The U.S. Defense Department (DOD) has spent a good part of March attacking Fox News host and Daily Caller co-founder Tucker Carlson for criticizing them for focusing too heavily on diversity. Comparing U.S. military ads to China’s proves his point.
The Pentagon went after Carlson after he mocked President Joe Biden for touting “maternity flight suits” and other efforts to make the military appear more inclusive as the chief priority of the DOD. Carlson’s criticism appears substantiated if you look at the way the U.S. military advertises itself and compare it to the Chinese military’s ads.
China’s ads are chiefly about communicating power and seem completely unconcerned with the race or gender of the people in them. U.S. military ads sound like corporate ads, emphasizing pay benefits, “grievances” and more.
One of China’s latest ads looks like something out of Call of Duty, slapping footage of gunfights, missiles and tanks together with a rap soundtrack.
The ad shows soldiers blasting terrorists holding hostages, going so far as to show one terrorist get shot in the head. China’s message is clear: Being a soldier is cool, and our only goal is victory.
Compare that to this one from the U.S. Army, titled “U.S. Army Supports Diversity Awareness,” in which actual war seems to take a back seat.
Here the Army says its goal is to “create an environment in which people feel comfortable expressing their grievances,” because the “Army is a reflection of American society.”
Other ads show soldiers high-fiving little girls wearing hijabs as music swells in the background. Big text then flashes on the screen: “We make battle plans and create breakthroughs.”
The military’s concern about diversity goes well beyond its advertisements as well. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has prioritized educating servicemembers about racism in an attempt to root out “extremists” from the ranks. (RELATED: The Military’s Top Directive For March 17: With Every Decision You Make, Consider Its Effect On LGBTQ People)
Pentagon press secretary and former CNN commentator John Kirby has echoed Austin and Biden on prioritizing diversity.
“I want to be very clear right up front, that the diversity of our military is one of our greatest strengths,” Kirby said during a March 11 press briefing. “I’ve seen it for myself in long months at sea and in the combat waged by our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’ve seen it up on Capitol Hill just this past month. And I see it every day here right at the Pentagon.”
China’s other recruitment ads depict enlisting as a sacrifice made proudly and simply for love of the People’s Republic of China.
Comparable U.S. military recruitment ads give the impression that it’s a college with guns. China’s ads are about sacrifice. U.S. ads are often about what the military can do for you. The one below offers a $40,000 signing bonus for “highly qualified candidates.” (RELATED: Defense Secretary: Pentagon Will Review Diversity In Military)
Carlson’s fundamental argument — that the U.S. military has allowed scrupulous public relations efforts to overtake its basic mission of winning wars — seems borne up through recent public communications. When the Washington Redskins got into hot water in 2019 for claims their name was racially insensitive, for instance, the DOD promptly published an explainer on why its helicopters all have Native American names.
Then, when Carlson suggested the U.S. military should be more focused on fighting, DOD brass dogpiled him.
Women lead our most lethal units with character. They will dominate ANY future battlefield we’re called to fight on. @TuckerCarlson’s words are divisive, don’t reflect our values. We have THE MOST professional, educated, agile, and strongest NCO Corps in the world. https://t.co/WeqWk6IWDq
— SMA Michael Grinston (@16thSMA) March 11, 2021