Posted on November 6, 2022

Our Disunity Is a National Security Threat

Christopher Roach, American Greatness, November 2, 2022

In the lawsuit challenging Harvard’s affirmative action practices, a group of senior retired military officers filed an amicus brief, which argued that maintaining affirmative action was a “national security imperative.” Those signing off include four former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, six former superintendents of the service academies, and 17 retired four-star generals, including Wesley Clark and William McRaven.

Recruiting an adequate number of troops and increasing their quality also seems pretty important. But we know that recent efforts at recruiting have been a disaster, amplified by the mass expulsion of troops who refused the COVID vaccine.

While things carried on for a while out of habit, eventually the patriotic, mostly white, rural Americans who formed the backbone of the military started doing an about face. Polls show that fewer veterans now want their kids to follow in their footsteps. Conservative Republicans, once the most stalwart supporters of the military, have lately become more critical and less trusting.


As the ruling class ethos has shifted leftward, military leaders have become imitators and flatterers of the powerful. That is, top military leaders have decided to move away from the military’s traditional nonpartisanship and color-blindness and instead identify with the managerial class leftism and identity politics of Washington, D.C. This is why they have gay pride events and talk about “white rage.” They confused this ideology with the values of the country as a whole.

Declining interest in service by conservative and white Americans is not irrational. Why fight for a governing class that hates you, deems you the central political problem, seeks to humiliate you, and disrespects your ancestors at every opportunity? Why serve an American empire that pursues foreign wars like those in Iraq and Ukraine that have almost no relationship to actual national security and explicitly serve a left-wing ideology?

One might respond that military service is good even under these conditions in order to get useful training and make a living. But even under such a self-serving standard, the incentive to do so is declining, as white men within the military are subject to a rigged game, where it is harder to get ahead, and the old standards of excellence no longer matter. This will only get worse without a dramatic reset in the culture of our military and political leaders.

{snip} White men are overrepresented in the military leadership compared to universities, large corporations, and other institutions fully committed to the au courant value of diversity. But this is because military leaders’ demographics are a lagging indicator; those at the top mostly reflect the composition of the service in the 1980s and 1990s, when today’s senior officers joined and when the country’s demographics were very different. Such opportunities are unlikely to continue 20 years hence, when who advances among the current cohort will be shaped by diversity dominating every decision. {snip}


A very different story forms a useful bookend with the ex-generals’ affirmative action brief.

A retired Marine Corps aviator was arrested in Australia for lending his expertise to the highest bidder: in his case, the Chinese government. Apparently, a sizable cohort of British pilots are also in on the act. According to CBS News, “the foreigners train Chinese pilots in Western air combat techniques, offering firsthand knowledge of how the Royal Air Force and other air forces fight.”

This only seems unusual if one ignores the broader mercenary trend among the American armed forces. Many follow a path like Lloyd Austin. He was an undistinguished general with no obvious talents, the combatant commander for failed military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nonetheless, he went on to become a millionaire at Raytheon after his retirement because of his access to decision-makers.

Now, as secretary of defense, Austin makes decisions on contracts for companies that will pay him many more millions when he returns to the private sector. Retired generals James Mattis and David Petraeus also cashed-in within the military-industrial complex. This happens to a lesser degree with almost every retired senior military leader, in spite of laws designed to limit the practice.

Not content to make money at home, some retired generals and subject matter experts have been heading to United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to cash in. We witnessed an earlier, smaller-scale iteration of this trend during the wars in the Middle East, when special forces operators were leaving the service en masse to make six-figure incomes at private military contractors like Blackwater and Triple Canopy.

Even without the foreign intrigue element, the corruptionexpense account abuse, and self-dealing within the U.S. military have become the stuff of legend. {snip}


It is unlikely the military or any institution by itself will unite the country, when the country is disunited by the ideology of diversity and racial spoils, which encourage a zero-sum, mutually hostile internal politics. Fourth Generation Warfare theorist, Bill Lind argued that such a military and such a country may fragment into component pieces reflecting these more visceral subnational identities of race, sex, religion, and sexuality.


While in the past the military served to increase national unity with its treatment of members as interchangeable, ranked by a culture of high and color-blind standards, the ideology of “diversity” only encourages ethnic loyalties to remain dominant and primary, a substitute for our national identity as citizens. Rather than contributing to national defense, affirmative action and pursuing diversity accelerates national division.