A report entitled “United States Marine Corps Assessment of Women in Service Assignments” has been prepared by a brigadier general for the Commandant of the Marines. It was done because the military is under orders to implement full gender equality by Jan. 1, 2016.

The report, obtained by Fox News, has some information that should be discouraging for (but will probably be attacked or ignored by) those who favor women in the front lines with men:

A report conducted by the U.S. Marine Corps on integrating women into all military units concluded that even the top female troops likely cannot cut it in the special operations forces — even though they typically have better disciplinary records and perform better at problem solving.

“The data in this report indicates that even striking what appears to be a balance for setting standards will likely introduce some level of risk across all of these factors,” the report by Brigadier Gen. George Smith concludes. “The recommendation to open or to request such an exception to policy for any MOS [Military Occupational Specialty] or unit will depend on the Marine Corps’ tolerance for the level of risk that such a change would impose.”

While highlighting the achievements of many outstanding female Marines, the report finds that overall elite female troops do not reach the same physical standards as their male counterparts. Smith notes that more than 400 women have received Combat Action Ribbons for service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“There is no more compelling evidence that our female Marines have served very capably and courageously in combat and have distinguished themselves in non-linear, extremely complex operating environments,” the report states. “However, none of those rewards reflected a female Marine having to “locate, close with and destroy the enemy” in deliberate offensive combat operations. Rather, these actions were all in response to enemy action in the form of IED strikes, enemy attacks on convoys or bases or attacks on female Marines serving in the Lioness Program or on Female Engagement Teams.”

The report does note that female service members have better overall disciplinary records than men, and highlights that “in a decision-making study that we ran in which all male and integrated groups attempted to solve challenging field problems [that involved] varying levels of both physical and cognitive difficulty… the female integrated teams (with one female and three or four males) performed as well or better than the all-male teams.”

This is a very important report, but I doubt if it will have as much effect as it should. If you regard the military as an engine for social engineering rather than a fighting force aimed at prevailing in combat (what a patriarchal idea!) then this just won't matter. Besides, you can always attack the messenger. I'm waiting to hear that the brigadier general was a sexist.

As this report makes clear, there is an important place for women in the military. But the idea that women must serve on the front lines and in special opps, while ideologically appealing, is not backed up by this likely soon-to-be-attacked report.