Thursday, November 19, 2009

The role of our military is to protect Americans from harm. The primary way it does so is by deterring our enemies from attacking us... and by retaliating against any enemy who does in fact attack us.

With this in mind, the 'strengths' of our military are those factors which make it less likely that anyone will attack us and which improve the effectiveness of our retaliation.

So... how exactly does Army Chief of Staff Casey, recently cited as saying "Our diversity ... is a strength", figure that 'diversity' is something that makes our military more able to deter our enemies and punish those who attack us?

Modern tanks and warplanes are a strength, troops that are better at killing our enemy than our enemy is at killing them are a strength, logistics that allow for our military to deploy faster than our enemies is a strength. 'Diversity' doesn't make our planes fly faster, our tanks shoot farther, our troops improve their kill ratio.

Do our enemies factor the racial, sexual and religious composition of our troops into their determination of whether to attack us? Do they fear facing a military comprised of Protestant straight white guys less than they fear a military made up of a mix of races, religions, gender and sexual preferences?

I don't know of any good reason to exclude women, Muslims, blacks or, for that matter, gays from military service... but that's not the same thing as arguing that our killing power goes down if we don't include them.

Casey's remarks strike me as someone who has forgotten what he is supposed to be doing... tis a shame that our military leaders are comprised of people like him. It isn't good for the military, it isn't good for America.