We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day – Royal Air Force recruitment disaster version

Why might an organisation such as the Air Force be tempted to pursue compliance with such zeal that it ends up unlawfully non-compliant? The simple, if cynical, reason is that for any bureaucracy, targets related to process are much easier to hit reliably than targets related to outcomes. What’s more, outcomes-based targets which can be brute-forced through process – ensuring that 40% of recruits are female by 2030, for example – are easier to manage than end-use targets, such as having an operationally effective Air Force.

Henry Hill, CapX.

32 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – Royal Air Force recruitment disaster version

  • lucklucky

    Maybe a factor but i don’t think it is the most important. That is the social rewards that military leadership and bureaucrats have in their social circles. When RAF leadership talks with more emphasis and even viscerally and dreamily about “woke” values than about… air missions, aircraft you know that is not due to more easier measurements but by virtuosity and social rewards they get in their social group.

  • Kirk

    Military culture is something that outsiders and unselfaware military members should always avoid the attempt to manipulate.

    Here’s the thing, the basic principle, that you have to be aware of and fully understand the implications of: Only those things that the commander checks get done. Commander doesn’t check? Nobody cares about it; it goes, inevitably as the sun rising or setting, to the bottom of the lists of military priorities.

    That’s the basic principle. Now, for the corollaries: Only those things which are unequivocally quantifiable are going to be chosen by the commander as things he will check, and those things will likely be chosen by his commander as “important” because they are quantifiable.

    “Readiness” is notoriously unquantifiable. There are even sayings about it that express profound truisms like “No inspection-ready (for the slow, inspections are the commander looking at things) unit ever passed combat; no combat-ready unit ever passed inspection…” describing this set of facts.

    So, you look at this situation with the RAF? What are you really looking at? You’re looking at the fact that they can quantify the number of women on duty and recruited. They can’t easily quantify this chimera termed “readiness”, because everything about that whole thing is subjective; you can’t readily assign values to those things, and what you can assign values to are usually not the important ones that are essentially intangible in the first damn place…

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    That is the social rewards that military leadership and bureaucrats have in their social circles. When RAF leadership talks with more emphasis and even viscerally and dreamily about “woke” values than about… air missions, aircraft you know that is not due to more easier measurements but by virtuosity and social rewards they get in their social group.

    I am not sure. I know one or two RAF people (well, they are now ex-RAF) and I don’t know how they view this in terms of “social rewards” if they were still in the ranks. Maybe those going along with this nonsense hope for promotion, but promoted to lead what: an organisation that cannot recruit sufficiently numbers of talented young adults (mostly men, let’s be blunt here) because of political correctness? Who wants to lead an organisation that is a laughing stock?

    We have come a long way from the likes of Leonard Cheshire, Johnny Johnson and Guy Gibson, that is for sure.

  • Clovis Sangrail

    My daughter, currently at staff college, had to walk out of an informal meeting with colleagues because she couldn’t take any more of the diversity and inclusion bs.
    Some of the senior ranks are obsessed with it. Not sure how quantifiable it is.

  • Kirk

    Can you count the noses of the various and sundry minority groups? Can you document all the training you did on diversity, inclusion, and equity?

    You can? Good for you…

    What you can’t easily quantify are things like your squadron skill levels and experience at doing sortie turnover, ‘cos you can’t train or evaluate those when they’re so expensive to conduct.

    It’s a budget thing; in order to really assess actual readiness levels, you have to actually… Do things. No money to do things? Then, we’ll default to doing Consideration of Others training and all the rest of the mandatory bullshit.

    Meanwhile, you’re bleeding experienced NCOs out to civilian life because they’re tired of doing COO training vs. crew drills and mission-relevant training of all levels.

    That was how they gutted the US military during the “peace dividend” years after Desert Storm. The guys who thrived on hard, realistic training out in the field wilted under the constant garrison time, and the emphasis on all the touchy-feely crap. When I was a private, during the mid-1980s, had you suggested that doing any of the Equal Opportunity bullshit training should take priority over combat-relevant training, then you’d have gotten your nuts cut off and handed to you by all concerned. By the mid-1990s, the exact reverse was true: I was in a unit that canceled field training because it was found that they’d lost the records for all the mandatory training we were supposed to report annually, so they had to redo the whole curriculum of annual mandatory training. It took a full two weeks of time, in order to get everyone up to 100%.

    The ammo that was supposed to be expended doing that field training later had to be shot off and wasted to no real effect, training-wise. I lost a good West Point-commissioned lieutenant to that crap; he just couldn’t live the life of hypocrisy and look himself in the mirror every morning.

