Meet Your New Military September 20, 2014Posted by geoff in News.
It’s axiomatic that once people take their eye off the ball, they drop it. In real life, that means that once you allow yourself to be distracted from your primary mission by extraneous considerations, you put that mission at risk.
That brings us to the US military.
The US military has been an unequaled fighting force for decades: faster, stronger, smarter, and more dedicated than any other military group on earth. I think they stunned onlooking countries a decade ago when they took Iraq, a country with a fairly large and experienced army, in 3 weeks. That was only possible because the military has concentrated on developing and maintaining the ability to accomplish the strategic goals of the United States.
When it comes to military policy on internal affairs, I’ve always said, “Let them do what they think they need to do. There’s enough on their plate.” Gays in the military? Let them decide. Women in combat? Let them decide.
And in general, I think the military has done fairly well in those decisions. I remember as a military brat that race was insignificant compared to a father’s rank; I think racial tensions in the military are still far lower than in civilian society.
But the administration has decided to fix what ain’t broke, changing an effective fighting force into just another socially-just government agency. To whit:
The military is growing more “sensitive” under the Obama administration, Pentagon observers say, by relaxing long-standing restrictions on soldiers’ religious and personal liberties.
The efforts by the Defense Department to adapt to cultural change go beyond the moves to end the controversial “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and allow women in combat.
In recent weeks, the Pentagon has backed off controversial hairstyle regulations that critics said discriminated against black women and made the phrase “so help me god” optional in the oath for airmen.
Earlier this year, the military loosened its rules for soldiers who want to wear turbans or grow religious beards and provided exemptions for having tattoos and piercings.
“We want to make sure we’re not offending people,” a DOD official told The Hill.
I’d say the military is taking its eye off the ball, and it’s only going to get worse.