By Captain Guy Higgins, U.S. Navy (Retired)
In the August 2022 Proceedings, Navy Lieutenant Commander Aaron Marchant authored an article titled, “Inclusion and Diversity Policy as Great Power Competition.” As a strong proponent of diversity for more than a quarter of a century, I believe the lieutenant commander seriously missed the target.
The lever of power here is diversity; inclusion is merely a characteristic that follows when we have achieved diversity. But before we can achieve diversity (or any target), we must know exactly what it is that we’re aiming for, and it is here that Lieutenant Commander Marchant missed the target. He seems to believe diversity is simply picking one from column A, one from column B, one from column C, and so on. That does little more than create the illusion of a useful diversity.
Consider this analogy. Suppose two people each want to choose ten people to form a basketball team, but they can know only whether an individual is tall or is a basketball player. If person A chooses ten tall people, the chances are good he will have a team of people with a few starters who play the game at some skill level. If person B chooses ten basketball players, she will have five starters and a bench, with individuals of varying heights, but all of whom play basketball.
Choosing people for observable traits is no guarantee you will choose people who can perform as needed, while choosing people who can perform as needed likely will get you people who have a variety of observable traits.. . . . (read more at the US Naval Institute Proceedings)