    Last I heard, he was literally a forest ranger, doing presentations to people about how to poop in the back country. Good guy, but… Man, what a waste of a West Point education.

  • Steven R

    I’d like to think that once we lose a shooting war we would reassess what we’ve been doing as decide getting rid of warfighters in favor of pandering to special interest people, but we all know TPTB will simply double down on the madness.

  • That is actually very good explanation by Henry Hill.

  • bobby b

    Any different from teachers “teaching to the test”?

  • Kirk

    Steven R said:

    I’d like to think that once we lose a shooting war we would reassess what we’ve been doing as decide getting rid of warfighters in favor of pandering to special interest people, but we all know TPTB will simply double down on the madness.

    This sort of thing is all a part of the endless historical ratcheting effect between opponents. One side gets its act together, wins, the other side loses. The first side gets complacent, sits on its laurels, and has an overabundance of old crufty thinking about war, ‘cos that’s what won the last time. Meanwhile, the losing side, having had its face pushed in, learns from the experience, abandons that which does not work, and comes up with new and better ways to kill people.

    You can see that in the mismatch between the Germans and the French in WWII. Although, I think a case could be made for saying that the French military/political system never was “all that” in the first place, and the only way they managed to win WWI was that they’d astutely made nice with the English for once, and then parlayed that into alliances that resulted in victory by 1918. Left to their own incompetency? WWI would have likely ended in 1915 at the latest, with another German thrashing of them. The French had a good army, but lousy leadership at the political and the military level once you got up to corps and army levels. Their doctrine sucked; the Germans would have trounced them, absent anyone else’s involvement.

    Right now, you can observe the syndromes playing out in Russia vs. Ukraine. The Ukrainians have all the pressure on them, which forces/enables innovation and a certain honesty in reflection on what is vs. what is not working on the battlefield. I expect that trend line to continue, and that the Ukrainians will likely continue to slaughter Russians until the losses finally hit home. Worst case for them, they force a recognition on Russia that Ukraine is like Finland after the Winter and Continuation wars. Best case? All the incompetency catches up with Mother Russia, and she collapses, leaving Ukraine to pick up all the pieces. Along with a bunch of other abused neighbors; I wonder how much planning Finland has done for re-occupying Karelia? If Russia goes down hard enough, I wager that there will be a bunch of outlying regions petitioning to join anyone else they can get to let them in. Kaliningrad? Likely be Polish, again.

  • Paul Marks

    Originally I think it was called Diversity, Inclusion and Equity – but then it was noticed that this spelt out “DI£” so the order was changed to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) part of the “cultural aspect” of the various international agendas (originally declared “legally nonbinding” – but often they have been incorporated into local laws and policies) that many Western governments have signed up to.

    It should be noted that all this stuff, the RAF demanding that a certain proportion of pilots be women or be black, is NOT Classical Marxism (it is not the Marxism of Karl Marx, Frederick Engels, “Stalin” and so on – the Marxism that Mr Putin was taught when he was young) – it is from Frankfurt School “Critical Theory” “Woke” Marxism – and it is designed to DESTROY. It is a weapon – designed (by Herbert Marcuse and later thinkers who developed Frankfurt School Marxism into “Critical Theory” “Wokeness”, “Third Wave Feminism” and-so-on) to undermine and destroy any society who follows this path – the idea being that out of the ashes of the old “capitalist” society (of “patriarchy”, “racism”, “homophobia” and so on) a wonderful new socialist society will emerge.

    The “exploitation and oppression of the Working Class” of Classical Marxism – is added to by Frankfurt School “Woke” Marxism by the idea of the “oppression of…” women, racial and ethnic groups, sexual groups, certain religions communities (and-so-on) – anything to turn people against each other and destroy “capitalist” society. The contradictions are obvious – for example the “Woke” are both pro homosexual and pro Islam (even though Islam denounces homosexual acts “kill the one who does it, and kill the one to whom it is done”) – but the contradictions do not matter to the “Woke” Frankfurt School Marxists – as they are not really about building a new society, they are just about destroying the existing “capitalist” society (the wonderful socialist society is then just supposed to appear by magic – from the ashes of the old “capitalist” society of “patriarchy”. “racism”, “sexism” and so on).

    The People’s Republic of China Communist Party Dictatorship, Mr Putin’s dictatorship in Russia, and so on, do not follow the Frankfurt School of Marxism “Woke” “Critical Theory” path – NOT because they are nice people (they are not nice people), but because they do not wish to destroy their own regimes.

