Gregory Hood, American Renaissance, January 24, 2024
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There are two tragedies in life. One is not getting what you want; the other is getting it. The United States military got what it wanted.
For many years, the government pushed diversity. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a black man, told the Senate that “diversity, equity, and inclusion is important to this military now and it will be important in the future.” This goes back a long way. In 2007, George Casey, the top commander of all troops in Iraq, explained that “the strength of our Army comes from our diversity.”
Critical Race Theory and antiracism are a standard part of military training. After President Biden took office, the military launched investigations and initiatives to weed out what one top official called the “nation-ending threat of white supremacy and white nationalist extremism.” The United States military once honored the Confederacy, not just because its top generals were among America’s best, but because the South provides a disproportionate number of recruits. Today, the military is purging itself of any references to Confederate military heroes, even renaming bases such as Fort Bragg and Fort Hood.
Not surprisingly, the share of white recruits in the American military has fallen over the decade, with the largest decrease coming from 2022 to 2023. “The shift in demographics for incoming recruits would be irrelevant to war planners,” says the Military Times, “except it coincides with an overall shortfall of about 10,000 recruits for the Army in 2023 as the service missed its target of 65,000 new soldiers.” The Navy missed its recruitment goals for both active and reserve sailors and officers. The Air Force also missed its recruitment goals, though it is “cautiously optimistic” for this year.
Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said claims that the brass are “political when they really aren’t” are hurting recruitment: “We are a ready Army, not a ‘woke’ Army.” However, any group that purges Confederate heroes and pushes CRT is political. The Biden White House opposed Republican attempts to cut funding for critical race theory and drag shows in the military, arguing that they “create a positive work environment and fully leverage the best our nation has to offer.” Doing without them “puts the Department at a strategic disadvantage.”
The Army secretary told Congress that recruiters are being “strategically deployed to communities” based on “demographics, ethnicity, race, and gender.” She also warned against a “warrior caste” based on families who serve in the armed forces each generation and instead stressed “increasing diversity representation.”
In 2018, 56.4 percent of recruits were white. In 2023? Forty-four percent. The share of black and Hispanic recruits rose from 20 percent and 17 percent in 2018 to 24 percent for both in 2023. You can find many of them on TikTok mocking the military and complaining about the food and having to get up early. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports veterans are telling their children not to join.
Earlier this month, Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said he would “not tolerate any political figure” who would “talk bad about the men and women who serve in our United States Navy.” Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michael Gilday also said any “narrative about weakness is not true.”
Author Peter Feaver argued that obesity, drug use, and other factors are the real problem, not a “woke” military, and it’s probably true that “wokeness” does not fully account for the fall in white recruitment. However, most volunteers come from families with a tradition of service. Texas Public Radio assures us that “experts” say it “isn’t sustainable” to expect that to continue, but it appears that the less-white, fat, drug addled generation can’t take up the slack. Blaming “wokeness” may be trite, but there is a larger problem of national decline. Patriotism is fading. If conservative whites are being told that the military does not want them, and young non-whites are being taught that America is institutionally racist, why would anyone join except for money?
The United Kingdom is facing similar issues. The Royal Navy can’t send a carrier group to the Red Sea to protect shipping because it can’t crew the ships. It’s asking private companies to find deckhands. The Senior Service even had to post a job opening on LinkedIn to find a rear-admiral to be director of submarines. The Royal Navy and Marines have both been unable to meet recruitment targets, and the problem is getting worse.
The British Army is getting smaller because it has missed recruitment goals every year since 2010. Almost a third of current soldiers are unfit to fight. The Defence Secretary says the problem is that the military doesn’t “represent our country as it is today,” and wants more women. Less than 10 percent of the British Regular Forces are non-white, though the percentage is increasing. Chief of Defence Staff Admiral Tony Radakin said in 2021 that pushing for diversity is not about wokeness but “about woefulness” — the woefulness of “too few women” and “not reflecting the ethnic, religious, and cognitive diversity of our nation.” Cognitive diversity? The Royal Air Force gave women and non-whites priority over white recruits and said it was “unashamed” of its quotas. The armed forces are trying to “decolonize” themselves; naturally, whites are staying away.
The governments of both Britain and the US seem to take white patriotism for granted, but whites won’t serve where they aren’t wanted. “White men no longer want to fight for a nation that scorns them,” wrote Robert Clark about both countries. He argues that young white men “have apparently become less willing to defend at risk of their lives a society which discriminates against them and blames them for all the evils of history — evils which they themselves had nothing to do with.”
Western governments probably won’t back down from foreign policy commitments, especially with Russia, China, North Korea, Houthis, and other groups gaining power. Germany is considering a different approach: recruit foreigners. National defense is an essential government responsibility, and there can be no confusion about who is friend and who is enemy. The real enemy for our governments seems to be the white people who built and sustain our nations. They are gambling that their non-white pets will take up the slack if white men lay down the burden of empire. History suggests our rulers will be disappointed.