DOD Can Start by Cutting Diversity Bureaucracy

by Heather Mac Donald

Some suggestions for Defense Department sequestration cuts:

Ax the “diversity” bureaucracy. In 2012, the Pentagon spent $570,000 on a Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan that, as usual, replicated a chain of stultifyingly identical diversity efforts, including the 2011 final report of the Military Leadership Diversity Commission on strategies for enhancing on-going diversity efforts (the report, From Representation to Inclusion: Diversity Leadership for the 21st Century Military, contained such diversity chestnuts as “a new definition of diversity for the 21st century,” and recommendations regarding “metrics,” “diversity leadership and training,” “promotion,” and “recruiting”); the 2011 Office of Personnel Management “Government-Wide Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan; DOD’s 2009 Report to the White House Council on Women and Girls; and a 2007 RAND report, Planning for Diversity: Options and Recommendations for DOD Leaders. Put the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity, the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS), and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) on starvation diets. Suspend the Women’s Equality Day and Women’s History Month celebrations, the Latina Style Symposium, and the Women of Color Technology Awards. 

Halt the females-in-combat initiative, which will cost billions to implement. The tip of the iceberg of merely measurable expenses includes devising new “unisex” entry requirements for each force to replace the existing double standards that were necessary to guarantee a satisfactory number of female recruits (the new “unisex” standards will of course have to perform the same role); finding and promoting female training instructors and commanders to serve as “role models”; commissioning and buying new equipment light enough for females to carry; paying out disability claims for injury in training and combat; medical and family leave for unplanned pregnancies; increased “family planning” services; hiring more “gender equity” trainers and putting personnel through more “gender equity” training; and expanding DOD’s already massive Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office to manage the new flood of sexual-assault accusations.

(Today’s New York Times profiles a 21-year-old former air-force trainee who is now being treated for post-traumatic stress syndrome two years after having allegedly been raped by her instructor at Lackland Air Force Base. Her initial accounts of their interaction to a friend and military investigators said that they had had sex, but said nothing about rape. “It took me a long time to say the word ‘rape,’” she says. Only when the instructor was on the stand for a court martial did she accuse him of rape. After their encounter, he allegedly told her that it was fun and that they should do it again. Such sordidness will only get worse and more costly when females are being trained for and included in combat units.)  

The Corner

The one and only.