    I repeat, Frankfurt School “Woke” Marxism, “Critical Theory” (which is the opposite of Critical Thinking – as it allows no dissent, no independent thought) is a weapon – its purpose is to destroy the society that it is imposed upon.

    Do the RAF know this? It does not matter if they know or not – as any dissenting officer would be denounced as a “sexist”, “racist”, “transphobe”, “Islamophobe” (all sorts of “ists” and “phobes”) and would be forced out of the service.

    So even RAF officers who know that this path will destroy the Royal Air Force have to follow this path – because they know they would be personally destroyed if they did not.

    It is the same for all other institutions – public and private (including the vast Corporations).

    DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) is like ESG (Environmental and Social Governance) – it is a weapon to destroy the nation (the society) it is directed at – which is why, for example, the People’s Republic of China Communist Party Dictatorship supports it in the West (it is happy to back movements that denounce Western nations as “sexist”, “racist”, “Islamophobic” – what ever), but would never dream of following these doctrines in China – because they do not wish to destroy themselves.

    And, I repeat, any individual who speaks against these “Woke” Frankfurt School Marxist doctrines risks punishment, even in the British Conservative Party and other “anti socialist” political parties in Western countries – to opppose DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion – Frankfurt School doctrines), risks being shouted down as a “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobe”, “transphobe” – and then punishment.

    What Royal Air Force officer will risk their position (and their pension) by opposing DEI Frankfurt School “Woke” doctrines?

    Remember even their own children are being taught to denounce them as “racists”, “sexists”, “Islamophobes”, “Transphobes” and so on.

    The education system, the schools and universities, was the priority target of the “Woke”, Frankfurt School, Marxists – their stranglehold on education has led to their stranglehold on everything else, including the supposedly private vast Corporations.

  • Paul Marks

    Kirk – France was greatly outnumbered by Germany in the First World War, but it also true that French military doctrine at the start of the war was faulty.

    The pro attack doctrines of Foch had become a dogma (ironically Foch himself thought that his ideas had been taken too far by the French military – he himself was more careful) – partly because it was felt that the French army had been too slow and defensive minded in the war of 1870 against Prussia-Germany (Bismarck had managed, by what today would be called a “psyops” campaign) to manipulate the French government into declaring war – thus a war that was planned in Berlin could be passed off as the fault of Paris, and no one would come to the aid of France)

    Vast numbers of French soldiers, the bravest men in France, died in 1914 – “the battles of the frontiers” not by defensive tactics, but by throwing themselves straight at the Germans (to be shot down). The grim exchange of LATE in the 1870 war springs to mind – “where are the soldiers you promised me?” “here they are – here are the volunteers” – “NO – these are brave men who are going to get themselves killed, they are NOT soldiers”.

    However, it is was not all doom and gloom in 1914.

    General Joseph-Simon Gallieni realised that that the Germans had presented their flank whilst advancing – and by highly skilled movements managed to save Paris and drive the Germans into a retreat.

    Indeed General Gallieni could have won the war in 1914, by outflanking the Germans and destroying their army – but both the British (not many of them in 1914 – but important) and Joffre (the overall French commander) did not really understand the situation – and moved too slowly, ignoring the pleas of General Gallieni.

    Sadly most history books give Joffre, not Gallieni, the credit for saving Paris in 1914 – for the same reason that Gallieni was passed over in 1911 – and Joffre given over all command of the French army. Gallieni was (boo-hiss) a “right winger”!, indeed a suspected Royalist. Foch (who eventually took command of the French Army – years later after so many other Generals had failed) was also a bit of a “right-winger”.

    Your point is valid Kirk – politics undermined the French Army, at least to some extent.

  • Paul Marks

    1940 was a different situation – there was massive treason in France, everything from defeatist propaganda, to actual sabotage.

    It was almost as bad as late 1940s China – where Marxist traitors did terrible harm, they were even in key positions in the KMT army – due to Communist influence over the military staff college (set up by the Soviet Union in the 1920s). Most of the Chinese people did NOT want Marxism (in spite of all the claims that they did) – ordinary Chinese soldiers were betrayed by some of their officers – who were traitors. And, yes, betrayed by Washington D.C. as well (which was riddled with traitors – “McCarthyite!” sorry it is the truth), for example the 1946 Manchurian offensive was succeeding, but Washington (yes Washington) ordered that it be stopped, in order for “talks” with the Marxists proceed (as if Marxists understand any position other than destroy or be destroyed – such madness was repeated in Paris in the early 1970s over Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, the “Paris Peace Accords”, as if there can be any peace with the left, one destroys them or one is destroyed by them – the only peace is the peace of the dead, kill or be killed).

