In his 1957 book, The Soldier and the State, Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington described a long-forgotten paradox of civil-military relations in the United States. In order to manage the tension between a civil society that in its everyday life views war as an aberration, and a military built on the discipline required to fight and win wars, policymakers mustn’t confuse the openness that characterizes civil society with the rigorous, merit-based command structure needed for an effective military.

Yet by 2010 even the nominally right-of-center American Enterprise Institute published an article arguing that “The Military Should Mirror the Nation.” And at last summer’s hearing to consider General Charles Q. Brown’s nomination to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida endorsed the general’s quota policies in order to achieve proportional racial and sexual representation in the Air Force officer corps, insisting that the “military is a melting pot.”

An Army Afire by University of Kansas history professor Beth Bailey details the U.S. Army’s policy changes in the 1960s and ’70s that replaced non-discrimination and racial integration as goals with proportional representation by race (and later, under President Obama, by sex), prioritizing quota-based affirmative action

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