Jan McGirk reporting from Peshawar says the Afghanis and Pakistanis of the Northwest Frontier provinces were offended because they believed men in the US military were doing body searches on the local women. The locals were unwilling to believe that the US soldiers shown in pictures doing the searches were really women. So what's the US military's response to this problem? The Amazon women of the US military are showing what they got.
Some etiquette is evolving. Now American female soldiers start gun raids in Afghanistan by bounding out of helicopters and stripping down to their sports bras. Only then do they take village women aside to be searched. It is a quick way to prove their femininity to Afghan elders unaccustomed to seeing women in trousers. I reckon it must leave quite a few of the old boys slack-jawed and goggle-eyed.
Update: If you go to page 2 of this PDF file (requires Acrobat Reader or similar software) you can see the picture of Sgt Nicola Hall doing a search that so outraged the locals who thought it was a male soldier doing the searches.
Here's a US military Central Command story on the use of female military police to do searches on women in Afghanistan.
by Sgt. Reeba Critser KHOWST, Afghanistan (Army News Service, Oct. 30, 2002) - To this day, the U.S. military has its doors closed to women performing combat arms duties like infantry and cavalry. Nevertheless, three female soldiers in southeastern Afghanistan are breaking barriers as military police. Sgt. Nicola Hall, Cpl. Jill Osowski and Sgt. Stephanie Blazo have all recently accompanied infantrymen to complete MP missions. Hall is the first woman to accompany the infantry in combat operations in theatre. "Taking females out on missions was new to the infantrymen," said Hall, 21st Military Police Company, Fort Bragg, N.C. The female MPs assist infantrymen when Afghan women are searched. "It's tough work, what they do," said Osowski, 972nd Military Police Company, Massachusetts National Guard, Melrose, Mass. "It's a privilege to do it with them." The three travel with the men on almost every mission and have gained a new perspective on an infantryman's work.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 December 14 02:56 PM Off Beat And Odd|