Women have become an integral part of the armed forces, but they are excluded from most combat jobs. Several issues remain. One is whether to reduce, maintain, or expand the number of women in the services as the total forces are being reduced. A second question is to what extent women should continue to be excluded from some combat positions by policy. Would national security be jeopardized or enhanced by increasing reliance on women in the armed forces? Should women have equal opportunities and responsibilities in national defense? Or do role and physical differences between the sexes, the protection of future generations, and other social norms require limiting the assignments of women in the armed forces? Opinion in the United States is deeply divided on the fundamental issues involved.
This report provides information and analysis for use by Members of Congress as they deliberate on the Japanese response to the Gulf crisis and, perhaps more important, what it may mean for future U.S.-Japanese relations. The first chapter briefly reviews Japanese government actions in response to the crisis, from August 1990 to February 1991. A second section examines in detail the various factors and constraints that affected Japanese policy. The final section offers conclusions and examines implications of the episode for future U.S.-Japanese relations. Published sources for the report are cited in footnotes.