I hear and respect your opinions in general, but I have to call this out. I think you’re wrong, here. The military of a democracy is also responsible for making sure its personnel behave in ways that reflect positively on that society. Otherwise, we’d just, I don’t know, use a bunch of drugged-up psychos and turn them lose on whomever we didn’t like or whatnot. We’ve always, as a nation, tried to field as effective a force as possible while staying true to our values. It hasn’t always worked, nor has it always been easy, but we’ve been quite successful overall.
Diversity and sexual harassment strike directly at the effectiveness of the force. If the force is riddled with well-trained racists and sexists, it will still not function well. It has to be filled with well-trained people who also can get along with each other, trust each other, and be assured that their backs are covered by their comrades. You cannot have that simply by training in operational skills and ignoring real problems elsewhere. Admittedly, HOW you train, and how you allocate the available hours, are a leadership and management issue; it’s entirely possible, even likely, that this is not being done well. But the problem to me seems to be leadership. We’ve had a whole slew of problems over the past many years, covering several administrations, where senior officers in all the services have acted in ways that clearly show they are prioritizing their personal gain over the national interest. That stuff filters down to the rank and file. It doesn’t help when officers push back against things like diversity and sexual harassment training–which by the way I’d argue DOES qualify as training very germane to anyone’s job that involves working with others, the military especially–by sabotaging it in various ways, by word and deed.
We have created a military culture, to some degree, where the folks at the top are in it for themselves, or at least are guided not by national policy or a desire to serve the national interest, but by their own personal ideas of what is best. Most officers, I’m sure, are loyal, hard-working, and dedicated professionals, but far too many turn up with a very cynical, self-serving view of their service, and in fact don’t IMO see themselves as “serving” at all, but rather grabbing at their share of the gravy train, or pushing an ideological agenda. Training, motivation, leadership are all going to suffer in this environment.
Really, sometimes I think we need to go back to the draft.