Biden admin focused more on ‘gender issues’ than national security: Is Sen. Hawley right?

Tom Williams / Reuters

Fact Box

  • On December 7, 2021, on Fox News Digital, Senator Josh Hawley stated, “I think what is plain for everybody to see is that the administration and the Left are more focused on their gender issues and on their culture war issues than they are on actual national security issues” in response to the National Defense Authorization Act’s decision to not require women to file for the military draft. 
  • On March 8, 2021, Biden signed an order establishing a Gender Policy Council to support women’s rights, promote gender equality in leadership, empower girls, research the effects of the pandemic on gender differences, among others. 
  • In 1973 after the draft ended, 2% of the military were women, and by 2018, that number jumped to 16%. For the Army specifically, that percentage was about 15% women
  • The US Army totals over 1.4 million active personnel as of 2021. In 2020, the US spent $2,166 per capita on military expenses; it is expected to reach $915 billion by 2031.

Tyler (No)

Missouri Senator Josh Hawley's statements about President Biden appear to be an attempt to garner attention from his incensed political base by criticizing the president and his bold attempts at achieving equality in every aspect of American life. Hawley's allegations lack any form of evidence proving that Biden is prioritizing one cause over the other. 

For example, the White House announced in September that the United States would be increasing its national defense spending by $25 billion. The figure of $768 billion is actually a jump from Biden's original proposed figure of $715 billion. Earlier that month, Biden nominated four valuable national security experts. Each nominee has a military background and an abundance of experience in the field of defense intelligence. Although, admittedly, the manner in which the United States withdrew from Afghanistan was quite chaotic and rushed, the decision to leave protected American soldiers. 

Hawley's point is a bit contradictory since he was specifically arguing about the Democrat-controlled legislative plan of including women in the military draft. Biden's goal is actually good, as it would theoretically provide the military with a greater number of soldiers, regardless of gender, which would help protect the nation. Stopping this provision would slow down the progress of former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's decision to completely integrate the military and allow women in combat roles. Women's rights and the ability to defend our nation don't necessarily have to work against each other and certainly don't contradict, as Josh Lawley insists.

Curtice (Yes)

While discussing the National Defense Authorization Act, Senator Josh Hawley correctly noted that the Biden administration is more focused on drafting women into the armed services than on preserving national security. Hawley further stated, 'They have been hijacked by these cultural issues.' Rather than concentrating on what makes America—and the military—strong, the Biden administration instead focuses on gender equity goals. This is evidenced by Biden's creation of the Gender Policy Council to 'advance gender equity and equality in both domestic and foreign policy development and implementation.'

Sen. Hawley is correct that this projects weakness to nations everywhere. This will weaken the military and signal to our enemies we are more concerned with political correctness than national security. It would be foolish to think nations like China, Russia, and Iran have not taken notice of our military's steady decline into wokeness. They welcome this show of weakness regarding our military specifically and national security generally.

But, perhaps Hawley did not go far enough. It's not just that Biden is more interested in gender equity issues than national security; His administration is more focused on this than reducing inflation, illegal immigration, gas prices, energy stagnation, solving supply chain problems or virtually any other issue the Biden administration has yet to address positively.

Results matter, not just superficial achievement of increased gender or racial numbers that meet some kind of predetermined outcome. Likewise, a Britain's Tri-Service Review study found that 'mixed-gender combat units have 'lower survivability,' a 'reduced lethality rate' and reduced deployability.' The US military did not become the strongest in the world by giving everyone a trophy. To promote 'gender equity' merely for the sake of numbers is dangerously foolish and should not be this country's top goal.

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