I find that very interesting. The aim of the women on these missions wasn't combat although they were trained for it if required. I have talked about my opinion on women in combat in my post "Women in the special forces?" that women can be used in other roles which don't require direct physical confrontation like they did during WW-II. I had cited the example of Israeli women soldiers and their failure to prove my point. But I agree with Burgess Laughlin who said in the comments section:
June 29, 2009: In both Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. Army and Marines found it useful to send a female soldier along on raids, as it was less disruptive to have a woman search the female civilians. There was no shortage of volunteers for this duty. The marines, as is their custom, saw more opportunities in this. Thus the marines began sending a team of women on such missions....
The marines also noticed that the female troops were better at picking up useful information in general. This is something Western police forces noted, in the last few decades, as women were allowed to work in all areas of police work, including detectives and crime scene investigators.
It is the first time I have heard of women soldiers being used not because of the political pressures or reasons unrelated to the pupose of the missions. I hope that the role assigned to women in the above case is based on valid reasons and overcomes what Mr. Laughlin described as the mystically assigned roles for men and women in society in general.
It would be a hasty generalization indeed to look at one historical instance--or even a number of them--and draw a universal conclusion. For example, to reach the universal conclusion one would have to show that the culture values of those men and women were objective. The culture of Israel was certainly not objective. It, like all cultures today and in the past, was steeped in some degree of mystically assigned roles for men and women in society in general.
A researcher would have to identify the widest differences--that is, the differences that apply to all men and women in all circumstances before drawing a universal conclusion that women cannot participate in combat effectively.