While delivering a commencement address Wednesday at Florida International University in Miami, Obama administration National Security Adviser Susan Rice lamented what she sees as the lack of “diversity in the realm of foreign policy and national security.”
“We must acknowledge that our national security agencies have not yet drawn fully on the strengths of our great nation,” Rice said in prepared remarks posted on White House.gov “In the halls of power, in the faces of our national security leaders, America is still not fully reflected.”
“Too often, our national security workforce has been what former Florida Senator Bob Graham called ‘white, male, and Yale,’ the former United States Ambassador to the United Nations said.
According to Susan Rice, “Minorities still make up less than 20 percent of our senior diplomats,” and “less than 15 percent of senior military officers and senior intelligence officials.”
Rice said the thing that “distinguishes” America “from so many other countries is not just the might of our military or the size of our economy,” but “our innovation, our fearlessness, and our diversity.”
Susan Rice has been a political lightening rod for the Obama administration even since FOIA-produced emails reveled that the White House instructed Rice to blame an internet video mocking Islam as the reason for the Islamic terrorist attacks on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
In her commencement address, Rice went on to say that a lack of diversity in America’s national security agencies is not only a “human resources issue.”
“I’m highlighting a national security imperative,” she said.
“Without tapping into America’s full range of backgrounds, ethnicities, language skills, and social and economic experiences, we’re leading in a complex world with one hand tied behind our back.”