Yes, and they should be integrated with the males
Yes, but keep their units seperate from male units
No, but women should be given some basic infantry skills beyond basic training
No, women should never serve in a role where they may encounter combat
What do you think it would take to shift the structure of combat arms in order to facilitate the inclusion of female combat troops? Would it be a paradigm shift or something less?
How long do you think it would take us to make this transformation so that we could actually field capable female combat units? Part two of this question, do you think it could be done effectively during wartime or do you suggest making the changes now so that we can be prepared later?
Now seriously, nothing I can forsee could be shifted in combat arms, for females to serve as infantry. Someone might point to fighter jets, and say "Well women now fly those", but aside from the normal dangers of just flying a fighter aircraft, the technology advantage we have is so great, that fighter pilots are generally safe from attack. Our ground troops would have to essentially have the same level of safety, meaning the only way they get killed is by a lucky shot, or a bad accident, before I think it would be considered an acceptable practice to put women in specific infantry roles. Imagine if you would, the outcry, if 2200 of our 4000+ US deaths in Iraq were female. The number of casualties sustained by US Forces in the amount of time they have spent in Iraq is staggeringly low, but it is still considered too high by many, with the bulk of it being males. If the casualties are split evenly, or hell even 70/30, it would freak people out that our women were being killed. The calls for withdrawal would be even stronger. The technology protecting our ground troops would have to make a substanial leap, like force fields or something, before our society would consider females as grunts.
My argument is that unless a society is in inherent danger of being destroyed, the society that puts its females in a risk filled situation like the infantry, is making a serious logistical mistake regarding their own sustainability. Unless they are the Chinese. They have plenty of people to throw into the grinder.
"Loyalty only matters when there's a hundred reasons not to be-" Gen. Mattis
Lets start with some basics, one of which you mention, that of a the 'beta' infantry unit composed of female riflemen. In our Army that would seem to indicate that the 'beta' designation means that it is a different type of infantry. For example, in the US military, we have Ranger, Airborne, Air Assault, Mechanized, Light, and Stryker Infantry. Each of those has a different deisignation, right down to individual skill identifiers to ensure the right skills set to ensure the right qualifications of these infantry units. (i.e. it makes no sense to assign a soldier to an airborne unit that is not parachute qualified.)
That 'beta' designation lets any would be war planner know that this is not a standard infantry unit, and I would be willing to bet a paycheck that the unit did not see front line action in the latest Gaza campaign.
It also raises other questions about career progression and inculcation of attitudes. Are these officers competitive for Battalion and Brigade Command? Are the NCO's being culled and trained to become Sergeant's Major? If not, that 'beta' unit is little more than show.
As for the sexuality portion, here are ust some of the places where either I, or friends (I do have them), have found soldiers engaged in sexual acts in either training or combat:
Temproary billets, storage rooms, bathrooms, on an LP/OP, in a HMMWV, in the back of an LMTV, on an LOGPAC assault line waiting to corss the border, in the back of a Bradley, inside a tank, inside a water trailer (which subsequently had to be sterilized so soldiers wouldn't drink the resulting sexual fluids), in an out house, behind a rock, in a pile of trash (and that particular incident involved one woman and six men).
What so many are willing to simply dismiss is something that most military leaders have routinely encountered. It was or Brigade Sergeant Major who caught the couple, both soldiers, going at it in the out house.
This is not just our military. Years ago, we were suspicious of some police forces in Kosovo, and had our scouts monitor them. Within 24 hours we caught male and female police giving and recieving fallacio in broad daylight. (For some reason, they were catching too many weapons smugglers at the time - odd).
When you simply dismiss these concerns, you will run smack into the reality that infantry leaders will not budge on. Until a manner or method is discovered that will adaquately discipline such behavior without shredding the constitutional and legal concepts were are sworn to uphold, the ban will be kept in place.
It isn't about individual qualification, it is about standards that must fit with general trends that can be applied across the board to roughly standardize th resulting unit and its application on the battlefield. The over riding consideration is, and always will be, the likely efficient in battle. No other consideration matters in the slightest.
Finally, there is the reality of the infantry battle. What Tashah refers to is called conditions setting. It is the attempt to establish condition, such as suppression, that allows the introduction of ground forces in as safe a manner as possible. Make no mistake about it though, our enemies are not stupid. They don't hang out clumped together in large groups in the middle of the desert where you can easily identify them and fire cruise missiles from a frigate, bombs from an F-18, or rockets from an apache at them.
The enemy is going to hide among heavily populated urban areas, caves in remote areas, under heavy canopy where they will difficult to spot, in sewers and catacombs, underground, and generally in places that denude easy identification, and make the use of massive firepower difficult at best. Simply put, the enemy does not play to your strengths.
It should comes as no surpise that Al Qaeda is not trying to sink our frigates from Baghdad or Kabul. Instead, they go into places that make our infantry forces more critical than ever before, into areas where physicality and team work are more critical that even to bring about operational and strategic success from a series of small unit, tactical engagements.
The simplest, most effective means of creating and training a unit up to the standards of cohesion and physicality required to be effective in the small unit battles we are fighting, and are likely to fight, is through single sex, all male infantry units.
Many women may chafe under rules of exclusion, simply put though, it is not about you.
Sorry, I just couldn't resist ...
The Associated Press: Army investigates nude photos at Fort Dix
By the way, if that is sand in the back ground, then trust me, there is quite a bit of chaffing going on