Streetwise Professor

August 2, 2017

Tell It to the Marines: SJWs are Inimical to Real Warfighting

Filed under: History,Military,Politics — The Professor @ 11:43 am

Everything in the military should be directed to its purpose: winning wars while being sparing of American lives. As Patton said, making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country. The focus should be on lethality, and strategic, operational, and tactical prowess. All other considerations are beyond secondary, because it is a matter of life and death, not to mention national security.

This is why I read with satisfaction that SecDef Mattis wants to focus training on warfighting, not Mickey Mouse:

Notably, Mattis has ordered a review of the “requirements for mandatory force training that does not directly support core tasks” – the many hours soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines spend prior to deployment meeting the Pentagon-required tasks that sometimes have little to do with the role they will actually fulfill when deployed.

“I want to verify that our military policies also support and enhance warfighting readiness and force lethality,” Mattis said.

Damn right. And about time.  To do otherwise puts lives at risk, and jeopardizes the national interest by compromising the ability of the military to fight and win wars.

But real warriors have long been the target of Social Justice Warriors who want to use the military to advance their agendas, even when doing so is inimical to combat effectiveness, either because it diverts resources from primary missions, or because it actually undermines order, discipline, and effectiveness.

The recent kerfuffle over transgenders in the military is a case in point. The whole purpose of making transgenders in the military a cause celebre had nothing at all to do with fighting shooting wars: it was all about fighting the culture war. Some of the attacks on Trump for his bolt-from-the-blue statement that he was overturning the late-in-the-day Obama policy regarding transgenders in the military were rather astounding. One was the commonly repeated statement that there were as many as 15,000 transgendered individuals in the US military. That would be 1 percent of the force: bull. (How many transgenders do you know?) Even the Rand study that was commissioned to advise Obama administration policy put the number at less than half of that–at most–and admits that there is no empirical or epidemiological basis for the number. It is a wild ass guess. Nothing more.

Then there were statements like how terrible it was to exclude transgenders from the military because the suicide attempt rate among them is almost 10 times that of the population at large. Methinks that argument cuts quite the other way: why would you want to put in a high stress environment people who are disproportionately suffering from severe emotional problems? This is not conducive to military effectiveness, and even putting that aside, how is it helping these people? Suicide rates are already above average for military personnel, especially those who have been in combat: tell me how it is compassionate to encourage such emotionally vulnerable individuals to go into a profession that can test every fiber of the far stronger? Indeed, it is sick that transgenders are being used as pawns in the SJW war on convention and majority culture.

My policy recommendation is pretty simple: don’t ask, don’t snip. Apply the same standards of conduct and performance. Those that hack it, fine. Those that can’t–adios. That’s a truly non-discriminatory policy that is consistent with the overriding goal of the military: combat effectiveness.

The recent flap over transgenders sparked by a (go figure) Trump tweet is only the most recent example of the SJW campaign against traditional military norms. One that I’ve been keeping my eye on is efforts to change the Marine Corps, always a bête noire to the left because of its unapologetic, uncompromising stance on traditional standards of the service, and its resistance to PC tripe that the other branches have capitulated to. The anti-USMC vanguard sees an opening due to the recent scandal involving Marines sharing online naked photos of female Marines, often accompanied by unflattering commentary.

Is it gross? Yes. Would I be upset if my daughters were the subject of such indignities? Probably–although I am sure I would tell them that this is a problem easily avoided: don’t pose for (or take yourself) nude photos.

But even granting, for the sake of argument, that the Marine Corps is a socially retrograde institution, out of step with progressive values, and beset with misogyny: I don’t care! I look at the effects of its culture and traditions at achieving the purpose of the organization: on those terms, its record is unparalleled. Do not interfere with any military organization that has achieved a record unblemished by defeat. Do not interfere with any military organization that within the last 100 years has been able to get its men to fight and win horrific battles. There is no other body of troops of similar size that can match its record. Just look at the names: Belleau Wood, some bloody small wars in Central America and Haiti, Wake Island, Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Bougainville, Tarawa, Peleliu, Saipan, Guam, Tinian, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Inchon, Seoul, the Chosin Reservoir, Hue, Kuwait, Fallujah I and II. Grinding, bloody battles all. Despite often fighting on a shoestring (always being last in line for equipment) and facing grave disadvantages in terrain, protection, and position, and taking grievous casualties, the Marines always prevailed. (Yes, Wake is an exception. But that was a forlorn hope in which the Marines covered themselves in glory.)

