Army secretary gets pushback after denying military ‘wokeness’ problems
The secretary of the Army denies that the service branch has been emphasizing racial, gender, and social justice over war-fighting skills, but not everyone believes her.
“I’m not sure what ‘woke’ means. I think woke means a lot of different things to different people,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said on Monday during the Association of the Army’s annual conference. “If ‘woke’ means we are not focused on war-fighting (or) we are not focused on readiness, that doesn’t reflect what I see at installations all around the country or overseas when I go and visit.”
James Carafano, a national security expert with the Heritage Foundation and a 25-year Army veteran, told the Washington Examiner in an interview that “the Army leadership is lying when they say the woke agenda isn’t affecting readiness, and it’s not a distraction.”
BIDEN SHOULD AVOID ‘ARMAGEDDON’ RHETORIC ON RUSSIA, RETIRED TOP ADMIRAL SAYS
“I think it’s a significant problem. And it’s not just that they’re lying to the American people. I think this is a distraction and a diminution of military capability, and in the end, that’s going to cost people’s lives — people are going to die as a result of this,” he added.
President Joe Biden is to blame for the “woke” agenda, Carfano said, arguing that “I’ve seen nonsense like this before from other administrations. This is of a different level of impact.“
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, also an Army veteran, accused Wormuth of lying, saying: “Madam secretary — you know exactly what woke means: dividing by race, promoting CRT, turning Army Green into climate change green. Soldiers don’t need safe spaces, they need a relentless focus on keeping America safe.”
Similarly, Simone Ledeen, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, told the Washington Examiner that Wormuth and other DOD leaders “fool themselves if they believe they are focused on the right things,” and she added: “ After a humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan, Americans see the institutional Army focused on policies that embrace a radical gender agenda and in producing a climate action strategy before the National Security Strategy even makes print. It would appear the only fighting leaders like her are interested in is against the energy industry and human biology.”
Wormuth offered the comments in response to a question about the branch’s investigation into Maj. Gen. Patrick Donahoe’s Twitter exchange with Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson over women’s military service, which was reported by Task & Purpose earlier this week.
Conservatives have accused the military broadly of focusing too intently on diversity and inclusion while taking at the expense of core capabilities, citing a number of examples of what they consider misplaced priorities.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER
The Pentagon has roughly another week to conclude an investigation into Kelisa Wing, the diversity, equity, and inclusion chief of the department’s Education Activity, who stands accused of making anti-white posts while the U.S. Air Force Academy is purportedly telling cadets to avoid using gendered terms, including “mom and dad” or “boyfriend [and] girlfriend,” in its diversity and inclusion training.
Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) referenced both and added: “All branches are asserting that diversity (as measured exclusively in racial and gender terms) improves lethality, citing shoddy social science and ignoring the accumulating evidence that DEI programs increase intergroup hostility. So, yes, we have a woke problem in the military, which means we have a massive leadership problem in the military. If our military leaders cannot reject racial essentialism and prioritize war-fighting, then our recruiting crisis will get worse and our ability to deter wars will suffer.”