A pathetic anti-military letter from 50 Microsoft staffers who should find another line of work


Here’s a statement of basic fact: the U.S. military exists to fight and win the nation’s wars. Here’s a statement of patriotic fact: those who serve deserve the equipment that best enables them to accomplish their missions and mitigate their own vulnerability.

I note these facts in light of the pathetic letter signed by ” dozens” of Microsoft employees and sent to their senior leadership on Friday. That letter demanded the company cancel a near $500 million contract with the Pentagon to provide it with an adapted HoloLens system, the Integrated Visual Augmentation System, or IVAS. The IVAS would give ground combat troops better situational awareness, and integrated connectivity with other military sensor platforms like drones. IVAS will thus enable troops to outmaneuver the enemy, fix his positions and kill him with greater efficiency and effect. In short, it will help save American and allied lives by imposing greater costs on the enemy. It is thus a manifestly important project for America.

The Microsoft workers disagree. They say it’s inherently immoral “to empower the U.S. Army’s ability to cause harm and violence” — never mind that the Army’s job is precisely to inflict harm on our nation’s enemies. They argue that the IVAS “will be deployed on the battlefield, and works by turning warfare into a simulated ‘video game,’ further distancing soldiers from the grim stakes of war and the reality of bloodshed.”

The absurdity of comparing actual combat to video gaming aside, there’s something “grim” about technology staffers who live high-end lifestyles on six-figure salaries telling young soldiers and marines that they must always taste the “reality of bloodshed.” But that’s just the start of the stupidity in a letter littered with it.

The letter is full of dripping hatred and far-left rhetoric. IVAS, the signatories say, upsets them because it means they are “implicated as war profiteers.” Is this because defending the nation is all about profit and nothing about needs? This is a casual left-wing trope that demands moral rebuke. Because it’s a gross ignorance of international threats, and a gross insult to Microsoft’s military neighbors. To units like the 7th Infantry Division and 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment based in Fort Lewis, just over a one hour drive from Microsoft headquarters in the Seattle suburbs.

There’s a broader point here, however. Because Microsoft isn’t the only U.S. technology giant that has a problem with workers who have read too much Chomsky and not enough Clausewitz. Indeed, at least Microsoft leaders are willing to reject their staffers demands. That senior leadership stands directly opposite to Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s insane willingness to ban work alongside the U.S. military while simultaneously empowering Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s repression. But consumers must demand more from our corporations. Serving the country’s security is not an immoral act, but a moral duty. Those who say otherwise deserve only scorn and rejection.

In their letter, the Microsoft staffers add, “We did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used.”

Were I their boss, I would send them a simple response: “Start searching for another job.”





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