Three thousand years of recorded history has reserved warfighting for men and, in 2017, we continue to rely on ideas of hegemonic masculinity to understand who participates in war. However, women have played a vital role in the context of warfare from its inception. In the twenty-first century, women’s service is critical to the types of conflicts militaries regularly confront – specifically, counter insurgency and peacekeeping operations. The intersection of gender and security today provides new routes to peaceful prosperity globally. Applying gender initiatives to militaries – whether it means creating a gender balanced force, the integration of women into combat arms, or the adoption of gender perspectives by male soldiers – could fundamentally shift culture and revolutionize the organization. Indeed, the structure of armed forces, the demographics of military elites, and the soldier’s orientation to operational imperatives will all change as a result. Taking seriously the concept of gender in the military context, as I argue in this paper, constitutes a Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). This alternative understanding of how militaries approach war, in direct opposition to how militaries have engaged historically, bring new possibilities to the forefront. In this paper, I will review the literature on RMA and introduce a re-conceptualized RMA to include gender and culture as critical variables. Concrete examples from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will illustrate the significant advantages this new paradigm brings, from increased operational effectiveness to the maintenance of security in a globalized world.
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Archer, Emerald M.
"Winning War in a Globalized World: Utilizing Women & Gender Initiatives in 21st Century Conflict,"
Markets, Globalization & Development Review:
2, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.uri.edu/mgdr/vol3/iss2/3