When people approached Lincoln with tales of Grant’s drinking, he responded: find out what kind of whiskey he drinks and send a barrel of it to all my generals. I have a similar response to those criticizing the retrograde social attitudes of the Marine Corps.

The truth is that we have little understanding of the unique alchemy that creates an exceptional military force like the Marine Corps. It is possible, and indeed even likely, that the attributes of the Marine Corps that most infuriate SJWs are inseparable from those that make it a nonpareil military force. PC won’t prevail on Peleliu. SJWs won’t take Saipan.

The case for letting Marines be Marines is strengthened by the fact that it is, and always has been (with some modest exceptions in WWII and Vietnam) a volunteer organization. Nobody makes you become Marine, and you should know what you are getting into: in fact, it is precisely that knowledge that induces many to join. Self-selection at work.

I have long admired the Marines, but I knew from my days at Navy that I could never be a Marine in million years–another example of self-selection. But that’s definitely a feature, not a bug. By attracting and retaining people that are suited to the institution’s idiosyncrasies, the Corps has created a culture and esprit that has allowed it to achieve great deeds. It ain’t for everybody. And that’s why it’s great at what it does.

During the recent transgender kerfuffle some criticized using the military to carry out social engineering, to which some objected that the military is nothing but a product of social engineering. But this is not true. Most longstanding military organizations are emergent, not designed or engineered. They are the products of a long evolutionary process. Channeling Hayek, organizations like the Marine Corps are the product of human action, not of the execution of any human design. They have an internal logic that is often tacit and really impossible to understand. One attempts to redesign or manipulate them at one’s peril. Or, more accurately, at ours. For doing things that undermine the effectiveness of the USMC, or of other branches of the US military, gets people killed and undermine the security and interests of the country.

 

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25 Comments »

  1. Winning wars when you’re a military colossus is easy.
    Winning the peace after, as Afghanistan and Iraq has shown, is harder.
    While I have enormous admiration for the marines, I suspect that future investment would be better made in an international police service. Maybe if they’d been better funded we wouldn’t have had the Abu Graib snafu.

    Comment by james — August 2, 2017 @ 1:23 pm

  2. “Winning wars when you’re a military colossus is easy.” Not on form. The US has been good at winning battles, lousy at winning wars. Since WWII by my count the only wars she’s won have been single battle wars, namely the first Iraq war, and the air war against Serbia. Unless you want to count silly little skirmishes such as Grenada.

    Comment by dearieme — August 2, 2017 @ 4:56 pm

  3. Craig — funny you should mention Saipan — I am in Saipan right now on client business. There are memorials to our fighting men all over the island. You walk through the dense jungles and foliage here and you can still find ammunition and other remnants of the battle. The valor our soldiers showed in rooting out the enemy in this environment is breath-taking. And you are of course correct — today’s SJWs would soil themselves at even the thought of what these men were willing and able to achieve.

    Comment by Dan V Jackson — August 2, 2017 @ 5:09 pm

  4. For james — here’s your international police service –
    https://youtu.be/U1mlCPMYtPk

    Comment by Mudak — August 2, 2017 @ 6:23 pm

  5. Dearie, you’re right. But the military must think about the consequences.
    My boy wants to join the army. I have no experience, so I bought a small book, 4th generation warfare, about it, read it and passed over.
    Trouble is it’s crap. It should be called 10th generation.
    Generations since time when:
    1 Land
    2 Tax (slavery or peonage)
    3 Colonialism, getting sugar, spices, bananas or other stuff that can’t grow in Europe
    4 Governments, behaving like idiots as usual.
    5, 6,7…

    Comment by james — August 2, 2017 @ 6:31 pm

  6. Dearieme,

    “War is politics by other means”. The US military can’t fix piss poor political aims or decision making. They carry out missions given by them by the political masters. If we haven’t won the wars, it was because the politicians f’d it up. The first war in Iraq was won because its speed stopped interference and once Washington did get involved, they failed to press the military advantage.

