There is, I feel, an odd degree of respect for military training among the Social Justice Warriors. (Yeah, I know; bear with me a little.) By any reasonable standard, the American military has been head and shoulders ahead of everyone else in breaking down racial barriers in American society, at least in the combat arms. At the same time, however, there is a complete lack of understanding of the ethos of military training. One can become a Green Beret, but one cannot become a black/ white/ yellow Green Beret without fatally undermining the whole concept and (re) introducing the curse of racial diversity.
But wait, the SJW might say. No one can ignore the fact that there are black/ white/ yellow Green Berets! Yes, that’s true. But there are also blond-haired Green Berets and dark-haired Green Berets and bald Green Berets … and no one gives a damn. Differences in hair colour are completely immaterial. If we are to rid ourselves of racism, we must refrain from taking race into account. We cannot claim to live in a post-racial world when President Obama is lauded as the first black president. To let ourselves draw lines between white soldiers and black soldiers (and every other kind of soldier) is to reintroduce tribalism into military society and undermine the whole concept of the military team. This is potentially disastrous. Humans are tribal creatures. To allow recruits to think of themselves as belonging to the white tribe, or the black tribe, or the homosexual tribe, or the female tribe, rather than the military tribe will lead to conflicts between those tribes within the military. The military has the odd problem, therefore, of treating its soldiers as individuals and, at the same time, as part of an overall unit. It cannot take the risk of adding a tribal layer without risking internal collapse.
Why? If humans accept the existence of tribes, each tribe will start jockeying for position against the other tribes. Outsiders will see those tribes as single entitles; insiders will see outsiders as enemies, rather than allies or neutral observers. Bad apples within the tribes will smear the rest; the tribes will rally round their own, rather than give them up to the judgement of outsiders. (This has been amply demonstrated by the Catholic Church’s reaction to child sexual abuse by priests, among other matters; the Church was more interested in defending itself than rooting out the offenders.) Society will be ripped apart as tribes become the dominant powers, eroding a single unifying faction. Pressure from the SJWs, therefore, has done a considerable amount of damage to the military. Speaking as an outsider, I see no problems with having women, homosexuals or even transgendered individuals within the military, provided they meet the criteria and act in a professional manner. There are aspects of military training that require very high qualifications; lowering those requirements for a specific tribe undermines the overall effectiveness of the military.
If women can be declared Army Rangers (for example) while completing a course only half as difficult as their male counterparts, it should not surprise anyone that the men regard women with deep suspicion. Can they carry their weight in a real combat zone? This isn’t sexism; this is sheer practicality. Take a look at some of the deployments handled by Special Forces in the War on Terror. None of them were scripted by exercise controllers, or designed to allow those who wanted to give up to quit. Shit happens in combat zones; you might find a ten-mile hikebecoming a twenty-mile exercise in staying ahead of a hunting enemy force. Or you might find yourself carrying the body of your wounded comrade for miles, trying to keep him out of enemy hands. There’s a milder problem that should also be remembered. Men – as a general rule – respect people who come up with new ideas. If a female soldier comes up with a loophole that anyone could use (at least until it is closed by higher authority) she will earn a considerable amount of respect from her male comrades. On the other hand, if she uses an advantage given to her because of her gender, she will earn nothing but their contempt. If she decks someone making sexist remarks, she will earn respect; if she complains to her superiors, she will earn a reputation as a sneak. And, because humans are inherently tribal, a pathetic female soldier will prejudice every male soldier she meets against every other female soldier. Tom Kratman’s article on women in the military had a rather pithy observation that should be born in mind. The price for being a woman in the military is sacrificing your right to act in a feminine manner. The same could easily be said for homosexuals. As I see it – and again, I speak from the outside – the American military made a critical mistake when the issue surfaced (and re-surfaced, etc). It should have been simple enough to point to the requirements for Ranger School (which couldn’t have been that strict, because soldiers were passing them) and invite women to try to pass the requirements. (The British Paras allow women to run through the course, although to the best of my knowledge none have passed.)
The Pentagon could have argued that lowering the requirements for women was inherently sexist, as it implied that women couldn’t pass the complete requirements, and therefore invited female soldiers to try to pass. It would, at least, have driven a wedge into the SJW camp. And who knows? They might have gained a few full-fledged female Rangers out of the deal. Such a requirement would have focused on the individual, not women as a tribe (and, as such, separate from the male tribe). It would have made it much easier to handle the problem – and, later, any disciplinary issues that might have arisen. If a soldier happens to be in trouble, it is very dangerous to raise the spectre that he/ she is being charged because he/ she happens to be the wrong gender, or the wrong colour, or the wrong sexual orientation. Such spectres undermine military discipline to the point it will eventually collapse. This is not, alas, unprecedented. Military training is – and will always be – an ongoing project. We have learned a great deal from our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, incorporating the lessons into our training programs for soldiers who are on the verge of being redeployed. It is vitally important that we keep honing our soldiers, because our superior training and technology is an inherent part of our military edge over the rest of the world. To weaken it for political reasons – whatever they may be – is to undermine the security of the entire Western World.
Does this seem true? The average Arab recruit, for example, is rarely told anything more than he needs to know. Basic maintenance is beyond him, let alone the complexities of the fine military hardware purchased by his country’s rulers. His superior officers are often prepared to work him as a slave; he is punished for showing initiative (as are they.) Those who are recruited for terrorist/ insurgent operations may have more enthusiasm, but they are rarely any more technically skilled. But they do tend to have the numbers. Military training is one of the factors that gives us the edge. There are others, of course, but training is the bedrock. Weakening it in the middle of wartime is very – very – dangerous.
Christopher G. Nuttall Edinburgh, 2015 PS – you can download Tom Kratman’s essays from http:// http://www.tomkratman.com/
Nuttall, Christopher. First To Fight (The Empire’s Corps Book 11) (Kindle)