Elaine Donnelly writes for the Federalist about a critical problem plaguing the American military.

Our military is in trouble. Chronic recruiting shortages are forcing the Army to cut 16.500 occupational positions, most of them vacant. The Air Force has proposed a reduction of 8,000 troops after missing recruiting goals for the first time in over 20 years. The Navy is short 9,000 sailors, forcing longer deployments for others.

Race-conscious “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) policies are making personnel shortages worse. Minority recruitment has remained steady or increased, which is fine, but a steep decline in white recruits almost entirely accounts for the ongoing recruiting crisis.

According to Military.com, in fiscal year 2018, the Army recruited 44,042 new white recruits — 56 percent of the total. In 2023, that number plummeted to 25,070, or 44 percent. In the Navy, white recruit losses accounted for an overall drop of about 9,000 new recruits.

So, what are senior military leaders doing to fix this? They keep claiming without evidence that “diversity is a strategic imperative.” Race-conscious practices, they say, are essential for military readiness and national security.

The argument is absurd, especially since the Supreme Court’s 2023 landmark ruling ending racial preferences in higher education. The military service academies were not parties to Students for Fairness in Admissions v. Harvard and the University of N. Carolina, but the court ignored the government’s objections when it applied its ruling to the civilian universities’ ROTC programs.

In its opinion, the court also exposed the flimsy premises behind decades-old racial categories, describing them as “imprecise … overbroad … arbitrary … undefined … underinclusive … incoherent … [and] irrational stereotypes.”

Justice Neil Gorsuch noted that racial categories such as black, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islander, Asian, or white, were devised not by anthropologists or sociologists, but by “bureaucrats.”