as of Jan 27, 2013, about Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announcement that women will become active in combat positions in the United States military in a graduated implementation schedule to be completed by 2016.
One extremely positive aspect of women serving in combat positions in the United States present operations in Iraq and more actively in Afghanistan is the psychological affect of women warriors defeating an Islamist terrorist group funded by or associated with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or similar groups.
Islamist religion relegates women to an inferior role in most Islamist states although some countries are progressing toward a role for women that is more normative in the United States mind set.
Now just suppose that an all female assault group kicks the living crap out of a terrorist cell in Afghanistan or any other region where Islamist terrorists are active.
Imagine the psychological effect and deflation of morale that such an event would precipitate in Islamist terrorist circles.
Possibly the potential for such an event played a role in the decision to allow women to assume combat roles in the United States military.
Women have, after all, engaged in combat since time began. Stone age artifacts, Greek and Roman history, and other ancient chronicles detail the effectiveness of women in combat.