Oswald Clark and Paul Tuns:

In opposition to using the armed forces for humanitarian missions, U.S. radio host Rush Limbaugh used to say the purpose of the military is to kill people and break things. And he said that 20 years before political correctness and woke ideology became not merely influential within defense and foreign policy ranks, but goals in themselves for the armed forces and diplomatic ranks.

Western foreign aid has long been used to promote and provide abortion and contraception and push sex-education in the developing world, and since the early 1990s, diplomats from these countries have promoted abortion as a human right and radical LGBTQ ideology at the United Nations. But the ideological capture of the defense and foreign policy apparatus has led many western countries to brazenly promote goals that are not obviously tied to national security or other national interests, with the governments of Canada and the United States seeming especially keen on advancing woke goals through these institutions.

Perhaps the most blatant example is the United States embassy at the Holy See (the Vatican) unfurling the rainbow flag outside its embassy. After a reprieve during the Trump administration, Joe Biden’s Secretary of State directed embassies to fly the pride flag at embassies in the month of June.

No LGBTQ+ day of recognition goes by without American, British, Canadian, and other countries’ military and foreign ministries posting supportive messages and rainbow imagery on their social media accounts. The U.S. military has provided funding and space for drag shows for their personnel and their families and posted a recruitment video for the Navy featuring a drag queen with the stage name Harpy Daniels.

The U.S. Department of Defense has violated the Hyde Amendment which prohibits taxpayer money from being used to directly fund abortion services and the Pentagon issued a memorandum on “Reproductive Healthcare” following the Dobbs decision in 2022, with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin directing the armed forces to “establish travel and transportation allowances for service members and their dependents” to obtain abortions.

Of course, Canadian and other armed forces are laden with diversity, equity, and inclusion officers and the U.S. service academies teach Critical Race Theory. Retired Lieutenant General Jerry Boykin, who now serves as executive vice president of the Family Research Council, says these politically correct and woke priorities “are distractions from the primary task of preparing to win the nation’s wars.”

Meanwhile, western armed forces face a recruiting crisis and persistent under-funding. The Royal Canadian Air Force has only half the pilots it needs. The problem is worse in the U.S., where the army missed its recruiting mark in 2022 by 15,000 volunteers or 25 per cent of their goal, while collectively the Air Force and Navy were 13,000 recruits short. While the foreign policy misadventures of the last two decades and tight job market certainly play a larger role in these shortcomings, the politicalization of the armed forces could also be a factor. At the very least, it indicates that the politically correct priorities of the brass are misplaced.

In April, the Washington Post reported that a Pentagon memo said Canada will not meet its NATO obligations of committing two per cent of GDP to military spending; currently Canada spends 1.2 per cent following a bump in the previous two budgets. But some defense funding goes to tree planting in the north while Canadian tanks require extensive maintenance with one armoured regiment having only nine of 40 tanks fully or partly operational.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has trumpeted Canada’s “feminist foreign policy” that funnels billions of dollars to promote and provide abortion, influence laws on abortion and LGBTQ issues abroad, and promote gender ideology in schools. Justin Trudeau’s government has put its money where its mouth is, ponying up $700 million annually to pay for abortions and contraception for the developing world and another $700 million to promote progressive causes with the goal of changing local “laws and mores.”

Global Affairs Canada regular touts its “feminist foreign policy” in the department’s annual plan, noting in its most recent edition that GAC “helps to dismantle discriminatory practices abroad,” which is a euphemism for interfering in other countries’ internal affairs. The feminist foreign policy is  “pursued across all sectors and processes, from trade and diplomacy, international assistance, peace and security and consular services.” Among its priorities in 2022/2023 is to “advance gender equality and the empowerment of all girls and women by doubly funding to women’s rights organizations and supporting LGBTQ2+ rights abroad,” including what it calls the “sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls.”

It used to be that the diplomatic corps kept out of other country’s political affairs, but those days are long gone, when, for example, Kevin Vickers, Canada’s ambassador to Ireland, hosted a party in Dublin when Ireland legalized abortion in 2018.

In 2022, True North reported that documents obtained from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) “reveal a woke foreign service obsessed with microaggressions, race and ‘ambient bigotry’.” The ministry hired a “diversity and inclusion” expert who diagnosed the problem with the diplomatic corps and its support staff as follows: the “culture … demands self-reliance” and that it was “treating everyone the same.” One staff member at GAC complained that some countries hosting diplomatic staff were “not as progressive” as Canada.

Last October, the Wall Street Journal reported on the woke priorities of the State Department, including funding drag shows in Ecuador, having the U.S. ambassador to Hungary troll local politicians, and earmarking $2.6 billion to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion worldwide.

Of course, it is not only the U.S. and Canada pushing this agenda. Germany’s recent national security strategy document mentions “feminist foreign policy” six times, as often as it mentions Red China; it also mentions climate 71 times. When German Foreign Minister Annalea Baerbock visited Brazil in June, the left-wing government of President Lula da Silva said his country would not countenance any ideological lectures from Germany, a rare example of a developing world leader standing up to the ideological colonization endemic to much of western foreign policy.

Many western governments, and even opposition politicians, have condemned Uganda’s “Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2023.” President Joe Biden threatened to rescind funding for anti-AIDS/HIV programs and withdraw the Peace Corps assistance it provides for the poor African nation. Closer to home, the European Union pressures Hungary and Poland to relent in their pro-life and pro-family policies (with pro-life commentator Austin Ruse noting that Hungary’s delegation at the United Nations likewise pushes a pro-abortion, feminist, and pro-LGBTQ agenda, quite at odds with their own domestic policies”).

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg released a video in May declaring “NATO’s strength is our diversity,” as he praised the “LGBTQ+ community” and declared himself an “ally.” He declared that the military alliance is united in its values, but as Mercatornet’s Noah Carl observed, according to the World Values Survey, putative enemy Russia’s population holds more pro-LGBTQ opinions than the populations of NATO partners such as Poland and Turkey. “The notion that NATO is ‘united by its values’ is plainly false,” says Carl, noting that it is alliance united in its geography.

Political opposition to this left-wing politicization of the military and foreign policy has gained some steam in the United States with a group of Republicans seeking to defund DEI and LGBTQ programs in the military, but for the most part the woke advance in these institutions seems to avoid scrutiny.