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DEI is a threat to national security

The UK’s armed forces now care more about diversity targets than defending the country.

Lauren Smith

Topics Identity Politics UK World

Is diversity more important than defence? Incredibly, many of those in charge of Britain’s armed forces now seem to think so.

At the weekend, the Sunday Telegraph revealed that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) intends to relax its security checks for non-UK army recruits. The hope is that this will help to increase diversity among the forces.

This is all spelled out in a leaked document entitled, ‘The British Army’s Race Action Plan’, which was produced in March 2023. It laments that the army ‘struggles to attract talent from ethnic-minority backgrounds into the officer corps’. And it points to security-clearance vetting as ‘the primary barrier to non-UK personnel gaining a commission in the army’. As a result, officials promise to ‘challenge’ these security requirements in order to boost diversity, particularly in the intelligence corps.

Is the army looking to increase the ‘representation’ of foreign adversaries in its ranks? If so, lowering security clearances for foreign recruits seems a surefire way to achieve this. It is practically an open invitation to all manner of extremists and spies to try to access the UK’s secrets.

It would probably strike most right-thinking people as insane to compromise national security for the sake of ‘diversity, equity and inclusion’ (DEI) targets. Not least because the aim here is to increase representation not of British minorities, but of those who do not live in the country at all. And yet you can find DEI ideology at work at just about every level of the UK armed forces.

The problem goes far beyond recruitment. Every year, all military personnel must complete mandatory diversity and inclusion training. This includes attending workshops on ‘microaggressions’, ‘privilege’ and ‘unconscious bias’. The MoD’s insistence on unconscious-bias training is particularly egregious. Back in 2020, the UK government promised to phase out these training sessions, not least as research shows that they actually increase racial tension in the workplace. But such is the MoD’s devotion to diversity dogma, it seems to have ignored or overruled the memo.

The Royal Air Force has also succumbed to the cult of DEI. In 2022, the RAF was accused of purposefully withholding jobs from white male candidates to try to meet its diversity targets. Such discrimination on the grounds of race and gender is, of course, illegal. And so RAF chiefs initially denied the reports. Nevertheless, leaked emails between RAF top brass later established that they were determined to stop hiring those they dismissed as ‘useless white male pilots’.

While white male candidates faced impossible hurdles during the RAF recruitment process, standards were deliberately relaxed for female and non-white recruits. Emails leaked last summer showed that some women and ethnic-minority applicants were offered places in the RAF even before they had completed the usually mandatory fitness test.

In 2022, the head of RAF recruitment resigned in protest. She revealed that she had personally identified 160 incidents of discrimination against white men. In 2023, 31 of those candidates received £5,000 from the RAF in compensation.

There is no end to this DEI nonsense. Last month, the Telegraph reported that the Royal Navy has taken sailors and marines off their main duties to redeploy them as ‘diversity and inclusion officers’. Internal job ads called for officers to transfer to navy headquarters in Portsmouth to work on DEI policy.

This emerged not long after it was announced that two navy warships would be decommissioned due to staffing shortages. Earlier this year, the navy was unable to send an aircraft carrier to defend shipping in the Red Sea from attacks by Houthi rebels, because there simply weren’t enough sailors to run the vessel. How many of them were too busy trying to ‘understand the lived experiences’ of the navy’s diverse personnel?

Those naval officers who decide to stay on the frontline are still expected to keep up with all the latest woke diktats. Last year, the Telegraph revealed that official navy guidance instructs sailors to introduce themselves to colleagues with their preferred pronouns. It suggests saying ‘good morning, everyone / team’ instead of ‘good morning, guys’ in meetings, as a way of avoiding gendered language. It also urges all personnel to ‘avoid microaggressions’.

Perhaps it’s no wonder that the armed forces are so undermanned – sorry, underpersonned – if this is the kind of thing recruits are expected to focus on. After all, the army’s identitarian turn is not a state secret – it has used wokeness quite explicitly in its recruitment drives. In 2019, adverts called on ‘snowflakes’ to sign up because the army supposedly needs their ‘compassion’.

Clearly, this strategy hasn’t worked. The number of personnel has steadily decreased every year since then. If anything, the obsession with identity politics has probably made the military’s recruitment crisis worse, by putting off some would-be recruits.

Why are the armed forces doing this to themselves? Defenders of these diversity drives say they are needed to attract the best talent. Without robust DEI policies, it is argued, well-deserving candidates from ethnic-minority groups will be overlooked or held back.

Of course, breaking down barriers where they exist is a laudable aim. Any racial discrimination should be rooted out. But if DEI were really about finding hidden talent, then why do military chiefs keep lowering their standards in order to fill their ranks with more ‘diverse’ candidates?

This woke colonisation of the armed forces should be a far bigger scandal than it currently is. At a time of heightened global tensions, our military leaders are not only being distracted by woke diktats – they are actively sacrificing our security to meet them. DEI is a dangerous cult, and it needs to be challenged.

Lauren Smith is a staff writer at spiked.

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Identity Politics UK World

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