Mark Figley: Wanted: A politically correct military?

By Mark Figley - Guest Columnist

Veterans Day is observed annually to honor all those who have served in the United States Armed Services. As we once again approach this solemn time, author James Hassan’s new book, “Stand Down: How Social Justice Warriors Are Sabotaging America’s Military,” gives light to the conditions under which our service members increasingly serve, imposed not by a foreign enemy, but via self-serving politicians.

Hassan’s primary contention is simple: that during the Obama administration, political appointees, not military members, set the agenda. And Hassan, who commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army in 2011 and remained there through nearly the end of Obama’s second term, should know.

Hassan comes from a military family dating back to his Marine Corps lieutenant colonel grandfather and utilized access to top generals and other military leaders in documenting what really happened to the U.S. military during the Obama years; much of which was far from pretty.

Like most who sign up for military service, Hassan wanted to give back to his country. Though upon being deployed to Afghanistan, he soon realized that the military in general “spent so much time doing things that had nothing to do with our actual job.” Things like equal-opportunity and “implicit-bias” training or endless PowerPoint presentations that do nothing to prepare troops for surviving the deadly aspects of war.

The constant emphasis on social-justice issues convinced Hassan to write his book, since the Army he “joined during Obama’s first term was nothing like the Army he left towards the end of his second term.” And the progressive policy/cultural changes implemented under Obama were not things that many of Hassan’s military sources felt comfortable speaking to the media about.

Hassan documents how this politically-correct drivel kills morale; since the political appointees making day-to-day military decisions often have an entirely different interpretation as to what the battlefield mission truly is.

One prime example cited by Hassan was the focus on identity politics ie. accomplishing stated goals versus winning the Afghan war. Numerous generals interviewed by Hassan who were present when decisions were being made from the White House spoke about never receiving guidance on troop strength or military strategy. Instead, the emphasis was on integrating transgender or gender-neutral individuals into service over the objections of military leaders and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Hassan also deals with the changing mentality of the service academies run by left-wing professors instead of military instructors; a trend which began under President Clinton, but expanded under Obama.

For instance, Safe Space signs are now increasingly visible outside instructor’s doors at the Naval Academy for students who may be offended by certain speech. A sensitivity course is also now available at all of the academies. Meanwhile, West Point now has a diversity and inclusion studies minor like that commonly offered at Ivy League schools.

Throw in a West Point professor conducting cadet focus groups on Obama transgender policy and female cadets questioning physical-readiness standards in the name of “gender cosmopolitanism.” And, according to Hassan, even the teaching of history at West Point has been revamped; with a greater focus on division in America ie. gender, class and race instead of teaching leadership qualities.

Then, Hassan writes that under Obama’s warped social engineering mentality, soldiers could serve according to the physical-fitness and body-composition standards not of their biological sex, but the gender they identified with. The ensuing confusion, associated privacy issues and mixed genitalia was “all good for America” according to deputy assistant secretary of defense Anthony Kurta. But what about on the battlefield?

The Obama administration further determined women could fight in combat in 2015 despite data which concluded that all-male units outperformed mixed-gender units 80% of the time. Injury rates for females were astronomically higher too. In the end, the Marine Corps submitted a report which included these findings; however, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus refused to even read it according to Hassan.

In days of old, the U.S. military mission was simple: to blow up things and kill people in the pursuit of victory. This Veterans Day, James Hassan has done America, and especially its veterans, a great service by exposing the farcical, lunatic policies which governed our military under Barack Obama. Shortsighted ideals such as these do a great disservice to our fighting men and women through their sheer idiocy and are gradually being curtailed or rolled back by the Trump administration. Today, their elimination not only keeps our service members safer in time of conflict, but allows us to honor more of them through life than in death.

By Mark Figley

Guest Columnist

Mark Figley is a political activist and guest columnist from Elida. His column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the The Lima News editorial board or AIM Media, owner of The Lima News. Reach him a

Mark Figley is a political activist and guest columnist from Elida. His column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the The Lima News editorial board or AIM Media, owner of The Lima News. Reach him a

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