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Women in Combat: History and Today’s Debate

Mon, Mar 27, 2017, 4:00pm - 6:00pm

Please click here for the C-SPAN video of this lecture.

You are cordially invited to a discussion on

Women in Combat: History and Today’s Debate

Dr. Anna Simons
Professor of Defense Analysis, Naval Postgraduate School

Monday, March 27
4:00 PM

The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, D.C.


This event is co-sponsored by the FPI Center for Military and Diplomatic History.
Elaine Donnelly, founder and president of the Center for Military Readiness, will serve as moderator.

FPI Center for Military and Diplomatic History


Women in Combat 380x204About the lecture:

In December 2015, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter declared the opening of all U.S. military combat jobs to women. The decision followed a long and controversial review of the implications of allowing women into combat units, during which the US Marine Corps and large numbers of military personnel objected to a change in policy. The inclusion of women in combat units is in the early stages of implementation; whether the new administration will seek to revise or overturn the policy remains to be seen. Dr. Anna Simons, a veteran of the debate, will discuss the history of the issue of women in combat units. She will explain why that history is relevant to the current situation, and offer her views on the best way forward.

About the speaker:

Anna Simons is a Professor of Defense Analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School. Prior to teaching at NPS she was both an assistant and then an associate professor of anthropology at UCLA, as well as chair of the Masters in African Area Studies Program. She holds a PhD in social anthropology from Harvard University and an A.B. from Harvard College. She is the author of Networks of Dissolution: Somalia Undone and The Company They Keep: Life Inside the U.S. Army Special Forces. Most recently she is the co-author of The Sovereignty Solution: A Commonsense Approach to Global Security. He articles have appeared in The American InterestThe National InterestSmall Wars & InsurgenciesAnnual Review of AnthropologyParameters, and elsewhere. Simons has also written for The Washington PostThe New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. Before attending graduate school, she worked as a reporter and as a presidential speechwriter, and spent several years traveling and working abroad.

About the moderator:

Elaine Donnelly is founder and president of the Center for Military Readiness, an independent, nonpartisan public policy organization that reports on and analyzes military/social issues. She has served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services and the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, and was the recipient of the American Conservative Union’s Ronald Reagan Award. Donnelly has provided testimony to Congress and published articles on military personnel issues in the Washington PostUSA Today, the Boston GlobeNational Review Online, the Washington TimesCongressional Quarterly Researcher, and the Naval Institute’s Proceedings. She attended Schoolcraft College and the University of Detroit and resides in Livonia, Michigan.

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