President Johnson visits military base. [LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto. #A2835-3A]

Why Diversity Counts in National Security

Oct 10, 2012

by Bobby R. Inman, Admiral, USN (ret.)

[Originally posted in Time.com on October 9, 2012]

The reality of demographics mandates a sharp focus on creating leaders from the burgeoning Hispanic and Asian American communities.  The history of Vietnam tells us we need to keep that same focus on the African American community. Leaders are created, not born, and a particular responsibility lies with higher education to ensure a sustained flow of leaders to meet this county’s national security needs.

In my experience as a naval officer and as director of the National Security Agency, I witnessed firsthand the value of a diverse officer corps in military effectiveness and national security.

I am one of more than three dozen former senior officers and civilian leaders of the U.S. armed forces who signed an amicus brief in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin. We asked the Supreme Court to consider the military’s interests in diversity-oriented admissions policies at universities. The national security interest in officer corps diversity must not be threatened by a broad ruling against race-conscious admissions. read more

Admiral Bobby R. Inman retired from the Navy and has served as director of the National Security Agency and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He is a member of the faculty of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin.