The MIC is good with IDPol Wokeness

Right wing pundits like Tucker Carlson are having a fit because the military is going woke. They see it as some far left communist plot, which is what they accuse pretty much everything they don't like.
But in fact it is just a reflection of a military that's been in the process of being privatized for the last 40 years.

They’ve all grown up with a general idea that the “point” of the U.S. military is to deter war, and failing that, to win the war that follows.

But this isn’t the purpose anymore.

The common refrain from both civilian leaders and active-duty service members alike is that the military “should be a reflection of our values as a nation.” But the military is becoming a reflection of the values of the global economic order, not those of the United States. Over the last 10 years, and with increasing intensity over the last five, corporations and governments in the West have set out to redesign their entire societies along specific goals regarding sex and gender representation for purely socio-political reasons. Gender parity in boardrooms, among senior management, and in executive training, along with other diversity-related mandates, is widely considered—at least among elites—a necessity.

These explicit cultural changes bled naturally and inevitably into the staffing and design of the armed forces of the United States. After all, the U.S. is an essential institution to the maintenance of the neoliberal order, and it wouldn’t make sense for it not to reflect the same principles of racial and gender diversity that cabinets, corporate boardrooms, and university faculty are expected to present. But has anyone asked whether redesigning the military to be a reflection of these new values and goals makes for good warfighting?
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Tucker Carlson may have kicked a hornet’s nest by pointing out that the U.S. military is captive to a cultural program that most Americans do not agree with. But the military serves the global economic order, not the average American. To the extent that the people in charge are concerned about the risks of designing a military based on principles of equity and diversity, their concern stops at ensuring that global capital movement is not impacted. Focusing on the technical details of how military units actually perform will not return us to status quo ante. The armed forces have modeled themselves according to human resources dictates set by the architects of neoliberalism. To face China, the underlying assumption of neoliberalism is that continued diversity and inclusion initiatives and access to markets will, by definition, reduce conflict.

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I'd guess if an intersectional woman is dropping a bomb on your house it's ok, just like it's ok for an intersectional to buy manufactured goods from an Uyghur concentration camp in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

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or this claim reflects the process that occurred. The volunteer military and the realization that it must reflect more the wide range of social and racial norms of the population. It began with the big fragging problem and near revolt in the ranks during Vietnam. Operational readiness and the ability to function in the field required more than telling service member, "Can't we just all get along? No seriously, get along with each other or else." They could get by without addressing the racial problems in a draft military but not in a volunteer one. The realization then came that other social issues like sexual equality and all the other social ills rampant in the US had the same effect on the ability of the military to function. Their recruiting and mitigation programs never took deep down until much later. Now, major improvements in how the problems are fixed and some real teeth shown those who don't get with the program, have made a difference. It's far from perfect with a bunch of big problems still. Those, though, are a reflection of the characteristics of those who volunteer which isn't always so "woke". Fuck, I hate that stupid word.

Forty years ago we got the first female student pilots coming through UPT. My flight had the first class with women that wasn't a test. The feeling was very negative (complaints of social engineering and we couldn't be the juvenile dickheads we had been for generations) but at least where I taught we had a wing commander who made perfectly clear he wasn't going to put up with assholes who couldn't modify their attitudes and behavior. Monty also made perfectly clear that they would be trained to the standards required of any pilot, no exceptions, no complaints or whining allowed. It worked quite well. We had some good students, some terrible ones, but most that did fine just like the men. It didn't take long to discover they were as good as us while also having some areas where they weren't quite as good and were more capable.

Forty years later they're accepted, frequently excel, and have proved every damn thing we thought back then was bullshit. I was initially on the wrong side but did as I was told. It took less than a year to understand just how wrong I had been. That's the best social engineering there is. Put people who are different together and it doesn't take long for them to appreciate each other. can't do that in the civilian world.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

@vtcc73
what you are talking about is how great diversity is for society. I won't disagree with it.

But what this essay is about, well, let's start with the video I posted here from the CIA.
Should also point out that the military's job is at times directly contrary to what is great for society. In other words, sometimes military's job is to kill. And there are plenty of examples in history, I'm thinking of the Austrian Empire for one, where a diverse Army doesn't work effectively together. Not in their job of killing.

As a human being, being exposed to a wide variety of ideas and cultures is a good thing.
As a unit for killing, the only thing that is valued is unity of purpose and mind.

