Military advisory committee to urge Obama to allow women to serve on front-line

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Washington, Jan 16 (ANI): A military advisory committee is urging US President Barack Obama and the Congress to allow women to serve on the front-line.

According to The New York Daily News, the Military Leadership Diversity Commission is expected to send its report in the spring.

The paper quoted members of the panel as saying that through their report, they are urging the Obama administration to repeal the combat-barring policy in order to "create a level playing field for all qualified service members."

Women make up approximately 14 percent of the armed forces, including 225,000 of the roughly 2.2 million troops who have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. But they are limited to combat support roles, like medics and logistic officers and are prohibited from serving in direct combat.

"The Armed Forces have not yet succeeded in developing leaders who are as diverse as the nation they serve. Minorities and women still lag behind white men in terms of number of military leadership positions," the report said.

Meanwhile, the move has been criticised by many who fear that women lack required strength and stamina to fight on the frontlines, and argue that Americans cannot afford to lose large numbers of women being killed during combat.

The request for the repeal comes shortly after Congress reversed a policy that banned gays and lesbians from serving open in the military.

The latest report by the commission, established by Congress two years ago and made of retired and current military officers, said keeping women out of combat units also creates a barrier to promotions.

Recent Pentagon statistics revealed that 110 women have been killed in the war in Iraq as compared to 4,300 men. In the Afghanistan war, 24 women have been killed compared to over 1,400 men. (ANI)

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