He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.
– Albert Einstein
Your definition of diversity is probably flawed in application of this blog post, because you are being indoctrinated to think it means something else.
I had the great pleasure of going to the Naval War College last Thursday to attend a few events ranging from a promotion ceremony to the semester awards ceremony for the Naval War College graduating class of 2012. As many of you know, the annual Current Strategy Forum was also held last week, a forum with a great tradition of being highly informative and intellectually challenging.
While on campus I took the opportunity to solicit opinions from several students regarding this years Current Strategy Forum, and everyone tended to focus on one specific panel of General and Flag officers that was moderated by Undersecretary of the Navy Bob Work. The single most noted characteristic of this particular panel was how one could not slide even a piece of paper between the opinions and positions of the uniformed officers; they all spoke from the same piece of paper.
Of all the ways to describe any panel at any forum, I’m not sure one could describe any such panel in a more disturbing and insulting way.
I imagine the current administration is very proud that publicly there is no disagreement among General and Flag officers on any particular issue, but I can think of no greater marker that should concern a citizen of this nation – a nation that has been fighting wars since September of 2001 where all General and Flag officers appear to agree on everything in public. We are seeing a wider variety of different opinions publicly in print today from the Peoples Liberation Army Navy even under existing Chinese censorship laws than we are from leaders of the United States Navy in a land of free speech – and that is simultaneously remarkable and disturbing by any metric. We casually dismiss such things to the alter of partisan politics, an alter not worthy of the worship it is granted during any period of war for a superpower.
This policy of everyone in the DoD speaking from the same sheet of paper that was enforced by Secretary Gates and now Secretary Panetta is a real problem, because when every leader in the US military has the same opinion in a public forum – particularly at someplace like the Current Strategy Forum at the Naval War College – all but one of those leaders is redundant. In unison the whole of the Department of Defense is publicly saying the world is simple, and they know the answer to every question. Any organization with such public hubris deserves to be destroyed, and if that destruction is by budget then that result is earned rightfully. There is no defense for solidarity of mind among leaders for any organization intrusted with so much responsibility. Under no theory of order has solidarity of opinion been a strength in a free thinking society, and in the highest funded government agency where national security and means of arms is stated as purpose, that kind of oligarchy is dangerous to any free society.
“If you and I think the same, then one of us is redundant…. Diversity is what leads to better problem solving and more creative ideas that can help build an organization and build a business. People should be seeking out more diversity, not settling for less.”
-Tim Penner, Procter & Gamble Canada