Just to cover the basic arc of the events as background, on Monday of last week Joe Biden made a televised announcement regarding the promotion of two female Army Officers to positions of “combatant commanders” which puts them in positions with either geographic or functional missions that provide command and control of military forces wartime. They are the first women to ever hold such positions in the US military.
During his FoxNews program on Wednesday night, Tucker Carlson compared the priorities of the Biden Department of Defense as expressed by Biden’s comments during that televised announcement to recent reports from China about policies being adopted by the Chinese to increase the “masculinity” of Chinese men as a means of improving the lethality of China’s military forces. Carlson made the point that the two countries’ approaches to developing an effective fighting force in the form of their respective militaries seemed to be going in opposite directions.
Here is that segment from Carlson’s show on Youtube — I urge you to watch it all. https://www.youtube.com/embed/COQ8exApyEc?start=19&feature=oembed
The Department of Defense responded to Carlson’s comments on Thursday:
The comments from Carlson provoked such criticism among military leaders that top Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby took time at the start of his press briefing on Thursday “to briefly address some recent comments made by the host of a popular cable show.”
Speaking to reporters, Kirby described “the diversity of our military” as “one of our greatest strengths” and acknowledged that “we still have a lot of work to do to make our military more inclusive, more respectful of everyone, especially women.”
“But what we absolutely won’t do is take personnel advice from a talk show host or the Chinese military,” Kirby said….
He added that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “shares the revulsion” of other leaders who have criticized Carlson’s remarks.
Next was the sudden entry into the fray of various “official” DOD Twitter accounts, with the persons posting behind those accounts attacking Carlson’s comments, and “defending” the performance of women in their military service. These included official public information officer accounts, and official accounts of senior enlisted “non-commissioned officers” and even General Officers.
Carlson responded to this assault on his comments over the course of the week, but I’m not going to recount here what he said. Rather, let’s examine just what it is which underlies the “wokeness” campaign in the military — which really began during the Obama Administration with the “squeezing out” of the officer ranks to create openings and upward mobility for promotion of “favored” candidates.
The pace of this process quickened as force levels were reduced in Iraq and Afghanistan, and fewer active-duty officers were needed. The officer ranks in the military is an “up or out” system. Every Major who remains on active duty when the possibility of promotion to Lt. Colonel ends is blocking the path to promotion for a Captain waiting for promotion to the rank of Major. At every step up in the Chain of Command, there are fewer positions to be promoted into. Some get promoted, and most of those who don’t are “encouraged” to leave active duty when their prospects for promotion come to an end.
Those promotions come with increases in pay — but more importantly, with increases in retirement benefits.
And, greater prospects for lucrative post-retirement employment opportunities in the private sector.
When these considerations are joined with the “civil rights” issues of “equal opportunity in employment” from civilian law, you get what we are now seeing in the upper ranks of the military — a focus on creating an “up or out” system that RESULTS in equal success rates for all constituencies who claim entitlement to such outcomes as a matter of law and civil rights prohibiting discrimination.
Relying on the expertise of others here at RedState with a military background that I do not have, the priorities in terms of military preparedness can be generally stated as:
Any decision regarding adjusting military policy should be for the purpose of advancing one of these priorities. Any policy that works to the detriment of any of these priorities should be abandoned.
There is no dispute that, as an anecdotal matter, women have served in the military effectively, lethally, and honorably in combat and non-combat roles over the past 4 decades. That is not a matter open to debate.
What should be open to debate — but which the Biden DOD is seeking to suppress discussions about — are policies that advance sociological priorities without regard for, or to the knowing detriment of, the military priorities listed above.
The downsizing of the force structure of all branches of the military during the Clinton Administration, and later again in the aftermath of the most active phases of the Iraq war, was largely accomplished by removing many military support operations and transferring them to civilian contractors. The Iraq and Afghanistan wars, combined with the presence of US military forces at other “flashpoints” around the world, have created an ever-growing demand for such civilian services in support of military operations.
A 20+ year military career that begins in one’s early 20s comes to an end in an individual’s mid-to-late 40s. That leaves a meaningful opportunity for a long second career in private industry. A lucrative landing spot coming out of a lengthy military career is the defense contractor sector or the military support services industry. The higher one’s rank in the military at the time of retirement, the better one’s job prospects are during post-retirement.
A career as a military officer has always been a foundation for entry into civilian corporate management after retirement.
Civilian civil rights laws demand that such corporate management opportunities be open to all constituencies of the population as a whole on an equal basis.
From that premise, reverse sociological engineering compels the conclusion that the ranks of military officers must reflect all constituencies of the population as a whole. If otherwise, the “bridge” between the military and the corporate sector unfairly favors some constituencies over others.
Any aspects of military training or qualification that disfavor a particular constituency stand in the way of such “equality of outcomes” for promotion to upper ranks, and those aspects must be adjusted or done away with in order to achieve equality of outcomes.
But such considerations do not advance the war-fighting capabilities or priorities of an effective military force as listed above.
“Wokeness” in the military is for the purpose of eliminating debate over policies that do not advance military effectiveness, but instead seek to improve the prospects for advancement in the officer ranks for constituencies thought to have been disadvantaged historically by traditional qualification standards.
When selection for advancement no longer focuses on the “best and brightest”, but rather on the issue of whether the end-product produces success by all aspects of society at large, you no longer get the “best and brightest”.
The phrase “Get woke and go broke” takes on a different and more ominous tone when it comes to matters of national security.