Why the military-industrial complex went woke

Wokeness is so shallow that even NATO, the CIA and weapons manufacturers have embraced it.

Paddy Hannam

Topics Identity Politics Politics USA

Have you ever wondered what NATO’s position on diversity is?

This week, the world’s most powerful military alliance tweeted, ‘Diversity is our strength’. The tweet featured a video of employees of various ethnic backgrounds, including both men and women, telling viewers to ‘respect our needs’ and ‘embrace our differences’. NATO encouraged Twitter users to share the tweet – which was in honour of ‘#ZeroDiscriminationDay’ – ‘to join us in celebrating the differences that make us stronger’. The organisation which bombed Iraq and Libya back to the dark ages is diverse. How nice.

It’s not just NATO that has leapt on the woke bandwagon. Former CIA boss John Brennan – the ‘principal coordinator’ of a US anti-terror ‘kill list’, who also oversaw American drone strikes – revealed his white guilt this week. ‘I’m increasingly embarrassed to be a white male these days with what I see other white males say’, he told MSNBC.

The US Army is in on the fun, too. It has its own ‘Equity and Inclusion Agency’, which launched ‘Project Inclusion’ last year. This operation included ‘listening sessions with soldiers and civilians worldwide to converse on race, diversity, equity and inclusion’. General James C McConville, chief of staff of the US Army, said on the army’s website that it ‘must continue to put People First by fostering a culture of trust that accepts the experiences and backgrounds of every soldier and civilian’. I wonder what the citizens of the many countries the US has attacked in recent years would have to say about that.

The military is signed up to the environmentalist agenda, too. Both the US and British armies are pursuing ‘Net Zero’ emissions targets. The army needs to be ‘on the right side of the environmental argument, especially in the eyes of that next generation of recruits that increasingly make career decisions based on a prospective employer’s environmental credentials’, according to senior British general Sir Mark Carleton Smith. The military, with its gas-guzzling tanks and fighter jets, is a significant emitter of CO2. So apparently, in order to attract recruits for the next foreign war, we need eco-friendly death machines.

The woke military trend goes beyond armies, government organisations and international alliances. As Vivek Rajkhowa has previously highlighted on spiked, private military contractors have seen which way the political wind is blowing.

Raytheon, a defence and intelligence company which makes, among other things, aircraft engines, missiles and drones for the US military, partnered with the Girl Scouts in 2019 in order to promote a feminist message. A company representative said on Raytheon’s website, ‘we are all about using innovation to make the world a safer place, and we need engineers, especially female engineers, to drive diversity and innovation for the future of our technology’. It seems Raytheon wants more diversity in its bomb-making department.

Dow Chemical – famous for producing skin-burning napalm for American use in the Vietnam War – has also become a woke trendsetter. A Bloomberg article titled ‘How Dow Chemical Got Woke’ noted that, ‘The big conservative chemical company with a legacy of making napalm… has a gay CEO’. It also revealed that company executives get bonuses if they hit ‘inclusion goals’. Dow also flies the gay-pride flag outside its offices.

A company spokesman said in 2019 that he hopes other firms will look at Dow and think, ‘Wow, if this company has these stances, then shame on us’. Yes, that is what companies making weapons-grade chemicals should be ashamed about.

The woke turn in the military-industrial complex is ridiculous. But it also tells us a lot about wokeness itself. If even weapons dealers and armies can get on board with the latest woke fad, then is woke politics really as progressive and radical as its supporters claim?

Let’s not forget how quickly the world’s largest corporations have jumped on board with the woke agenda as well. From McDonald’s changing its Twitter handle to ‘Amplifying Black Voices’, to the CEO of JPMorgan Chase ‘taking the knee’ in front of a huge open bank vault, capitalist elites have embraced wokeness, treating it as an invaluable PR tool.

But it’s more than just PR. Wokeness is a toxic ideology. Its adherents say they want to bring people together, but, in truth, they dehumanise and divide people on the basis of gender, race and sexuality. Those who step out of line are harassed and abused. It’s a regimented, cultist value system which brooks no dissent.

Woke militarism is the next logical step.

Paddy Hannam is editorial assistant at spiked. Follow him on Twitter: @paddyhannam.

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Identity Politics Politics USA


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