    Comment by The Pilot — August 2, 2017 @ 8:42 pm

  7. A friend of mine, US Army Green Berets, was a Colonel on Schwarzkopf’s staff for Desert Storm. He says the General told Bush senior “If you want me for the job, give me my objectives and stay out of it. If are even thinking of micromanaging, find someone else”

    Comment by Andrew — August 3, 2017 @ 1:34 am

  8. “the General told Bush senior …”: but then Bush Senior had himself taken part in war. Mind you, so had JFK and he launched that mega-stupid invasion of Cuba, provoked the Cuban missile crisis, and got the Vietnam war underway for the US. It puts into context his war record of being the only skipper to get his motor patrol boat rammed and sunk by a Japanese vessel.

    Conclusion: elect as president someone with some successful experience of war, and brains enough to reflect on the lessons. But the last extended, successful war was WWII, which rather limits your choices.

    Comment by dearieme — August 3, 2017 @ 3:50 am

  9. Agreed: Fighting ability should be what counts. Your private life is your business.

    That said: “sharing online naked photos of female Marines, often accompanied by unflattering commentary” does not sound like good comradeship, something that is essential in a fighting force.

    Comment by Hiberno Frog — August 3, 2017 @ 8:00 am

  10. Isn’t it President Trump who made transgenders in the military into an issue? There was no problem until he decided to disparage them.

    Comment by aaa — August 3, 2017 @ 8:14 am

  11. Dearieme,

    I think you goofed up a lot of JFK history there. Bay of Pigs was a “hand-off” from Ike’s CIA; do tell how JFK provoked the Cuban Missile Crisis (other than a weak showing in front of Krushchev) and Ike had sent advisors to Vietnam which did really get going til LBJ. JFK’s weakness, like many President’s, was not clamping down on the CIA. The CIA is wonderful servant and a very dangerous master.

    Comment by The Pilot — August 3, 2017 @ 8:29 am

  12. “I think you goofed up a lot of JFK history there”: no, I merely ignored all the hagiography of JFK. It doesn’t matter whether the Bay of Pigs was planned under Ike: JFK was the muttonhead who ordered it to go ahead. He provoked the Cuban missile crisis by his reckless decision to deploy first-strike missiles in Turkey. He started the substantial US contribution to Vietnam: an increase from 685 advisers to 16,732 “advisers” seems a substantial change to me and, more importantly, it seemed substantial to the Vietnamese governments, North and South, and to his successor LBJ.

    Kennedy gets absurdly kind treatment by journalists and historians because he was charming, good-looking, youngish, and shot.

    Comment by dearieme — August 3, 2017 @ 2:36 pm

  13. Dearie
    I think you forgot to mention the sex fiend aspect.
    Who are the most respected former presidents? JKF and Clinton.
    And Abe Lincoln sired a few if I recall.
    It’s not my area of expertise (I’m not even in the US) but the US does seem to have an odd heads-or-tails about this. Puritan one moment, prurient the next.

    Comment by james — August 3, 2017 @ 3:31 pm

  14. Forgot to add:
    Will Trump be remembered with the same affection?

    Comment by james — August 3, 2017 @ 3:41 pm

  15. Can’t wait to see what other orders are delivered to the armed forces via twitter! Forget about whether you agree with the substance, it’s all about the flawless twitter execution!! Exciting!

    Comment by Job — August 4, 2017 @ 5:19 am

  16. Isn’t it President Trump who made transgenders in the military into an issue?

    Er, no. That would be President Obama, whose priority was “fulfilling a key piece of the Obama administration’s historic legacy on LGBT rights” – and to hell with the consequences (whatever they might be).

