You Go, Girls
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…all-female teams (3-5 women) [called] Lionesses.
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. Iraqi men were also intimidated by female soldiers and marines. In the macho Arab world, an assertive female with an assault rifle is sort of a man’s worst nightmare. So many otherwise reticent Iraqi men, opened up to the female troops, and provided information. Women also had an easier time detecting a lie (something husbands often learn the hard way.)
The lioness teams proved capable in combat, as sometimes these peacekeeping missions ran into firefights or ambushes. But the main advantage of having a team of women along was the greater amount of intelligence collected. In addition, the female marines also made it easier to establish friendly relationships in neighborhoods and villages. This provided a more long term source of information.