Normally, I like Wednesdays…. but today, I got nuttin’. A quick scan of the headline reveals no post fodder.
Oh, sure, I could add my take on Obama’s victory lap (again) on the killing of OBL, but why make myself ill?
Actually, lemme quickly address on bit. His drawdown of troops in Afghanistan will be popular. And pretty much unassailable. People are tired of the war. And no Republican can really make much of an argument against it, without the obvious counter tat Bush and the GOP had 8 years to fight the war. How much of that is itself countered by blowback against what many people see as unseemly posturing over his “gutsy call” remains to be seen.
Here’s the phrase Dempsey uttered: “The military instrument should never be wielded alone.” Before that, answering a question from veteran newsman Marvin Kalb, now with the Brookings Institution, Dempsey offered this as his first, inchoate stab at a doctrine: “I would say where we’re headed is a global networked approach to war.”
Well, if the folks at AOL Defense had bothered to read the foundational doctrine publication, ADP 3.0, they’d understand that it isn’t just GEN Dempsey making this stuff up. This is the stated Army doctrine. Wars are fought to achieve political goals. Not surprisingly, the Army thinks you need to involve other governmental agencies to achieve those goals. The Army also argues that leveraging other non-military assets is often key to achieving purely military goals, in support of larger national goals. The Army has long taught commanders to use every tool in the box. The latest doctrine just reminds commanders that not every tool is a hammer. ADP 3.0 also serves to put other agencies on notice that they can’t always just sit on the sidelines, or hunker down in the embassy. ADP 3.0 also recognizes that wars are always fought on someone’s territory, and the Army has to be prepared to work with that host nation, and it’s military and security services.
The Elizabeth Warran kerfuffle over whether the candidate for Senate in MA is Cherokee or not reveals the flaw in diversity/affirmative action.
Warren used to claim (or allowed others to claim on her behalf) that she was of Native American descent. Which, she only got around to finding out for sure in the last day or so. At best, she’s 1/32nd Cherokee. Perhaps less. As her detractors began to note that maybe just perhaps diversity recruiting for Native Americans might wanna focus on someone with a more… direct connection to First Peoples, Warren simultaneously sought to build her Cherokee credentials, AND deny using them for advancement. After all, as soon as she was ensconced in Harvard Law School, those references to her aboriginal past ceased. Wouldn’t want to be tainted with the brand of an affirmative action hire. Further, past academic employers have been quick to note that she was hired on her merits, not her pedigree.
Well, if she was hired on the merits, fair enough. But given that so much of academia has argued strenuously that affirmative action should be a valid component of the hiring (or admitting) process for faculty and students, is it too much to ask for those institutions to kindly point out to us those persons who were hired with the benefit of affirmative action? And if they can not point out those persons so hired, doesn’t that prove that affirmative action is no longer needed? Why fight so strenuously for a system that provides no benefit? So which is it?
Related to the above… all the services have been stressing Diversity initiatives. CDR Salamander makes a weekly feature of it. And like so many other things in the service, a lot of time and effort is spent by staffs reporting on it. There are scads of information reported up the chain of command regarding the numbers and percentages of the ethnic and gender breakdown of every possible community in the service. Infantry, nuclear engineering, aviation, health care. Accessions, retentions, promotions, disciplinary actions. You name it, it’s tracked by race and gender.
Ask senior leadership why Diversity is important, they’ll say that Diversity makes us stronger. But out of ALL that pile of data collected, compiled, collated, sifted, weighted, and presented, not one single metric shows in any quantifiable sense just how that makes us stronger. Maybe it does, but there’s no proof.
I can show you that the single clearest indicator that a new recruit will likely successfully complete their first enlistment is a high school diploma. I can’t find any metric anywhere that increasing diversity increases readiness or productivity.
I’m a huge fan of equal opportunity (but not so much Equal Opportunity). One of the seven Army Values is Respect. Treat your people with respect. If they earn a promotion, promote them. If they earn an award, award them. But how can you do this is you have to weight the scales to promote or award someone solely to improve your Diversity? And are we really saying that minorities can’t Be All They Can Be in today’s Army? I shudder to think so.
Let’s hope that the Diversity fetish in the services quickly dies under the weight of its own internal contradictions, and is again replaced with a culture where individuals are judged on their own merits, not on what good they provide a command’s Diversity reports.
Here’s a picture of Sox channel surfing.