    Comment by Fen Tiger — August 4, 2017 @ 6:21 am

  17. Meanwhile, competing branches of the US government still engage in Third World proxy wars, in which the Defense Department and its political allies and satellites (the Republican Party, the arms and energy industry, Israel) face off against the State Department and its allies and satellites (the Democratic Party, the NGOs and universities, Europe, Palestine). The true nature of these conflicts, which would end instantly if the US was under unitary leadership, or even if both American factions could agree to cut off all “aid” to all their foreign satellites, is admitted by no one. It is considered entirely normal that the US often arms, and always talks with, both sides of these bizarre, incurable pseudo-wars.

    Comment by Mencius Moldbug — August 4, 2017 @ 7:32 am

  18. Meanwhile, competing branches of the US government still engage in Third World proxy wars, in which the Defense Department and its political allies and satellites (the Republican Party, the arms and energy industry, Israel) face off against the State Department and its allies and satellites (the Democratic Party, the NGOs and universities, Europe, Palestine). The true nature of these conflicts, which would end instantly if the US was under unitary leadership, or even if both American factions could agree to cut off all “aid” to all their foreign satellites, is admitted by no one. It is considered entirely normal that the US often arms, and always talks with, both sides of these bizarre, incurable pseudo-wars.

    Comment by The Master — August 5, 2017 @ 3:55 am

  19. @Dan-Great to hear from you. That’s quite an experience to visit Saipan. I would like to go there someday. My work takes me to a lot of places, but nothing like that! Enjoy.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — August 5, 2017 @ 2:08 pm

  20. The only other NATO nation barring transgenders is Turkey – great company to keep. Whilst belief in American exceptionalism is patriotic, it would arrogance to assume everyone else is wrong and Trump,is right – prempting the DoD report that was requested on he subject and tweeting the ban for political reasons to get the bill containing his wall funding passed.

    As an aside, the military have always been one of the tools used Washington as a tool of social change – being one of the few major organisations over which it has control outside that if the states. It is interesting to review the size, budget and extent if the military-industrial complex and the role it plays in distributing funds and work in the USA as opposed to other tools in more integrated nations.

    You might also want to consider if it was a coincidence that Trump tweeted his ban on 26th July – the 69th anniversary of the day that President Truman ordered the end of segregation in the military and federal jobs. Some might consider that social engineering.

    Oh, and James, I think you might find Reagan above Clinton and JFK on that list.

    Comment by Josephine — August 6, 2017 @ 12:33 am

  21. […] Tell It to the Marines: SJWs are Inimical to Real Warfighting […]

    Pingback by Worth the Read - Excellent! | We'll All Die As Marines — August 12, 2017 @ 2:31 pm

  22. @Professor
    Couldn’t agree more with your observations on Marine’s and elite fighting forces. Many of the responses seem ignorant of the topic.

    Elite fighting forces demonstrate total comradeship in battle. Interaction when not in battle provides that they will be tough enough to provide that comradeship when in battle.

    Comment by pahoben — August 13, 2017 @ 3:11 am

  23. JFK threatened to break the CIA into ten thousand pieces and scatter it to the wind. He did not have time to make good his threat, or to clamp down on them, if you will, because he was assassinated. There is evidence LBJ heard about it before it happened. From what I have read or can figure, groups that had the motivation for this covered up coup called an assassination included CIA, mafia groups (quite a few godfathers were imprisoned under AG Bobby Kennedy’s mafia crackdown, not a good thing considering the mafia threw the Chicago election for the Kennedys.). Quite a few mafioisi and Corsican assassins checked in to Dallas hotels in the week leading up to the assassination. Currently, the deep state suffers from a Clinton/Obama virus, with various appointees attempting a soft coup on Trump. Hopefully, Trump will prevail.

    Comment by Bruce Hammond — August 15, 2017 @ 10:47 pm

  24. Amen!

    Comment by David Gillis — August 21, 2017 @ 4:38 pm

  25. […] streetwiseprofessor.com/?p=10626 […]

    Pingback by Conservative Women’s Forum :: Chapel Hill, NC » Blog Archive TELL IT TO THE MARINES: SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS ARE INIMICAL TO REAL WARFIGHTING - Conservative Women's Forum :: Chapel Hill, NC — September 3, 2017 @ 6:59 pm

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