    The treason in France in 1940 was organised by the French Communist Party – on the orders of Moscow, which was in active alliance with National Socialist Germany. How many people know this? Even in France?

    In 1939 two powers, not one, invaded Poland – National Socialist Germany and the Marxist Soviet Union, Britain and France declared war on National Socialist Germany – but did not declare war on the Marxist Soviet Union (blatant double standards).

    The Marxist Soviet Union also invaded Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and then invaded Finland (the “Winter War”) and took land from Romania. Yet there was no Declaration of War against the Marxist Soviet Union by Britain of France. In spite of the massive help “Stalin” gave to Hitler.

    Sadly the idea that Marxism had only recently been influential in the West is not correct – it has long been influential.

    F.A. Hayek noted (for example see “The Road to Serfdom”) that as far back as the 1930s even some British Conservatives were coming out with (utterly false) Marxist ideas – without even knowing the ideas were Marxist.

    This was how far the “cultural hegemony” (to use a later term) of Marxism had gone, even then, some (some – not all) British Conservatives coming out with, utterly false, Marxist doctrines – without even knowing they were Marxist in origin.

    Remember how people laughed at the “Woke” (Frankfurt School) book co-authored by Penny Mordant? There should have been no laughter – this lady is a senior Conservative government minister, and the lady did not even know of the Frankfurt School origins of the (utterly false) doctrines she was coming out with (DEI, Diversity-Equity-Inclusion, “Woke” doctrine) – it was nothing to laugh at.

  • Paul Marks

    To end on a hopeful note – in France it is unlawful for a public body to even ask someone their race or religion.

    That makes it difficult for public bodies to discriminate in favour of certain religions or racial groups – as is demanded by Frankfurt School DEI “Woke” Marxism (for example American “elite” universities, such as Harvard, who discriminate against Asian people and in favour of black people).

    It should be unlawful for any organisation that gets taxpayer money to ask people their race or religion or sexual orientation. It should be unlawful to do this in Britain and the United States – and elsewhere.

    It is NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. No organisation that gets taxpayer money (gets government contracts or student loans or whatever) should be allowed to ask people such questions, or keep such records.

    “How may of X group do you employ?” – “I have no idea – go away”.

  • Kirk

    The overall problem with the whole DEI thing is that it enshrines whatever the latest identity fad is for actual performance. You don’t pick the people you’re recruiting for the forces based on their demonstrated quality? Yeah; that’s not going to work out very well.

    The whole mentality is utterly fallacious. The people behind DEI and Affirmative Action all want to slot everything into some vast scheme of appearance-based judgment, instead of demonstrated performance. They do this, I suspect, because they themselves can’t compete on a level playing field, so they seek to unbalance it all in their own favor.

    I spent a lot of time under the racist regimes put in place by these types in the US military. I can’t speak to the actual intent, because I wasn’t there when the policies were conceived and put into place, but I did have to live with the effects they produced. The pernicious and destructive outcomes produced by DEI and all the rest of the faddish bullshit are obvious, once you have to live with them. On the surface, from the outside, they look innocuous and appear to work. Within the belly of the beast? It is to laugh.

    DEI and Affirmative Action are typical doctrinaire leftist thinking, in that as policy, they substitute ideology for actual reality. That’s their essential, irredeemable sin; you can’t fix that crap.

    In the end, it’s really no different than the old-school aristocratic way of doing things, just substituting a different sort of sorting algorithm, although one still based on birth. The weird thing is, the proponents of such things can’t hear themselves echoing the old times, where aristocratic birth got you an automatic preference in society. Today, we say “DEI”, and instead of putting Lord Tittle-Tattle’s incompetent heir into a position where he has no earned right to be, they say the preference ought rightly go to some formerly “oppressed” type as a sort of social penance. We still get the total f*cking incompetent put in charge, all we’ve done is change the source.

    In the end, a pox on all their houses. The only thing that ought to get you a position or a job is demonstrated competence and fitness for it. All of this crap is just the same-old same-old aristocratic birth distinction, just flipped on its head and spun around. All it produces is systemic incompetence and sloth.

  • Paul Marks

    Kirk – yes indeed Sir.

  • Kirk

    If you stop and think about it, an awful lot of modern left-wing thinking is basically repackaged aristocratic privilege.

    Note well how many scions of the upper class somehow wind up deeply embedded with all these movements, taking action against the rest of us who actually believe in and benefit from egalitarian operating modes.

    Strange, that. I’ve always wondered why more people don’t notice that, and remark on it.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Kirk – certainly in the United States Marxism was-and-is mainly an upper class movement.

