NO PUNISHMENT FOR PREGNANT SOLDIERS…. A bad idea that was, thankfully, short-lived.

A controversial policy that put pregnant soldiers in war zones at risk of discipline will be rescinded under an order from the top U.S. commander in Iraq.

Gen. Raymond Odierno has drafted a broad new policy for the U.S. forces in Iraq that will take effect Jan. 1, and that order will not include a pregnancy provision that one of his subordinate commanders enacted last month, according to the U.S. military command in Iraq.

Odierno’s order comes about a week after the pregnancy policy issued by Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo triggered a storm of criticism. Cucolo had issued a policy that would permit the punishment of soldiers who become pregnant and their sexual partners.

Now, Cucolo had already started backing off his own policy earlier this week, explaining that he had no intention of actually pursuing courts-martial against female soldiers who get pregnant. It was highly unlikely that a pregnant servicewoman was actually going to end up behind bars.

But it’s nevertheless encouraging to have this matter resolved altogether. Odierno will issue a new general order on Jan. 1, following a thorough review of existing orders. The pregnancy provision will not part of the consolidation.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.