US-India Global Review

ing others will." T he history of the two world wars and succeeding conflicts shows diversity only strengthens a nation's secu- rity forces, and that holds true for fighting the complex enemies of this century, according to an Indian- American officer in the U.S. Armed forces. Lt. Col. Kamal S. Kalsi, an ER doctor has served for 17 years in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Afghanistan. He currently serves in U.S. Army Reserve at Fort Dix, New Jersey, as a disaster medi- cine expert. In an interview with News India Times, Kalsi, who specified that his views were his alone and did not reflect those of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Army, dwelt on the issue of diversity, the role Indian soldiers played in World War I and World War II; about the principles that underlie the making of the United States of America, and what diverse groups like Native Americans, African Americans, even Japanese- Americans many of whose families were put in intern- ment camps, embodied that diversity and played a key role in the U.S. Armed Forces. "Diversity is a strategic imperative," Kalsi said. "Why would you put yourself at a disadvantage when fighting such a complex enemy in this day and age - like ter- rorism and cyberwars. You would want the best and the brightest." According to him, "Without the forces from India, the Nazi tide would not have turned. The role of Indian forces is greatly under- played. Indians sacrificed so much. They fought in Tripoli, Jerusalem, North Africa, Japan... They were in some of the most difficult theaters of war," he said, adding that some 80,000 Sikhs alone were killed in World War II. In the U.S., he said, awareness about the bene- fits of diversity are being felt and the armed forces are struggling to meet this goal. "There has been significant progress in the last ten years," Kalsi told News India Times, including the change in regulations this January allowing Sikh turbans, 45 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW JANUARY-MARCH 2018 Diversity Is Imperative For U.S. Armed Forces By Ela Dutt