Under Biden, Is the Military Focused More on Winning Kinetic Wars or Culture Wars?

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

One has to wonder what the United States military is truly focused on now.

The threat of China is rising so quickly that Australia is boosting its defense budget and its top defense official is warning of the “drums of war.”

Department of Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo’s message to all department staff on Australia’s veterans’ day on Sunday, known as Anzac Day, was published in The Australian newspaper on Tuesday.

“In a world of perpetual tension and dread, the drums of war beat – sometimes faintly and distantly, and at other times more loudly and ever closer,” Pezzullo said.

“Today, as free nations again hear the beating drums and watch worryingly the militarisation of issues that we had, until recent years, thought unlikely to be catalysts for war, let us continue to search unceasingly for the chance for peace while bracing again, yet again, for the curse of war,” he added.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said she had approved of the wording of Pezzullo’s message.

That was back in April 2021.

Here in the United States, Joe Biden’s Pentagon has pushed a servicewide Navy standdown to begin a politicization that, if any Republican entertained anything remotely similar, would elicit howls from the political opposition and their public relations organs in the media. That standdown was seen as “chilling” by military officers and inspired Space Force Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier to write a book about it. That book, Irresistible Revolution, shot to #1 on Amazon despite the publishing giant making it unsearchable on its platform. It also earned Lohmeier relief of his command. He was effectively fired, though his actual legal situation remains murky.

The military that is made of volunteers who swear to defend the United States Constitution “from all enemies, foreign and domestic,” took away Lohmeier’s First Amendment rights — or will have, if he is tossed out of the military after an exemplary career.

The U.S. Army recently produced a series of recruitment ads that have come under criticism for being soft and “woke.” One of the ads depicts a soldier who grew up in a home with lesbian parents.

The ad has been ratioed hard, with more than 76k dislikes to just 4k likes. When the comments section was open, the comments it attracted were reportedly quite negative.

The ad’s political positioning is clear, but setting that aside, its title, “The Calling,” is not a calling to serve America per se. In fact, neither America nor the Constitution is ever mentioned.  What is clearly featured is a self-centered desire to seek “adventures” and to compete with peers who are outwardly doing flashy things such as climbing Mt. Everest.

The Army’s response to criticism of the ad merits examination. Commenters on the YouTube video criticized the ad’s politics. The Army responded by shutting down comments, reports Army Times.

“Beginning May 12 we started noticing a significant uptick in negative commentary,” Laura DeFrancisco, public affairs chief for the Army Enterprise Marketing Office, told Army Times. “The comments violated our social media policy and were not aligned with Army values. Out of respect for the safety and wellbeing of our soldiers and their families, we have disabled the comments.” (emphasis added)

What values are those, exactly?

Presumably, not all of the commenters were active-duty military members. Americans have the right to criticize the military and its marketing choices.

Just what “values” is the Army upholding by cutting off Americans’ to speak directly to the military?

If this was a one-off, it might not mean a whole lot. But it’s not.

Earlier this year, Fox host Tucker Carlson criticized some Army policy and its communications on his nightly show. Several active-duty military members criticized him in what appeared to be a coordinated effort to discredit him, and the Pentagon itself published a poorly written piece claiming that the military’s civilian spokesman John Kirby had “smote” him.

That’s not what the Pentagon spokesman is supposed to do, or wasn’t, before the Biden administration. No one lost their job for that political hit on an American citizen who was doing nothing more than exercising his First Amendment rights. The military’s new virtue signal corps marches on.

Lohmeier’s book, Irresistible Revolution, alleges that critical race theory is being pushed by the Biden administration throughout the military. This raises serious questions about the military’s values, including those the Army claims it is upholding by cutting off comments on its marketing ads.

Critical race theory is Marxist in origin and alleges that race is everything. One is either an oppressor or oppressed in its worldview. Critical race theory also respects no right to free speech or dissent from its orthodoxy.

Critical race theory also openly seeks to destroy our Constitution. Critical race theory teaches that America and its Constitution are unredeemably racist and must be dismantled. Critical race theory proponents explicitly say this.

This would by definition make critical race theory an enemy of the Constitution — the very Constitution that military members swear on their lives to defend.

I served on active duty during the Clinton years. Budget cuts at the time forced units to cannibalize equipment to meet mission goals, but those goals were never once in doubt.

Now? The military’s values are very much in doubt — by its own admission.