Military

John Kirby Calls Criticisms Of ‘Wokeness’ In US Military ‘Ridiculous,’ Sen. Cotton Disagrees

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Gretchen Clayson Contributor
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Pentagon spokesman John Kirby refuted claims that the US military has gone woke after “Fox News Sunday” host Dana Perino pressed him on the issue.

“I think a lot of it, quite frankly, is driving a stake through a straw man here. This argument of wokeness in the military — I was in the military for 30 years, and I can tell you things like diversity and inclusion, that makes us a better military because it brings to the fore, in the decision-making, operational decision-making, that we conduct better ideas, more unique perspectives. Somebody else’s lived experiences which might actually make us smarter on the battlefield. So we know those kinds of arguments I think — I think are ridiculous,” he said.

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Republican Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton disagreed, telling Perino later in the broadcast, “it’s not ridiculous, and it is happening.”

Cotton stated that for months the Senate Armed Services Committee has received “hundreds and hundreds of calls” about “egregiously inappropriate training sessions.” Cotton conceded that the diversity of America could be reflected in our military and strength, but argued that “it’s not something that our military needs to constantly obsess about.”

Among the complaints submitted were reports of soldiers being forced to watch videos on systemic racism, white males being excluded from diversity training events, BLM flags allowed in barracks, and soldiers forced to participate in exercises to help identify their supposed bias, according to a memorandum released by the Senate Armed Services Committee. (RELATED: ‘I Want To Understand White Rage’: Joint Chiefs Chairman Defends Teaching CRT, Rips ‘Offensive’ Criticisms Of ‘Woke’ US Military)

“Troops fight for the flag on the shoulder, and they fight for the man and a woman to their left and right. If you undermine their belief that that flag stands for a good and moral country, if you undermine their belief that the man and a woman to their right is fighting for them, irrespective of their skin color, are they going to be as motivated to fight as they otherwise might be?” Cotton asked. (RELATED: ‘We Are Not Training’ For The Super Bowl: Tucker Carlson Guest Slams ‘PC Demands’ In US Military)

Cotton also expressed doubt that Chinese and Russian troops were spending hours in diversity training, observing “we need our military to be focused 100 percent on protecting America.”