PROGRESS

More Women in Top Security Posts

More women are occupying significant positions at the top echelons of America's national security bureaucracy. According to a recent survey by Women in International Security, women comprise between 21 and 29 percent of the senior positions at the State Department, USAID, the Pentagon and other national security and foreign policy agencies, penetrating what has been long considered a "tough guy" field. That same survey found that around 13 percent of the Senior Intelligence Service is female. "From me to the secretary, it's all female," said Karen Look, a key figure in shaping international nuclear policy, who was instrumental in the dismantling of Libya's nuclear weapons program. Several officials say the rise has very little to do with the way the current administration is being run, but rather is a natural progression of women being promoted since taking national security jobs in the 1970s and 1980s. Nuke experts deny that women have a particularly more "peace-loving" outlook than men and have changed policy, but some do admit that women are "perhaps more attuned to working on teams."