Congressional auditors have concluded that restricting women from direct combat roles makes them ineligible for one in six military jobs.
On present battlefields, such as those in Bosnia and Somalia, the battle lines for soldiers are not as clear cut as they once were. In World War II, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf War it was much easier to define forward combat positions devoted exclusively to men because the battle lines were much clearer then.
The General Accounting Office (GAO) reports that battles without traditionally assigned roles are becoming more common today, after the cold war.
The GAO fell short of recommending that the Pentagon update its definition of forward combat jobs that are barred to women. It instead suggested that changes may be required sometime in the future.