Pentagon struggles to fill military requests for Ukraine, as funding goes to diversity critical race theory

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By CASEY HARPER

The Pentagon is increasingly struggling to fill the weapons and equipment requests for the war in Ukraine. At the same time, taxpayer funds are going to pay for ongoing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts in the military, most recently one controversial Pentagon official pushing anti-police and pro-critical race theory books at schools for the children of military families.

The New York Times recently highlighted the Pentagon’s manufacturing problem with a story headlined: “From Rockets to Ball Bearings: Pentagon Struggles to Feed War Machine.”

The Pentagon would reportedly struggle to manufacture enough precision missiles if conflict with China broke out after sending over a decades worth of Stinger missiles to Ukraine as soon as the war broke out, one of multiple concerning manufacturing issues that have been exposed by the demands of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I’ve been sounding an alarm for months about shortcomings [and] shrinkages in our defense production capacity,” U.S> Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said in response to the story. “Mergers [and] supply chain issues are only part of the problem. America is neglecting our biggest resource – people. And our key challenge – workforce training.”

Those difficulties come as the Pentagon increasingly focuses its attention, and funds, on equity initiatives.

Critics say the Pentagon has become distracted. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, commissioned a report that laid out a series of examples of racial and gender ideology permeating military training, policies and leadership, all at taxpayer expense, as The Center Square previously reported.

In one of those examples, the report points to official training materials in which West Point cadets are lectured on white privilege. The report points to another case where a slide presentation for the Air Force Academy is titled, “Diversity & Inclusion: What it is, why we care, & what we can do,” which warns cadets to avoid gendered language, such as terms like “mom” and “dad.”

The recent Department of Defense’s comptroller’s budget report points to millions of dollars in equity funding as well.

“Ensuring accountable leadership by adding nearly $500 million in FY 2023 to implement the recommendations of the Independent Review Commission (IRC) on Sexual Assault in the Military, enhancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) programs, and addressing extremism in the ranks,” the comptroller report said.

“The Department will lead with our values – building diversity, equity, and inclusion into everything we do,” the report added.

The report points to $86.5 million for “dedicated diversity and inclusion activities.” 

“Additionally, to facilitate, inform, and advance agency progress on issues relating to DEIA, DoD established the DoD Equity Team (DET) in 2021,” the report said. “The DET addressed a broad range of DEIA issues, including the need for increased diversity within the talent pipeline; challenges pertaining to DEIA data collection, analysis, and management; and integration of D&I curriculum into leadership development training.”

Major Charlie Dietz, a DOD spokesman in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, pushed back against the GOP report after its release.

“Diversity, inclusion, and equality at its core is about leveraging the strengths of all our people, advancing opportunity, addressing potential barriers or discrepancies, and – fundamentally – ensuring people are treated with dignity and respect,” he told The Center Square at the time of the report’s release. “We always talk about weapons systems, yet every one of us will agree that our greatest weapons system are our people. So that’s why our policies to better leverage our people and increase unit cohesion are important here.”

The Pentagon’s Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion has come under increased scrutiny after one of its employees was caught tweeting anti-white comments online.

Open the Books, a government spending accountability group, helped uncover Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) chief, Kelisa Wing, who published a string of racist tweets and has a history of promoting her own critical race theory-themed books.

Open The Books said discovered Wing pushed “radical ideologies premised on Marxist and Critical Race Theory frames; questionable ethics; substantial conflicts of interest; and even side businesses.”

In her tweets, Wing said she was “exhausted by white folx” and blasted “caudacity,” a slang term for boldness among white people.

“[T]his lady actually had the CAUdacity to say that black people can be racist too…” she tweeted. “I had to stop the session and give Karen the BUSINESS… [W]e are not the majority, we don’t have power.”

Lawmakers raised questions about Wing during a hearing last week. U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., peppered Gilbert Cisneros, the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, with questions during the hearing, but he had few answers.

“Have you read Kelisa Wing’s books, titled ‘What is White Privilege?,’ ‘What Does it Mean to Defund the Police?,’ and ‘What is the Black Lives Matter Movement?’” Stefanik asked. “Are you aware that these books are in DoDEA’s K-12 schools throughout the country?”

Cisneros said no to both questions. He did say the DOD does not condone Wing’s tweet.

Wing has been removed from her involvement with military schools but was not fired.

“I will take it as a result that we delivered,” Stefanik said. “She should have been fired completely, but she was at least moved somewhere else, not dealing with our kids’ educational systems.”

Critics said Wing’s scandal and removal is just the beginning. For now, it highlights an ongoing battle over the role of federal funding for controversial equity initiatives, especially when federal agencies are struggling with their primary responsibilities.