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@gjohnsit @gjohnsit and its purpose. The view you're describing is a Hollywood caricature and a maniac's dream. If we're speaking about North Korea it might be close in some ways but NK is filled with conscripts and those who are just trying to survive the life they're being forced to follow. In reality a military is far from only being a killing machine of automatons.

I'll admit that there may well be plenty in organizations like the CIA who would espouse such an idea of the perfectly trained and rigorously obedient killers. I'll go further and say that even as I was leaving the USAF in 1984 I was seeing disturbing signs of the US military being lead towards thinking of themselves as "warriors" rather than the citizen soldier that is, was, our heritage in the US. Religion, primarily evangelical christianity, was openly being preached by senior leaders to their subordinates in direct disobeience of the prohibition of such actions and was ignored by senior leadership. The USAFA, Air Force Academy, had a huge problem that I still don't think has been stomped out. Bush the Lesser with his Crusade talk definitely caused rifts with the American military tradition. The hidden agenda towards fascism came more into the open and was embraced along with dreams of empire euphemistically called nation building or being the world's policeman. None of that though has turned the US military into a single minded killing machine. I can't say it won't happen but I don't really see how.

I won't begin to worry until the American tradition of civilian control of the military begins to crack and crumble. Although shrub and trump were worrisome. I always thought that was the greatest threat trump posed. Had he been able to organize a one car funeral he might have been able to break through the top military leadership's opposition. The US military is far from a homogeneous monolith. For now its composition is a reasonable facsimile of the mix of the people of the US. At least for now, leadership seems to understand the necessity of maintaining that diverse mix. As much maligned as the Pentagon is, most of the people in the military are still in their positions not as true believers bent on some nefarious plot but as professionals dedicated to doing their duty.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

Pricknick's picture

@vtcc73

it didn't take long to discover they were as good as us

Humans will never recognize this in general.
Therefore it will be war.
Excellent take.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick There were more than a few who grudgingly accepted women at the time because they had to when the women showed they could pull their weight. Those guys are long, long gone from active duty like me. Those who came behind us were blued into a system where women are accepted for what they had shown they could do just like the men. I'll grant that aviators are a different breed. The only metric is competence in your assigned duty and being a team player. Those who can't hack the job or fit into the team have a very poor longevity and receive little slack. Their lives are miserable and lonely.

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"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

I think the purpose is to make the CIA acceptable to the captains of industry who run the place. "See, they aren't so bad after all" Of late any company can be "ok" as long as it uses the vocabulary of wokeness. The CIA ran torture sites in Thailand I've been told by people who live there and follow those kinds of things, I believe it's entirely possible. They do a lot of open source intelligence in an attempt to keep our leaders informed, and they also do a lot of things they shouldn't.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

At least the more they align, the less ambiguous what they're really about will get...and they would NEVER have reached this point - nearly achieving everything the Christian Dominionists set out to achieve starting in the 1970s - were it not for their perfidiously weaponizing others' miscomprehension of, and generosity of spirit toward, them every step of the way.

When they say "diversity", they mean conformity; when they say "inclusion", they mean imperialism.

It's fucking Constantine all over again.

If you don't fit into their Stepfordian new order, you're invisible blood.

GOD DAMN THEM. They have declared my entire existence null and void. There is NO PLACE for me in their microcosm.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

@The Liberal Moonbat
I honestly don't know how you got that out of this essay.

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@gjohnsit I've alluded to my personal case before, how much of a personal ontocidal twist of the knife the last ~6 years have been to me, and even the broader-scoped 'Constantine 2.0' parallel.

I thought you and I were reasonably sympatico on this issue (to the extent that anyone else ever could be 'sympatico' with the likes of me); I can't really explain any better so long as I don't understand what/why you don't understand.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

I watched it as part of a college history class; you know what's odd about the definitive work of Nazi propaganda?

There's no hate; there's no mention of Jews or any other "undesirable" group. Even Hitler's climactic speech at the end was more or less bog-standard political-hopeful rhetoric. It would be completely unobjectionable by today's standards.

Otherwise, it's just a long montage of innocent, happy Germans doing innocent, happy - and sometimes kind of goofy - German things.

My favorite part, hands-down? A little segment I like to call "Nazi Von Shavey". You'll know it when you see it; it's just kind of hilarious. Minutes spent on a shirtless young man shaving while standing over a wash-bucket-and-mirror, out in the middle of picturesque alpine nowhere, all with this big, idiot grin on his face, like he's having the time of his life. Shaving. Just him, just this, for minutes of one of the most infamous movies ever made.

Nazi Von Shavey. Alle Heil.

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In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.