Of course, it doesn’t exactly say that …
Pauline Jelinek, Associated Press
March 7, 2011
WASHINGTON - The U.S. military is too white and too male at the top and needs to change recruiting and promotion policies and lift its ban on women in combat, an independent report for Congress said Monday.
Seventy-seven percent of senior officers in the active-duty military are white, while only 8 percent are black, 5 percent are Hispanic and 16 percent are women, the report by an independent panel said, quoting data from September 2008.
Two decades ago, when the military was at the height of its prestige during the first Gulf War, 7% (I believe) of the generals in the U.S. Army were black. The #1 and #3 generals in the Gulf War (Colin Powell and Calvin Waller) were black.
One barrier that keeps women from the highest ranks is their inability to serve in combat units. Promotion and job opportunities have favored those with battlefield leadership credentials.
The report ordered by Congress in 2009 calls for greater diversity in the military’s leadership so it will better reflect the racial, ethnic and gender mix in the armed forces and in American society.
Efforts over the years to develop a more equal opportunity military have increased the number of women and racial and ethnic minorities in the ranks of leadership. But, the report said, “despite undeniable successes … the armed forces have not yet succeeded in developing a continuing stream of leaders who are as diverse as the nation they serve.”
“This problem will only become more acute as the racial, ethnic and cultural makeup of the United States continues to change,” said the report from the Military Leadership Diversity Commission …
Having military brass that better mirrors the nation can inspire future recruits and help create trust among the general population, the commission said.
An interesting question that the press has strenuously not interested itself in is: Who has been dying in recent wars? You used to hear all the times that minorities are more likely to get killed in America’s wars, but now you never hear anything about the subject.
When I checked on the Iraq War in 2007, American whites, relative to their share of the young population, were getting killed in combat at 1.86 times the rate of nonwhites.
In Afghanistan through 2009, whites were dying at a rate 2.47 times their share of the population of 20-24 year olds.
I asked then:
How could this statistic be spun so it’s “appropriate” for the mainstream media? Here’s a feasible headline:
Minorities Discriminated Against at VA Cemeteries
Whites Get More Free Burials
The AP article continues:
Because they are technically attached to, but not assigned to, combat units, [women] don’t get credit for being in combat arms, something important for promotion to the most senior ranks.
Through 2006, U.S. women had suffered 2% of the fatalities in Iraq.
The most interesting part of the AP article is this exercise in reading between the lines:
Lyles said the commission consulted a panel of enlisted women on the issue. “I didn’t hear, `Rah, rah, we want to be in combat,’” Lyles said. “But I also didn’t hear, `We don’t want to be in combat.’
In other words, enlisted women don’t want to be in combat. The only women who do are the most promotion-crazed female officers, and the enlisted women aren’t excited about getting themselves killed to help get these officers promoted.