It took multiple investigations from us and multiple hearings from Congress to finally get some answers and some action from the Department of Defense,” Adam Andrzejewski, Open The Books CEO, said. “Unfortunately, there are still outstanding questions for the Pentagon, including whether they plan to eliminate the role or find a replacement for Wing. The DoD also should account for how much public money is being spent on DEI material and trainings all across the Defense Department.”

Casey Harper is a Senior Reporter for the Washington, D.C. Bureau. He previously worked for The Daily Caller, The Hill, and Sinclair Broadcast Group. A graduate of Hillsdale College, Casey’s work has also appeared in Fox News, Fox Business, and USA Today.

22 COMMENTS

  1. It’s an interesting strategy to deal with China. Get them laughing at us so hard they can’t fight.

  2. Once again the big winners is all the foolishness are the ccp, Russia and Iran….all of who must be astonished at the outright treason being practiced by those calling the shots in Washington….

  3. Maybe the DOD might have more money to give to Ukraine if they weren’t wasting on on wokeness like DEI and renaming southern installations.

  4. $500m is a lot of money until you look at the total DOD FY23 budget, $816 billion. That $500m represents less than 1/1000 of the budget, and the article doesn’t break down everything that’s in that $500m. At least some of that $500m is spent on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) – probably a good program given the high levels of sexual harassment and assault in the military. Or maybe only straight white males should be serving that money really shouldn’t be spent.

    Point is, the DOD’s efforts to include more people, to recruit more people, to end sexual assault, and similar, is not the cause of its lack of ball bearings, munitions or manufacturing capability. Could the money be better spent? Probably yes. But considering the massive DOD budget, this isn’t the only place scrutiny should be applied – but hey, it fits into the right’s narrative. So let’s conflate this to mean the whole of the DOD is woke to the core and completely inept.

    If the DOD spent $500m to recruit more conservative straight white men, we’d probably be better off, am I right?

    • You had to go nearly to Chicago for that rationalization.

      It still fails, badly, but kudos for the effort.

    • Thanks for demonstrating the other big problem surrounding this situation; equivocation, moral and otherwise. Sort of like a drug dealer telling her mark, “hey, I know 100 bucks seems like a lot for this bag of blow, but it’s really only a small amount compared to the total of all your taxpayerfunded benis”.

    • Sorry to say but you are right. But we could add some Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native and maybe a few gay conservative men. Conservative women are also welcome. Just keep out the woke lefties who are eroding the basic fabric of our society and military.

    • In this case it matches up with other reports.

      It doesn’t get coverage, but many left of center are damn worried about Biden dragging us into a conflict we can’t win.

  5. Barack Obama/Joe Biden……
    Hate America Tour. Going on 12 years. No wonder they had to cheat in the 2020. Their work was severely disrupted by Trump.

  6. He aknowledges that woke spending for the military is wrong, but supports billions to Ukraine. Typical neocon warmonger. I wonder how much Zelensky’s net worth has increased in the last two years? Or The Biden’s?
    We didn’t have any business being in Ukraine in 2014 and we have no business being there now. We should be building new bases on our southern border and keeping it secure. No, no, Russia and China are our enemies! No diplomacy is possible! We must prepare for battle with Russia and China! I know there are a whole bunch of guys at Raytheon and General Dynamics who would agree……. – M.John

  7. Diversity training has about zero convergence with supply chain issues, low unemployment and demographis has led to a shortfall in recruitment.

  8. I’ll say the quiet part out loud. Ukraine is not our war. It’s a European problem.

    If Ukraine falls tomorrow it won’t adversely affect life for anyone not in Ukraine.

    However…

    China is making very threatening moves toward Taiwan. Taiwan is where the overwhelming majority of microchips and related technology is made.

    If Taiwan falls, or is severely damaged, that will disrupt the western world in ways you can’t imagine.

    That is where we should be focusing our energy. That affects us.

    But at the end of the day, Ukraine is a long time business partner with POTUS and family. As is mainland China. Therefore Grandpa Sniffy supports the paying customers.

    At the end of the day it’s really just that simple.

    • Avenger, I agree that disruption of semiconductor component production in Taiwan would affect the west profoundly. The solution is not the usual MIC/deep state smash and grab. The solution is diplomacy. If we buy chips from China, then so be it. The U.S is already billions, if not trillions, in debt to China. God forbid we’d actually gear up to produce the microchips we need right here in the U.S., instead of bullying other countries into selling them to us. In the end, that just makes us more dependant. = M.John

  9. Equity is another name for communism. Diversity is another name for anti-white racism. Inclusion means hiring the incompetent based on race and sexual perversion.

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