    And there were a lot of upper class people involved in Marxism in Britain to – the snobbish hatred for “trade” dressed up in “philosophical” clothing.

    This goes back long before Karl Marx (who married a minor aristocrat – and never really worked), it goes back all the way to Plato.

    By the way – Bertrand Russell helped create a group called the 100 – a militant group in CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) which “sprung” the KGB agent Blake from prison. Their Collectivism was not all theoretical – they were active traitors.

    In Cambridge (Cambridge England – and Cambridge Massachusetts) it was a short step for the aristocratic students – a short step from Plato to Karl Marx and other leftist thinkers, the Apostles Club and the (London) Bloomsbury Set show the influence of Plato (for example in their sexual practices) as well as Karl Marx. As did the “Cambridge Five” – the Marxist traitors who went from Cambridge University to the British intelligence service.

    Plato rejected both private property (on any real scale) and freedom of trade (individual liberty) – as did such British leftist thinkers as Bertrand Russell, who had the irritating habit of calling himself a “liberal” (or even a “Whig”) which is exactly what he was NOT.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way Bertrand Russell created a group called the 100, a group withn CND (the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament – whose sign is on the wall of so many fools) who, for example, “sprung” Blake (a Soviet agent) from prison – their Collectivism was not all theoretical they were active traitors.

    The anti nuclear stance was also somewhat of a pose – Bertrand Russell and his associates were not active campaigning against Soviet nuclear weapons, it was the West being armed that they hated.

    Russell was quite consistent – in that he also supported surrender to National Socialist (Nazi) Germany before nuclear weapons were invented.

    It was not nuclear weapons that were the key factor to Bertrand Russell – as a Collectivist he supported submission to the strongest Collectivist power as “Sovereign” (in the sense of absolute ruler – the Thomas Hobbes view of government)- whether it be Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia.

    In his Hobbesian position (submission to an absolute power) Bertrand Russell was the opposite of a Whig – which is, I believe, why he called himself a Whig. Russell delighted in calling himself the opposite of what he was.

    It is a perverted mindset one also sees in the United States – the people who scream about “democracy” and “liberalism” the most – are neither democrats or liberals (two different things – but the totalitarian collectivists of the “Progressive” movement are neither supporters of individual liberty or supporters of democracy).

  • Kirk

    I draw a continuous line down from the incompetent self-centered aristos who decried anyone in trade to today’s mansion-based Marxists. It’s not a direct line of descent, but it most certainly is one of philosophy and belief systems.

    I’m not sure what drives this, but it’s identifiably there. Same sort of mouth-breathing thought, the same sort of disdain for people who “rise from humble station”, and the same sort of over-weening self-esteem for their entirely unearned and undeserved position in society.

    There’s probably a solid psychological cause for this, rooted deeply in the human psyche. The Romans had the same sort of insane deference for the inherited positional status of the so-called “elite” demonstrated in the British aristocracies of the 18th and 19th Centuries, and in the same “upper class” snobbishness here in the US. The irony of it all is just how totally unjustified any of it actually is; I’ve yet to see any form of “virtue” that sticks around a given family line for more than a generation or two; instead, there’s almost always a “shirtsleeves-to-shirtsleeves in three generation” rule that can be observed.

    I’m a pragmatist; I go by evidence and demonstration. I’ve never run into a case where any of these supposed “nature’s noblemen” were worth a spit, regardless of how they were thrown up by whatever system they came out of. The real thing that is observable is that anyone relying on the status and accomplishments of their parents is usually an utter waste of flesh, and if you think that true quality will “breed true”, you’re completely f*cking delusional.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Let’s rewind a little more than a century to see how the military would have been affected in the First World War by the ‘inclusivity’ agenda…

    General Melchett: ‘Now, Blackadder, we need to complete this report on diversity and inclusion for the War Office back in Blighty. First off, how many transgender latrines have been dug out in your trenches?’

    Blackadder: ‘Er, none, General.’

    General Melchett: ‘None, Blackadder? That’s not good. How does young Bob manage?’

    Blackadder: ‘She – er, I mean he, obviously – uses the same latrines as everybody else, General.’

    General Melchett: ‘That’s not good enough, Blackadder. Get it sorted. Now, what is the state of play concerning the provision of wheelchair ramps in the trenches?’

    Blackadder: ‘Wheelchair ramps? Are you being serious, General?’

    General Melchett: ‘Perfectly serious, Blackadder.’

    Blackadder: ‘Well, again, the answer is none, General. We are the fighting force on the front line. There simply is no place for people in wheelchairs here.’

