How Big of an Issue Is White Supremacy Within the Military? Pentagon Report Reveals Concerns Around Extremism
The report was commissioned by Congress and dated October 2020, months before the Jan. 6, insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, and obtained first by CQ Roll Call.
The report was commissioned by Congress and dated October 2020, months before the Jan. 6, insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, CQ Roll Call reported. It revealed that U.S. military personnel and veterans are “highly prized” recruits for supremacist groups, and leaders of those groups try to join the military themselves and get those already in their groups to enlist. Their goals are to obtain weapons and skills and to try to borrow the military’s bravado and cachet, the report found.
Despite a “low number of cases in absolute terms,” the report allegedly claims that those individuals with extremist affiliations and military experience are a concern to U.S. National security because of their proven ability to execute high-impact events, CNN reported.
Currently, with the exception of the Navy, there is no official military rule or regulation that service members found to be domestic extremists or White supremacists be required to leave the military. The authors of the report suggested such a rule be added for all branches of the U.S. military, CNN reported.
At least 27 current or former members of the U.S. military are facing federal charges in connection with the assault on the Capitol, CNN reported.
Since Defense secretary Lloyd Austin joined President Joe Biden's administration, he has made confronting extremism a top priority, especially in light of the violent breach at the Capitol in January. Earlier this month, Austin ordered a military-wide stand-down within 60 days, so commanders are able to speak with service members about the issue of extremism.
Meanwhile, Rep. Peter Aguilar, a California Democrat who was disturbed by some of the report's contents, introduced legislation last week that would require the Pentagon to implement the report’s recommendations, CQ Roll Call reported.
“What the report made clear is that white supremacists are using our military to further their hateful and violent agenda,” Aguilar told the newspaper. “We need further collaboration between agencies like the DoD and FBI to make sure that we’re keeping extremists away from our service members and keeping our communities safe as well.”
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