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Opinion War goes woke

06:40  02 april  2021
06:40  02 april  2021 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson recently ignited a firestorm when he mocked President Joe Biden’s comments about the Pentagon’s newly developed flight suits for pregnant women. “So, we’ve got new hairstyles and maternity flight suits — pregnant women are going to fight our wars,” Carlson said. The mockery was directed at Biden for what appeared to be his usual pandering, prioritizing optics over warfare concerns.

a man wearing a hat: FEA.Woke.jpg © Provided by Washington Examiner FEA.Woke.jpg

But the Pentagon took it personally and fired back with a concerted attack on Carlson, accusing him of belittling servicewomen. “What we absolutely won’t do is take personnel advice from a talk show host or the Chinese military,” responded Pentagon press secretary John Kirby. “Now, maybe those folks feel like they have something to prove; that’s on them.”

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The Carlson-Pentagon exchange revealed something troubling about the current state of the U.S. military: the extent to which the military, which claims to be motivated by a professional ethos, has become just another self-interested bureaucracy, and a politicized one to boot. It also reveals that today’s military has chosen “diversity” over military effectiveness. After all, the only purpose of a military in a republic is to keep the country secure. Yet, while war games indicate that the United States would lose a military confrontation with China, the Pentagon seems to be focusing on trivialities.

Polls reveal that the military continues to be respected and trusted by the public. Indeed, it is more trusted than business and higher education and far more trusted than other departments of the U.S. government and Congress, despite the fact that it has failed to prevail in the post-9/11 wars.

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But recent events should concern military leaders. The very public criticism of President Donald Trump during his tenure by active and retired officers seriously undermined the view of the military as nonpartisan. The Pentagon’s over-the-top response to Carlson’s comments feeds the impression that the military is becoming just another “woke” institution.

Of course, the military has changed over time. In my own work on the topic, I describe U.S. civil-military relations as a “bargain” that must be renegotiated periodically in response to changes in strategic, geopolitical, political, technological, and social conditions. There are three parties to the bargain: the uniformed military, the civilian political leadership, and the public. The bargain provides answers to several questions: Who controls the military and how? What is the purpose of the military? What is the acceptable level of influence of the military in a liberal republic? And who serves? The questions have been answered differently at different times as the civil-military bargain is renegotiated.

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What has happened to the military can be explained by reference to two individuals: the late American political scientist Samuel Huntington and the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci. In his classic study of civil-military relations, The Soldier and the State, Huntington identified three variables affecting the relationship. The first is what he called the functional imperative, the ability of the military to respond to external threats to the U.S. The military must be capable of deterring war or winning it if it comes. The key is military effectiveness.

The second and third variables are components of what Huntington called the social imperative, “the social forces, ideologies, and institutions dominant within the society.” The first of these components is our constitutional structure, the legal institutional framework that guides American politics and military affairs. The second is the dominant ideology shaping political affairs, which Huntington identified as liberalism, “the gravest domestic threat to American military security,” due to its anti-military character. The problem for Huntington was that in the long run, the social imperative would prevail over the functional imperative, undermining the military virtues necessary to ensure military effectiveness.

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Huntington argued that America’s anti-military liberal ideology tended to produce two outcomes. When the external threat was low, liberal ideology sought “extirpation,” the virtual elimination of military forces. When the external threat was high, liberal ideology pursued a policy of “transmutation,” refashioning the military along liberal lines by stripping it of its “particularly military characteristics.”

Some degree of transmutation is to be expected in a liberal republic such as the United States. A positive example of transmutation occurred after World War II when the Uniform Code of Military Justice replaced the old military justice systems, as the U.S. maintained a large standing army of citizen-soldiers for the first time in its history. But today, we have transmutation on steroids. The Pentagon’s response to Carlson’s comments is merely an illustration of this reality.

The latest manifestation of transmutation is the military’s worship of “diversity.” Indeed, diversity now trumps military effectiveness as a goal of military policy. The clearest example of this phenomenon occurred during the Obama administration as the issue of the integration of women into direct ground combat units heated up.

In 2015, the Marine Corps, under mounting pressure to accept the integration of women into ground combat units, conducted a nine-month, $36 million study that indicated that all-male units performed better in the field than integrated ones. The unprecedented study suggested the all-male ground combat squads were faster, stronger, and more lethal in most cases than units that included women. The women also suffered higher injury rates during physically demanding training.