    General Melchett: ‘Whaaaaat?!! Do you intend me to understand that my Captain Blackadder is a discriminatory, narrow-minded, gammon-faced bigot? I despair, Blackadder, I really do. I shall issue an order immediately to have all trenches equipped with an adequate number of wheelchair ramps, so that when the Big Push comes our differently-abled soldiers are able to go over the top into No Man’s Land alongside everyone else. Diversity and inclusion is what will win the war for us, Blackadder!’

    Blackadder: ‘Only if the Germans all collapse with helpless laughter at the sight of wheelchair-bound soldiers suddenly appearing from the trenches and promptly getting bogged down in the mud, General…’

  • Kirk

    That’s disturbingly close to reality.

    I had to deal with the early beginnings of this stuff, and had an argument with one of the anointed and enlightened ones who insistently told me that transsexuals were “just like you and me”, and fit for service.

    I asked about the actual practicalities of accommodating them, pointing to the requirements for ongoing hormonal therapy and the actual requirements for dealing with their surgically-created genitalia.

    I was told that I was wrong, that I was ignorantly exaggerating the requirements.

    Took me a bit, but I ran down what amounted to a handy treatise delivered to newly-transitioned male-to-female types, which went into nauseating detail about all the things required. Which, if anything, were a lot worse than I’d described.

    I handed that document off to my berater, and you could almost hear them turning the reality distortion knob up to about 11, denying that that document was real. I’d supposedly downloaded propaganda, see, from the sex-change clinic…

    You can’t argue with these people. The ability to argue an issue implies that they have a position that they arrived at by means of logic and careful consideration. Instead, the unfortunate reality is that they hold these beliefs as a matter of faith, not rational thought. As such, you may as well try to convert a confirmed religious fanatic.

  • Steven R

    The problem is the suits and stars at the top want a certain result and dead troops are a small price to pay for it. Kara Hultgreen was a mediocre pilot, but the Navy wanted a female Tomcat pilot they could show off, so they put her in the cockpit of a notoriously difficult plane to land. She botched an attempted landing at sea, died in the process, and nearly got her backseat crewman killed in the process. Most times the Navy just says the crewman lost couldn’t be recovered, but the taxpayers spared ne expense finding what was left of her to send home to her family.

    Some communities are known for eating their young, like Surface Warfare. But again, there is the demanded result. Some women were being groomed from their days at the Naval Academy to someday be admirals, like Holly Graf. She made it to captain and along the way never heard the phrase “mentoring to subordinates.” The stories of her driving SW officers out of the Navy simply because they decided it wasn’t worth it to have to serve under someone like her are legion. She insulted an Aussie admiral, but it wasn’t until she choked an Ensign and through a coffee mug at another of her officers that the Navy had to finally beach her. It had done everything it could to make sure she ended with stars on her shoulders, but she forced their hand. Wrecked careers of some of the best officers the Navy had were acceptable losses to keep her on track.

    Kirk can attest to the fact that a male troop who fails out of Ranger of Special Forces school just fails. The Army doesn’t care that he couldn’t hack it because there is another class right around the corner and he won’t be missed. But when the first females went through the course they were pencil whipped and standards changed. Even if the brass said those women got the same treatment and testing, it’s not true because any officer, commissioned, warrant, or NCO, that failed them would find his career coming to a screeching halt. The truth is women aren’t built like men and while we can cherry pick candidates and find the handful of women that can pass those courses (and they are the exceptions that prove the rule), the remains that combat arms physically wreck young men in peak physical condition, but the demand from on high is women be allowed in and succeed. And if it gets troops killed because women in the unit cannot keep up physically, or the unit is undermanned when it is time to deploy because of a sudden rash of pregnancies, or leadership is gutted at the mere accusation of abuse, so be it. The optics are more important than the result. Our first female through Ranger school might have had to have someone carry her ruck on the 12 mile ruck march at the end, but she was getting her tab.

    The result is all that matters. Dead troops are simply martyrs to the cause of fairness despite the battlefield being the least fair place on Earth.

  • Kirk

    I don’t see the whole thing as “women don’t belong in the military”, per se. What I see it as is a problem with the people running the institution being essentially incapable of running things once women are involved. In other words, it ain’t the women that are the problem; it’s the management.

    I worked with a lot of outstanding soldiers that happened to be women. I had zero issues with them; I think they were value-added propositions.

    The problems come in with the irrational idjits that run the whole show. You could create and administrate a force that would be capable of taking in all comers, assessing them honestly, and then making the best use of them as soldiers. That force would not be any of the branches of the US military, because none of those branches are capable of rational and pragmatic action. They also are entirely unable to learn without having the lessons driven home through some Bataan Death March sort of catastrophic event. Which they’re going to experience.

