Dem U.S. Marine Corps, der vierten, meist für Interventionen eingesetzten Teilstreitkraft der USA gehören seit mehr als 70 Jahren Frauen an – allerdings nicht in den Kampftruppen an vorderster Front. Ob sich daran etwas ändert, scheint nach einer am (heutigen) Donnerstag bekanntgewordenen Untersuchungsreihe der Marines fraglich: Gemischte Kampfeinheiten aus Männern und Frauen, so das Ergebnis der Untersuchung, sind weniger effektiv als rein männliche Einheiten.
Für diese Untersuchungsreihe hatten die Marines eigens eine Einheit zusammengestellt, in der beide Geschlechter vertreten sind. Die Studie wurde durch Berichte der Washington Post und des Christian Science Monitor bekannt. Aus der Zusammenfassung der Untersuchung:
• Overall: All-male squads, teams and crews demonstrated higher performance levels on 69% of tasks evaluated (93 of 134) as compared to gender-integrated squads, teams and crews. Gender-integrated teams performed better than their all-male counterparts on (2) events.
• Speed: All-male squads, regardless of infantry MOS, were faster than the gender-integrated squads in each tactical movement. The differences were more pronounced in infantry crew-served weapons specialties that carried the assault load plus the additional weight of crew-served weapons and ammunition.
• Lethality: All-male 0311 (rifleman) infantry squads had better accuracy compared to gender- integrated squads. There was a notable difference between genders for every individual weapons system (i.e. M4, M27, and M203) within the 0311 squads, except for the probability of hit & near miss with the M4.
• Male provisional infantry (those with no formal 03xx school training) had higher hit percentages than the 0311 (school trained) females: M4: 44% vs 28%, M27: 38% vs 25%, M16A4w/M203: 26% vs 15%.
• All-male infantry crew-served weapons teams engaged targets quicker and registered more hits on target as compared to gender-integrated infantry crew-served weapons teams, with the exception of M2 accuracy.
• All-male squads, teams and crews and gender-integrated squads, teams, and crews had a noticeable difference in their performance of the basic combat tasks of negotiating obstacles and evacuating casualties. For example, when negotiating the wall obstacle, male Marines threw their packs to the top of the wall, whereas female Marines required regular assistance in getting their packs to the top. During casualty evacuation assessments, there were notable differences in execution times between all-male and gender-integrated groups, except in the case where teams conducted a casualty evacuation as a one-Marine fireman’s carry of another (in which case it was most often a male Marine who „evacuated“ the casualty).
(Die Zusammenfassung hier)
In den USA läuft derzeit eine Debatte über die Zulassung von Frauen in die Kampfeinheiten, die ihnen bislang verwehrt sind – und die Diskussion wurde heftiger, nachdem im August erstmals zwei Frauen die Ranger School der U.S. Army absolvierten.
Die Studie – besser: was bisher davon bekannt geworden ist – stützt die Ansicht derjenigen, die Frauen vor allem wegen geringerer Körperkraft für problematisch an vorderster Front halten. Darüber hinaus war die Verletzungsgefahr, so die Ergebnisse der Marines, für Frauen größer als für Männer – ein in Gefechtssituationen kritischer Punkt.
Aus dem Bericht des Washington Post-Kollegen Dan Lamothe, der die Untersuchung zuerst publik machte:
Women in a new Marine Corps unit created to assess how female service members perform in combat were injured twice as often as men, less accurate with infantry weapons and not as good at removing wounded troops from the battlefield, according to the results of a long-awaited study produced by the service.
The research was carried out by the service in a nine-month long experiment at both Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Twentynine Palms, Calif. About 400 Marines, including 100 women, volunteered to join the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, the unit the Marine Corps created to compare how men and women do in a combat environment. (…)
The research raises the question whether the Marine Corps may press to keep the infantry and Special Operations, in particular, closed to women.
An der Anlage der Studie gibt es aber auch Kritik, wie der Christian Science Monitor berichtet:
The Marine Corps’ conclusions have sparked criticism from female Marines and others, who argue that the study was poorly conducted and biased toward a belief that men are biologically and psychologically built to be better fighters.
Indeed, efforts to integrate combat units constitute “social engineering,” Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, a former Marine infantryman who served as Director of Operations on the Pentagon’s Joint Staff before he retired, argued in an op-ed this week that was widely seen as laying the groundwork for the Marines’ experimental task force study release.
In der Bundeswehr stellt sich zwar nicht die Frage, ob Kampftruppen für Frauen geöffnet werden sollen, zumindest nicht formal. Die Debatte, die auch in Deutschand bisweilen recht emotional (von Männern) geführt wird, könnte damit aber noch mal Fahrt aufnehmen.
(Aus dem letztgenannten Grund werden auch in diesem Thread die Kommentare moderiert.)
Nachtrag: Der zuständige Staatssekretär für die U.S. Navy, Ray Mabus, hat in einem Interview mit National Public Radio zu der Studie Stellung genommen:
Navy Secretary Believes Combat Positions Should Be Open To Qualified Women
MABUS: It started out with a fairly large component of the men thinking this is not a good idea and women will never be able to do this. When you start out with that mindset you’re almost presupposing the outcome.
DAVID GREENE, HOST: Are you saying this was a flawed study?
MABUS: I’m saying that I think that when you call it empirical standards, that it depends on what you put in. And if you look at some of the analysis – some of the outside analysis of this – from Center for Naval Analyses, they’ve looked at these and they said there are ways to mitigate this so you can have the same combat effectiveness, the same lethality, which is crucial.
MABUS: Well, for example, part of the study said women tend to not be able to carry as heavy a load for as long. But there were women that went through the study that could. And part of the study said we’re afraid because women get injured more frequently, that over time, women will break down more, that you’ll begin to lose your combat effectiveness over time. That was not shown in this study. That was an extrapolation based on injury rates. I’m not sure that’s right. But it is something that you can set a standard for. But to make that sort of generalization – there were individual women who could meet this standard.
Nachtrag 2: Anna Mulrine hat für den Christian Science Monitor mal genauer analysiert, warum die Marines so gegen Frauen in Kampfeinheiten sind – und wie die U.S. Army das Thema (ganz anders) angeht.
(Foto: U.S. Marine drill instructors with 4th Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island stand at parade rest as they wait to give a demonstration of what recruits encounter during pick-up week, the first week of recruit training, during the 70th anniversary of women in the Marine Corps aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., March 1, 2013 – U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl Aneshea S. Yee)