US Female Service Personnel Increasingly Caught Up in Combat

A suicide car bomber attacked a U.S. Marine vehicle in the city of Fallujah on Thursday, killing at least six American troops some of whom are believed to have been part of a contingent of female Marines, the U.S. military said on Friday.

The suicide car bombing was followed by a small arms engagement during which more US marines were killed and wounded.

11 of the 13 wounded were reported to be female Marines.

US military spokesmen did not specify how many of the six killed on Thursday were also women but press reports later indicated 3 female marines and a female sailor were also killed.

The deaths brought to 1,731 the number of U.S. troops killed since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein.

The US Army is placing women in support units at the front line for the first time because of a shortage of male soldiers in Iraq. Scores of female soldiers have been added to newly created “forward support companies” that provide maintenance, food service, and other support services to infantry, armour, and special forces units that commonly engage in combat

In response, the Washington Times reports that the elusive – some would say mythical – Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi is now specifically trying to kill or kidnap US female service personnel in an attempt to horrify the American public.

Moreover, U.S. officers say insurgents are developing more powerful “shaped” bombs that are capable of piercing if not destroying U.S. armoured vehicles, greatly increasing the deadliness of their attacks.

All of which compounds the danger facing US female service personnel.

In mid-June, five U.S. Marines were killed in a roadside bomb blast near Ramadi, a rebellious city west of Falluja. The week before five U.S. soldiers were killed in a roadside bomb attack on their vehicle in a nearby town.

More than being an indication of manpower shortage however, the fact that the US military is stepping up the involvement of women in hazardous frontline duties is an indication of their contempt for American women and by extension the American people themselves.

As a former member of the Rhodesian Army Special Forces with extensive combat experience, this writer can personally attest to the truly shocking nature of frontline combat. Only those who out of cowardice have made a point of exempting themselves from such an experience – such as Bush and the Neocons – would wish it upon others, especially women.

Truly, their leaders must hold the American people in utter disdain.

Female soldiers from the US 1st Cavalry Division check equipment before joining a patrol in Baghdad. Photo: AFP