At the height of the war in Afghanistan, coalition forces were at risk of being unable to gather vital information and intelligence from women in the towns and villages where they were operating. A solution came from female soldiers, who were sent into these communities as engagement teams - talking to local women who were unlikely to speak to their male colleagues. It was only one example of the benefits that diversity in the armed forces can bring. Yet the debate around whether women should serve tends to focus on physical strength, or gender equality, rather than whether they could actually make the military more effective.