‘Diversity Is Our Strength,’ They Lied
Above, a former Special Forces soldier who transitioned -- watch his story here. Transitioning to a more diverse military is the future of the US armed forces, according to its leaders. From a Military Times story about the future of Special Operations:
The days of the burly, bearded dude in Oakleys as the face of special operations might be waning. Special operations forces need a different focus, the director of strategy, plans and policy for Special Operations Command Central said Monday.
While there is a place for the door-kicker aesthetic, she added, “the people, and the mindset, and the creativity that we’re trying to recruit right now is much different than that.”
Part of that might look like more of a focus on the civil affairs and psychological operations parts of SOCOM, the organizations that do more of the “hearts and minds” work before a conflict gets to the point where operators are going after high-value targets in the middle of the night.
The other part could reflect SOCOM’s recent commitment to diversity and inclusion, which most notably, aims to recruit more women and minorities into SOF organizations.
“... but I think it is difficult for them to promote and bring on talent that looks different than them,” Crombe said of existing leadership, who came up not only in the time of the burly, bearded operator, but in a time where combat deployments meant more than any other measure of skill or leadership.
When someone has taken time out of the deployment churn to further their education or take a position outside the prescribed pipeline, “it just, it doesn’t compute somehow in these [selection and promotion] boards,” she said.
The issue will be not only perpetuating that kind of diversity, she said, but keeping it within the organization, so that they are promoted to the highest ranks and they leave a lasting mark.
To do that, SOCOM will have to put people it wouldn’t normally select into leadership positions, but also learn to be okay with the results if it doesn’t all go smoothly. [Emphasis mine -- RD]
“And I think that that’s probably the biggest diverse takeaway,” Haver said. “It’s going to look different than probably a lot of people are comfortable with, and we’re going to have to be uncomfortable moving forward. The goodness and that is that it’s a team effort.”
Can you believe it? We are talking about war-fighting here. The Pentagon is talking about recruiting and promoting for characteristics other than the ability to fight wars. What on earth do they think that "to be okay with the results if it doesn't all go smoothly" means? That we should be okay with losing a war, but knowing that we did so with a diverse fighting force?
America is going to have to get its butt kicked in a major war for this ideological madness to go away. One of the reasons the Soviets did so poorly in World War II at first is that Stalin had cashiered capable officers who were ideologically unreliable. How many such officers in the US military today are either leaving the military in despair over its politicization, or will not have a chance to serve to the fullest of their capacities because they are white males?
What kind of military does this to itself? The British military, for one. A Sky News report from this past summer:
The head of RAF recruitment has resigned in protest at an "effective pause" on offering jobs to white male recruits in favour of women and ethnic minorities, defence sources have claimed.
The senior female officer apparently handed in her notice in recent days amid concerns that any such restrictions on hiring, however temporary and limited, could undermine the fighting strength of the Royal Air Force (RAF), the sources said.
They said the service was attempting to hit "impossible" diversity targets.
The defence sources accused Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, the head of the RAF, of appearing willing to compromise UK security at a time of growing threats from Russia and China in pursuit of albeit important goals such as improving diversity and inclusion.
One of the defence sources noted how General Sir Patrick Sanders, the head of the army, has likened today's security challenges to those in the build-up to the Second World War, warning that the UK is facing its "1937 moment".
"Then you look at the head of the RAF and he's prepared to break the operational requirement of the air force just to meet diversity [targets]," the source said.
"I think he needs to be hauled up by the Ministry of Defence and told: This is the defence agenda, get on it."
Meanwhile, the Chinese have been paying top dollar to retired Royal Air Force fighter pilots to get them to train Chinese communist fighter pilots. Was it Lenin who said that the capitalists will sell us the rope we use to hang them?
I have worked in newsrooms where leadership has made recruiting for diversity a priority. That resulted in hiring minorities based primarily on their ethnic status, not on their ability to do the work -- and it showed. This is certainly not to say that racial minorities can't do good journalism. That would not only be racist, but would be patently absurd. It is rather to say that when you hire people for any reasons other than their ability to do the work required of their mission, you cannot avoid compromising the mission.
This puzzled me when I saw it happening, because it was doing so at a time when newspaper journalism was in steep decline. I would have thought that the imperative to survive would have focused newsroom leadership on doing whatever is necessary to make the best newspapers possible -- "best" defined here as something so good that people would be willing to part with their money to have it. But it did not. I remember getting emails from ASNE, the trade group for journalists, obsessing over the failure of newsrooms to hit diversity recruitment targets. They honestly did not care about the quality of the "diverse" candidates; they saw them only as representatives of their color. Of course they didn't admit it, but they convinced themselves -- you could read this and hear this in their rhetoric -- that "diversity" is an aspect of quality.
For journalism, that's true only if it leads to journalism that offers a wider and deeper take on the world than you would get from a more monochromatic newsroom. It makes sense, for example, for a newspaper that serves a majority-minority city, or a city with a high percentage of minorities, to seek out minority journalists -- but only if they are otherwise capable of completing the mission. People outside of professional journalism don't realize that for various reasons, there are disproportionately fewer black and Latino professional journalists. The most talented ones get scooped up right away by big papers with deep pockets. It is -- or was when I was part of the newspaper journalism community -- an obsession with newsroom leaders to get minority numbers up, by any means necessary.
One friend of mine, an award-winning journalist who is white, and politically quite liberal, told me some years ago that at his paper, he resigned from a leadership position in the newsroom (associate city editor, or some title like that) because the city editor made it his responsibility to go back and re-report stories turned in by new minority hires. My friend said that these young journalists were atrocious at their jobs, and he would have to spend a big chunk of his day re-reporting from the ground up, to make sure his paper didn't report something false. He finally quit and went back to full-time writing when he became unnerved by the prospect that he would miss something in the re-reporting process, and be responsible for publishing something untrue that got the newspaper, and him, sued for libel. As I said, this guy was, and is, super-liberal, but he saw up close the cost of management's diversity-at-all-costs mania.
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The mania for diversity was limited, of course, to officially acceptable Diverse™ categories. The population of a newspaper's market might be, say, 45 percent conservative, but it would never once occur to American journalism executives to recruit for viewpoint diversity. Newsroom leaders didn't know what they didn't know, from the world of conservatism, and didn't want to be told. I imagine this is even more the case today, but I've been out of newsrooms for a dozen years.
Why do I bring this up here? Because the failure of newspapers to put the mission first leads to second-rate journalism, and ultimately to failure. But a nation can survive failed newspapers. It cannot survive a military that loses wars. The liberty of all of us -- gay, straight, black, white, Latino, Asian, et cetera -- depends on soldiers, sailors and airmen who are the best at their mission, period.
Think of it this way: do you think the NFL or the NBA would recruit for diversity? Of course not! In professional sports, winning games is the only thing that matters. A coach who got it into his head to start balancing his hires racially would be fired in a trice, and would deserve to be. So, why is it that we as a country care more now about winning games than winning wars?