Research - Women Marines

A new role for women Marines in Afghanastan: as members of 'engagement teams' who meet with Afghan women in their homes, assess their need for aid and gather intelligence.

"Your men come to fight, but we know the women are here to help," an old man villager in southern Afghanastan said when the first engagement team of US women Marines arrived. He added, "…and they are good for old eyes."

The NY Times reports that US strategy in Afghanastan has evolved to understanding that "you cannot gain the trust of the Afghan population if you only talk to half of it."

Is this enlightened thinking or more adaptive warfare? Perhaps the answer lies in what they will do with the Afghan hearts and minds once they win them.

Members of a Female Engagement Team speak with a local Afghan man during a patrol in Marjah.
Photo Credit: Cpl Marionne T. Mangrum/Marine Corps

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