The Corner

The Pentagon’s New Policy on Transgender Soldiers Is Pure Social Engineering

In the year’s most predictable political move, the Pentagon has ended its ban on transgender soldiers serving in the military. There is no conceivable military justification for this move. The actual and potential transgender military population is tiny (the “upper end” estimate of 11,000 is hilariously exaggerated), the medical procedures for “transitioning” are hideously expensive, and the entire process can take soldiers out of the fight for extended periods. 

But this move isn’t about national security, it’s about social engineering. Many members of the military will spend their entire careers without encountering a single transgender soldier, but they will endure hour upon hour of diversity training and thought control. Every time the military makes a move like this, it follows its pronouncements with briefings — so very many briefings. I was a brigade judge advocate when the military lifted its ban on openly gay servicemembers, and we were all treated to the full range of stern lectures about tolerance and diversity. 

This will be worse. There will be members of the military (aided and abetted by its civilian leadership) who will take this opportunity to try to retrain the ranks about the very concepts of sex and gender, introducing radical LGBT theology as the government-approved, Army-mandated world view. And God help the Army doctor or medical professional who refuses to facilitate a servicemember’s “transition.” Good luck being a chaplain preaching about the created order if there is a prickly leftist around. The administration is moving the military culture to Yale with guns just about as fast as it can.

Fortunately the warrior culture is resilient. Infantry platoons aren’t likely to go full PC anytime soon, but the Left keeps chipping away. It will keep chipping away until the horrible reality of the battlefield reminds us all that our military isn’t a social laboratory. Our enemies focus on war while we sidetrack our soldiers with social justice. Not even our immense technical and material advantage can save us forever from the consequences of our own folly. 

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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