    It’s a reality-denial situation, more than anything else. Rational people recognize that when you intermingle boys and girls, sex is going to happen. Sex happens, kids follow. You can’t get around that fact, so instead of recognizing it openly and saying to the young female recruit something along the lines of “Hey, we’re hiring your ass and spending all the money to train you based on the proposition that you’re going to serve X number of months in your job, in order to make this work as an economic issue… That means, your first term? You serve X months in a deployable state, available for worldwide deployment… Implication? Your ass ain’t getting pregnant, which represents willfully rendering yourself non-deployable. If you do that, then the clock stops on your contract, and it doesn’t start up again until you’re fit for deployment again…”

    Bang. Zoom. That solves a bunch of problems with female soldiers, simply by acknowledging the issue and dealing with it like adults. Instead? What do the US services do? LOL… Treats the little girls like their little girls, indulgently allowing them to spend time pregnant and unfit for duty. You can’t deploy a pregnant woman, so what utility does she serve, other than filling a now-useless slot on your table of organization?

    You could work out effective and fair things in your personnel policies that worked around these issues. Ain’t none of the US military services ever going to do that, ‘cos they’re run by a bunch of immature assholes locked into this mentality wherein little girls don’t have or need agency, and will never, ever be held accountable for their decisions. Everything the do is, instead, effectively enabling all the bad actors and making life miserable for everyone else that tries to do their damn jobs, male and female alike. I went two damn years without a trained senior fuel handler running my fuel section; as a result, they never once passed an inspection. Do you know where my fuel handler was? Pregnant and nursing two kids, which I can’t hold against her because she was career, and deserved the opportunity to start her family just like anyone else, but… The utter lack of common sense and rational thought meant they assigned her to my unit, where she was a key and critical leader, but where she also couldn’t work in her field because of chemical exposure risk while pregnant or nursing. So, I went without qualified junior leadership, and she worked in personnel admin, where she did a really good job.

    But, the Army hired her ass to be a fuel handler, running a fuel section. Does that make any sense?

    Frankly, the US military is just not mature enough to handle having women in the ranks, and as such, should not even attempt to integrate any. It’s a waste of time; they’ll never do it fairly or rationally.

  • Steven R

    I didn’t mean it was a “women shouldn’t be in uniform” kind of a thing. I meant that the orders come from on high to get a desired result and that’s that. Pencil whip tests, change standards, hold hands, whatever it takes, just get the demanded result. And if people die in the process, too bad, so sad, the result was worth it.

    Combat arms may be a lot of things, but a place to put people unable to meet standards just to appease some political bloc is not one of them. There are far to many lives at stake, not to mention the ability to win wars. If you’re in an infantry unit and your new 2LT can’t go out on patrol with his/her platoon because that 150 pound ruck is too heavy, then what good is he as an infantry officer? That applies whether it is a female or a weak male or a FtM transsexual or whatever.

    It’s just far too many brass and suits demand a result and don’t care how it happens, how many careers are destroyed, how much property is lost, how many troops die, and how badly it degrades our ability to wage war so long as they can be “fair” and groom for promotion people who shouldn’t be near those billets, but will get them because they are part of a particular sex, race, or sexuality. I brought up Holly Graf. If she had been male she never would have come near a command with her performance background, but because she had been fast tracked to command because she was female and the Navy wanted a particular result (female captains and admirals) they looked the other way on a lot of stuff. It isn’t to say no woman should be in the Navy, just that the brass had a demanded result and didn’t care how much damage was done to get it.

    And like I said in another post, we’re going to lose a war and when the best and brightest minds sit down to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it, the DoD’s answer will be to double down on what caused us to lose in the first place.

  • Kirk

    I didn’t mean to imply that you were saying that, either. It’s just that the argument always seems to get turned around to discredit anyone questioning the basic premise as though it were, and I meant to head that off at the pass.

    I don’t have a problem with women in uniform. Hell, idealistically, I think they belong there. I think they ought to serve, particularly since they have the vote… Equal privilege, equal obligation.

    Where the whole thing breaks down is in the details, which are administered by the patently unfit-for-purpose types we have running the various defense institutions. For whatever reason, they’re locked into this totally dysfunctional mindset that simultaneously refuses to recognize basic realities, yet insists on putting policies into place that assume things which do not actually exist. It’s schizophrenic in the extreme…

  • Women (here in the US) should be obligated to register for the draft, too.

    Well, ideally, they should just get rid of Selective Service.