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Advocates of integration were quick to respond to the Marine study. In an interview with NPR, Ray Mabus, Barack Obama’s secretary of the Navy and a proponent of integration, rejected the Marine study and indeed questioned its integrity, saying that it “started out with a fairly large component of the men thinking this is not a good idea and women will not be able to do this,” which predetermined its conclusion. Ironically, he essentially criticized the Marines for doing what we would expect that all of the services should have been doing: attempting to determine military effectiveness in an objective way by comparing all-male and integrated units on a simulated battlefield. As I wrote at the time, I could not imagine any previous secretary of the Navy so gratuitously insulting one of the services that his own department oversees.

The fact is that the battlefield mocks “diversity.” It doesn’t care about the equality of the sexes. The battlefield cares only about who will prevail. It is interesting that many of the most powerful and insightful articles opposing women in the infantry and special operations have been penned by female soldiers and Marines. This is most likely because they have been exposed to war, even if not as members of the infantry.

Recent events illustrate that transmutation in the quest for diversity continues apace. The problem is that the military seems to have stopped trying to defend itself. For instance, no senior officer has stepped forward to defend the military against the latest calumny directed against it: that the institution dedicated to the security of the republic has become a hotbed of “right-wing” extremism and racism. In acquiescing in this slander, the military has succumbed to the same disease that has afflicted American universities, corporate boards, newsrooms, and the entertainment industry.

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What has happened to these institutions, now including the military, recalls the project of Gramsci, the father of “cultural Marxism.” In the 1930s, he called on socialists and communists to subvert Western culture from the inside in order to prepare the soil for the overthrow of the bourgeois state. Gramsci argued that the socialist revolution that Marx had predicted in Europe had not occurred because bourgeois “cultural hegemony,” which extended beyond the capitalist economic order to the social institutions and cultural values of bourgeois society, constituted a massive impediment to revolutionary change. To overthrow the bourgeois state, the revolutionary had to undermine bourgeois cultural hegemony. In the 1960s, the German activist Rudi Dutschke dubbed this project “the long march through the institutions.”

But until recently, the military had been one bastion of resistance to this transformation. Perhaps it resisted as long as it did because, as Huntington argued, the “military mind” was essentially “conservative.” The virtues associated with the military were also “conservative” in the sense of being traditional — honor, duty, sacrifice — and these virtues appealed to the public. The fact that the military has fallen prey to the “long march” can be traced to the erosion of those virtues.

Things have only gotten worse with the new charge that the military has become a hotbed of racism and “right-wing extremism.” In response, the government has put forth a new effort to indoctrinate military personnel according to the tenets of critical race theory. Writing in Newsweek last month, Marine Corps Reserve Maj. Aaron Reitz recounted the new training instruction missives produced by the Marines and Navy that are dedicated to eradicating “extremism” and “domestic terrorism” ideologies from the ranks, as well as all “racists, bigots, homophobes and bullies.” Religious belief in traditional marriage is now akin to disloyalty, apparently. Nothing is more destructive of the trust that is necessary to ensure military effectiveness than “identity politics,” which tends to divide people by suggesting that justice is a function of attributes such as skin color rather than one’s identity as an individual.

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The U.S. military is at a crossroads. It is clearly living off of the accumulated capital of earlier generations of soldiers. As Adam Smith once observed, “There is a great deal of ruin in a nation.” But today, the margin of error is smaller than during earlier times. It is up to the country’s political and military leadership to take a stand against the “long march.” The choice is between military effectiveness and “wokeness.” If our leaders fail to correct the military’s drift, the result will be catastrophic defeat on a future battlefield.

Mackubin Owens is a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia and author of U.S. Civil-Military Relations After 9/11: Renegotiating the Civil-Military Bargain .

Tags: Military, Tucker Carlson, Joe Biden, Race and Diversity, Gender Issues, Marine Corps, Pentagon, National Security, China

Original Author: Mackubin Owens

Original Location: War goes woke

Founder of Britain’s Anti-Woke Fox News Copycat: It’s Racist to Say I Look Like Cooked Ham .
If you’re founding a self-described “anti-woke” news network specifically designed to irritate of the snowflake left, it would probably be best let it slide if your complexion is compared to that of a steaming hot ham. But that’s now Andrew Neil’s style. Neil—the Murdoch empire veteran behind the upcoming British network GB News—has declared that calling him a “gammon” is racist, and anyone who does so will be instantly blocked from his erratic Twitter feed.The incident began with a simple one-word tweet from 70-year-old retiree William Annett: “Gammon.” The comment doesn’t even appear to have been directed at Neil, but he was copied in, and didn’t like it.

usr: 1
This is interesting!