Apparently, diversity wins wars. It is vital for capability, so we are told.
So let’s have a look at how ‘diversity’ is increasing operational effectiveness in Western militaries. And we’ll start in America, proud owner of the most operationally effective military force of them all.
As a result of diversity, the United States Army is sacking Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Downey.
Downey served his country for 24 years. He clocked up over 1,000 hours flying helicopters on three operational deployments. That is equivalent to spending almost a month and a half in a chopper fighting against the bad guys. Non stop.
And he did all right at it too. Downey was recognised with ten medals for his exceptional performance, including for taking on an enemy force in Afghanistan with superior fields of fire on 25 May 2011, in complete disregard for his own safety. His actions were decisive in saving the lives of soldiers on the ground.
And Downey didn’t just fly. He also commanded forces in the most dangerous area of Afghanistan. In fact, Downey was so good at his job that he was hand-picked to be the Presidential Airlift Coordinator.
Downey’s performance reports state that he is in the top one per cent of lieutenant colonels over the last twenty years. Yet he is being unceremoniously shown the door. He must have done something pretty bad, right?
Of course, Downey stuffed up completely. Two of his subordinates, a captain and a lieutenant, were breaking US Army regulations regarding public displays of affection. They were kissing and removing each others’ clothing at a unit function. And Downey took decisive action to stop other military personnel from filming it. And he directed the officers involved to stop breaking lawful orders.
But because they were lesbians, Downey has been forced to fight for his career in the courts. Diversity means the US military would rather protect two officers who displayed utter contempt for regulations than a guy who has provided exceptional service. I guess that’s what they mean when they say diversity increases combat effectiveness.
Unfortunately, the Australian Defence Force has learnt through painful experience that the filming of officers sans clothing and engaged in sexual activity is not good PR. In fact, the Australian military now recognises increased respect for women is an essential element of its diversity program. So the order has gone out: Defence personnel are not be seen with unclothed sheilas.
And a corporal was recently jailed for two weeks for breaking that order. I do feel for the poor bloke though. In contrast to his treatment, an Air Force was officer was given a commendation last year precisely because he organised uniformed personnel to march down Oxford Street in a parade where the main attraction was topless women. And the official Mardi Gras gallery still displays uniformed military personnel along with ladies looking like they’ve just undressed for work behind a pole in a strip club.
So the Australian military’s diversity policy actually means that heterosexual members will be locked up for doing the same thing that homosexual members are rewarded for. I guess that makes sense in an Alice-in-Wonderland kind of a way. It’s obvious that diversity increases combat capability because diversity degrades combat capability.
That would explain this text on the Defence People Group website:
“Defence recognises and understands that true inclusiveness does not mean treating everyone exactly the same way, all the time.”
And that’s not some bland, throwaway line. It’s actually the third strategic goal of Defence’s plan for diversity and inclusion. I think the people running the funny farm in Canberra have been reading Animal Farm again.
With goals like that, it is no wonder that Defence recruitment is costing millions more than it should.
But the good thing about the push for tolerance and inclusion is that bullying is now universally frowned upon.
As this website revealed last week, a military investigation has found that a transgender officer engaged in unacceptable behaviour towards another long-serving officer, calling him a failure on a public forum.
Diversity policy is made for this sort of incident. And now the Australian Defence Force has taken decisive action by promoting the transgender officer and taking serious adverse administrative action against the bloke who did nothing wrong. The moral of the story is that whatever you do, don’t cross the LGBT crowd. Even if they are in the wrong, you’ll be the one that gets punished.
However, while diversity might mean accepting everyone (except those deemed unacceptable), it brooks criticism from no one. And that is why the Secretary of the Department of Defence, Dennis Richardson, got his nose out of joint last week.
Poor old Dennis took umbrage at an article published in The Australian by Nick Cater. I don’t really know why he was so upset though. I thought this bit about my favourites, the Defence People Group, was particularly brilliant:
So it is, one suspects, with the DPG, a division caught up in the prissy, moral crusades of our time and driven by obsessions that bear little relation to the strategic purpose of Defence. Take, for example, the five-year Defence Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, developed by the Centre of Diversity Expertise. It is more than 20 years since Defence ended institutional discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, yet the department has not yet gone far enough to appease the regiments of social engineers.
The Centre of Diversity Expertise demands “specific strategic communications and marketing” (something we once called “advertising”) to attract lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex recruits. There must be “sexual orientation, intersex and gender identity awareness and education training” and forums to discuss “best practice LGBTI workplace inclusion”. Staff must produce regular reports “on the effectiveness of workplace inclusion initiatives for LGBTI people”; Defence needs “LGBTI outreach programs”.
It seems that in the list of Dennis’ priorities, defending diversity is somewhat more important that defending Australia. So he dropped everything to fire back a letter to The Australian to vent his outrage. He labelled Cater’s article as prejudiced, full of bile and inaccuracies and then went on to state:
“The Defence leadership is committed to diversity. It is a commitment shared by both politically correct civilians and hard headed military leaders.
Organisations with high levels of inclusion and diversity are more effective. Those that do not commit to diversity condemn themselves to be second rate and uncompetitive.”
After Dennis curtailed that major crisis, I imagine he went back to more mundane tasks, like ensuring we high-tail it out of Afghanistan completely before it becomes the unwanted sequel to the ISIS crisis. And, of course, he’s dealing with the little chestnut known in polite circles as the non-Islamic Islamic State as well.
As an aside, I think a non-Islamic Islamic State is probably about the most diverse thing on the planet. Hey, they might not have many friends. But a bunch of non-Muslims embracing the Koran is like the coolest thing since you could start buying ribbons all year round for ‘I’m Sorry For Everything That’s Ever Been Done Day’.
Anyway, I think what Dennis meant in his letter is that the all male Army that won both of the largest conflicts of the Twentieth Century was second rate. If only we had been more diverse in the past, the outcomes would have been much more successful. Like they were in Iraq.
I suppose if Dennis Richardson had been around in 1939, Australia’s military would have formed a working group to investigate the possibility of raising a wheelchair-mounted Australian Nazi infantry battalion with Lesbian Outreach Officers down to section level.
And don’t laugh. It’s kind of being proposed today. It’s just that the Nazis have been replaced by femo-nazis. The most recent Australian Army Journal flagged an idea to raise an infantry battalion comprised entirely of women. It’s an idea so outrageously inclusive that men can’t even get a look in.
I do really like the fact that Dennis Richardson has admitted to the existence of politically correct civilians though. It means that he also recognises the existence of politically incorrect civilians. I would now be one of them. So it would be really nice to see Dennis and his band of fellow travellers come up with a Diversity Inclusion Plan for people like me. After all, he can’t claim to support diversity if his policies are inherently exclusionary.
And I’m sure Dennis wouldn’t want to be judged by his own words and found to be an ineffective hack responsible for leading a fine institution with a proud record into the wastelands inhabited by second-rate organisations.