  • Kirk

    Personally, I think there ought to be a situation wherein you hit your majority, and you have to sign on agreeing to the basic Constitution, whereupon you’re given the right to vote and all the rest–Along with the inherent responsibilities. You don’t want to sign on? Well, fine; you’re a resident, not a citizen, and don’t get the right to vote. You’ll get taxed at a slightly higher rate because of your non-participation, but you won’t be treated any differently other than that you don’t get a voice in what government does. For that, you need to sign on that you agree with the basic rules, and that you’ll support the Constitution.

    I really don’t like the idea of birthright citizenship. For anyone. You should have to at least indicate that you agree with the basic rules and principles; should you not, well… Fine. Don’t. Just don’t expect much in the way of government services, aside from paying the general taxes for those things you do use.

    Government really ought to be an opt-in affair, akin to a Costco membership. Want the benefits? Fine; here’s what you have to do. Don’t like it? Don’t sign up for it.

  • bobby b

    But, Kirk, half the people would be signing on to Scalia’s Constitution, and the other half to RBG’s Constitution. They’re very different documents.

  • Todd Turley

    Well done, Henry Hill. great article
    Thanks, Samizdata, for reposting.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    @Zerren Yeoville

    I salute you sir (in a non-binary way)

    Re that Diversity Inclusion and Equality (DIE)
    As General Melchett might have added:
    We can’t have people poo-pooing our efforts to DIE. We have to give our plucky Brits every opportunity to DIE.

    And, of course:
    “If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through, Baaaaah!!”

  • Mr Ed

    In his splendid book, The Liberators, Viktor Suvorov, a Ukrainian GRU defector, wrote about his early life in the Soviet Army, including the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. In the aftermath of the invasion, the head of the Soviet Army put a case together to re-design the Army uniforms, as he’d noted that the troops looked tatty and unkempt. His proposition for the change was that a liberator should be resplendent not only in deed, but also in appearance. The Politburo could not possibly disagree with his arguments, so permission and means were given to redesign the Army uniforms, with more buttons and a far more ‘costume’ appearance.

    However, it was found that the new uniforms meant that it took significantly longer for troops to get ‘combat ready’ if the alert was given, due to the new uniforms. The head of the Army was told this, and his response was to downgrade the time required to be ready for combat (showing that the Soviets never believed that NATO would attack first).

    Bureaucracies are essentially the same everywhere and in all times.

  • Kirk

    @ Mr Ed,

    It’s just remotely possible that Viktor Suvorov might not be the most reliable informant on a lot of the “just so” stories he related as he quite literally “sung for his supper” here in the West. The fact that the Soviets, who were notorious for going after their wayward intelligence services with a certain degree of enthusiasm, somehow managed to miss making him an “ex-informant”? That might be a clue to his actual status and/or veracity.

    Your point about the priorities is a good one, and a telling point as to actual Soviet intent. The reality is, however, that anyone who thinks that the amount of time it takes for the average soldier to get into their uniform has any real bearing on how effective a response you’re going to be making to an attack is probably rather more of a risk to their own side than they are to that enemy. It isn’t a very valuable metric, in other words. Not at all. So what if it takes five minutes or fifteen? If your troops are still in the barracks when the attack starts, that’s when you’ve got a problem. You’d be a lot better off focusing on how long it takes to start your tanks, load them with munitions, and get out the gate to their defense positions, which is something that can take hours. Donning a uniform is a tiny fraction of a percentage of the things that have to go on for all that to happen.

    False metrics chosen because you can measure them easily are some of the most insidiously dangerous things out there. You pick the things your inspectors can easily assess? Like as not, those things aren’t really all that important in the grand scheme of things.

    I used to participate in the USAEUR (US Army EURope) alert process, from a worms-eye point of view. The thing that made a lot of that whole thing senseless was that it treated each individual unit as though it were responding to an alert in a vacuum, and that the assumption was that there wasn’t anything going on around the alert to affect anything about it. Usually, those alerts were held in the depths of the night and/or early morning. Why was that important? Well, the one time they screwed things up and called the alert in the middle of rush-hour traffic, guess what happened? Yep; nobody made their marks, and we snarled traffic in town so badly that there were complaints about it all the way up to the Federal German government level. So, we never did an alert in the middle of the day, ever again. Didn’t help that the unusual time convinced all concerned, including the local Germans, that the balloon had really and truly gone up that day…

    Most of what can be inspected easily is essentially and utterly meaningless. That’s a rule of thumb to live and die by.

    The stuff which really needs inspecting isn’t amenable to actual, y’know… Inspection. Mostly because a lot of it is entirely the sort of thing we use the term “intangible” to describe.