After nearly two and half years of madness from Joe Biden’s Pentagon, some light is shining on the drive within the Defense Department for programs that degrade America’s military readiness. Unfortunately, members of the president’s administration are either blind to the severe harm their progressive ideas are causing or are willful in their desire to bring down the US’s ability to defend itself. In a recent House Oversight and Accountability Committee Subcommittee on National Security, the Border, and Foreign Affairs hearing, witnesses presented a frightening case for the end of America’s military as the preeminent armed forces in the world.
Wokeness and Progressive Policies Hurt Readiness
Witnesses at the hearing had diverse views on how wokeness and progressivism were impacting the readiness of the American military. For example, Brent Sadler, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Center for National Defense, Jeremy Hunt, Chairman of Veterans on Duty, Inc., and Meaghan Mobbs, a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, concurred that the thoughtless rush to push the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) agenda is damaging to US armed forces. However, the witness for the minority side of the subcommittee, Lieutenant General David Barno (Ret.), visiting professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, had a different point of view.
In his opening statement, subcommittee Chairman Glenn Grothman (R-WI) set the tone for what was to come, explaining:
“We all know that the primary mission of the Armed Forces is to protect and defend the nation and our interests abroad. However, the military is not the institution for social experiments and political correctness. This administration seems to be willfully blinded by how its progressive ideals are affecting military readiness and recruitment. Not once in the Biden Administration’s National Security Strategy released in October 2022 does it address the military recruitment crisis we are facing.”
The failure to meet recruitment objectives was the barometer for military readiness during the hearing. No one on the panel of witnesses disputed reports that all the military services were experiencing recruiting challenges. But when identifying the cause, Dr. Mobbs gave the most sobering explanation. She lamented, “I am the daughter of two former Army officers. My mother was one of the first women to go to Airborne school and deployed to Grenada…I accepted an appointment to West Point…I am now a mother to two exceptional little girls and the aunt to two energetic nephews…As it stands today, and it pains me to say, I would not recommend military service to any of them.” From a military officer who served honorably, this is an indictment of the current leadership that is hard to ignore. Without the willingness of former military leaders to recommend military service, the US military will suffer more than it already has. Mobbs continued by citing statistics substantiating a significant decline in military veterans willing to urge the next generation to consider military service.
Wokeness, Pronouns, and Ratting Out Your Fellow Sailors
Saddler and Hunt put the problem and the accountability for the mess in which the military finds itself squarely at the feet of the Defense Department leadership. “Rather than focusing on new enemy battle tactics, the Navy recently mandated gender-sensitivity training,” Hunt explained in his opening statement. He described a video for required viewing by the Navy, “encouraging sailors to closely police the use of pronouns and everyday language, declaring that those who fail to comply aren’t ‘allies’ of their fellow sailors.” But, of course, failure to use the appropriate pronoun gives license for ratting out your fellow seamen. That builds cohesive teams, for sure.
General Barno had a view more consistent with the current military leadership. In his written statement, he asserted, regarding progressivism impacting readiness and recruiting, “[N]or is there any correlation between ‘wokeism’ and the current difficulty in attracting new recruits.” Mobbs’ testimony casts doubt on that statement. Nonetheless, Barno distinguished himself in leadership positions when he had the luxury of not being encumbered by the progressive nonsense faced by US military personnel today.
Barno’s testimony was spot on when he said, “I think that one of the most important things to recognize, and everyone on the panel will agree with this, is that military leadership has to build cohesive teams. That’s a leadership function. That may be the most important thing that leaders do.” Unfortunately, leadership at the highest level pushing the DEI agenda is the problem. That agenda is divisive and destroys cohesiveness.
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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