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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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July 28, 2022

      “Suppose they gave a war, and no one came.” 

     That was a slogan of the 1960s anti-war movement. Now it’s becoming a reality, at least for the United States Army, as recruiting woes mount. The problem is a simple one: Not enough people want to be soldiers — and with reason. The Army’s No. 2 officer told Congress that the service has no choice but to reduce total force strength by 10,000 for the fiscal year starting in September, with the next year looking even bleaker: By the end of fiscal 2023, it could be up to 28,000 soldiers short of its 476,000-troop target. Army Secretary Christine Wormuth’s spokeswoman said it’s met only half of its recruiting goal so far, this fiscal year — with just 2½ months left. Why is this? There are several potential explanations. One is that the new “woke” Army isn’t all that appealing to the kinds of people who traditionally join the military. Biden is destroying national security at the border, law enforcement and military.

As Jeff Groom writes in Spectator World, the Army has waged a culture war, and it’s a quagmire: “Imagine you are an eighteen-year-old, white, Christian male in Georgia with a family history of military service. As you progressed through your teen years, you watched Confederate statues being torn down and military bases being renamed, endless media and elitist demonization of your culture as racist and deplorable and backwards, and military and civilian leadership that thinks diversity and inclusion (i.e. fewer white men) is best thing since sliced bread. Would you volunteer? Identity politics works both ways.”

     Traditional masculinity is something today’s woke military seems hostile to, but it’s always been the driving force in encouraging people to enlist. A volunteer army needs volunteers, and why exactly would a traditional white male want to volunteer anymore? Note that combat soldiers disproportionately come from the South and face the greatest degree of demonization.  But while the “Get woke, go broke” explanation has a lot of power in all kinds of settings — just ask Disney and Netflix — there’s more going on here.

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