Women Warriors: Why the Robotics Revolution Changes the Combat Equation

Authored by: Colonel Linell A. Letendre

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: National Security Forces and Armed Groups, Security Sector Reform (SSR)
Country: United States
Region: North America
Year: 2016
Citation: Letendre, Linell. “Women Warriors: Why the Robotics Revolution Changes the Combat Equation,” Prism 6, no. 1 (2016): 91-103

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Executive Summary

In the wake of women successfully integrating into submarines and graduating from Army Ranger School, an additional—and heretofore underappreciated—factor is poised to alter the women in combat debate: the revolution in robotics and autonomous systems. The technology leap afforded by robotics will shift the debate from whether women are able to meet combat standards to how gender diversity in combat will improve the U.S. military’s fighting capability. Over the next decade, the U.S. military will reap huge benefits from robotic and autonomous systems that will fundamentally change both the tools used on the battlefield and the approach taken to combat. Not only will robotic technology undermine the standard arguments against women in combat, but full gender integration across all combat roles will maximize American employment of autonomous systems and corresponding combat effectiveness.