A new book by University of Sydney senior lecturer Megan Mackenzie will be launched tonight at the United States Studies Centre.

Beyond the Band of Brothers: The US Military and the Myth That Women Can't Fight interrogates the key arguments behind the US combat exclusion policy, which was defended as essential to national security until its 2013 reversal.

Her work argues against assertions that this reversal represents a new era for women in the military, showing how women's exclusion from combat reaffirmed male supremacy and sustained a key military myth: that of the band of brothers.

Stephen Smith, who was minister for defence when Australia removed its restrictions on combat roles for women in 2011, will launch the book at an event co-hosted by the US Studies Centre and the Perth USAsia Centre. Smith is now a professor of international law at the University of Western Australia and a member of the Perth USAsia Centre board.

Beyond the Band of Brothers is published by Cambridge University Press and is on sale now. Further details at the Cambridge University Press website.

Megan Mackenzie can be found on Twitter at @meganhmackenzie and her website. Guests at the launch are encouraged to tweet using the hashtag #BeyondBandofBros.

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Jonathan Bradley