Pentagon Orders Military 'Stand Down' to Address ‘White Supremacy'
Secretary of defense ordered each branch of the military to stand-down
The United States military has been ordered to enact a “stand down” in order to address alleged threats from "white supremacy" and "extremism."
The order was issued by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin during a meeting with military leaders.
NBC News reported:
“The Pentagon on Wednesday said it was still uncertain how to grapple with the problem of extremism in its ranks and announced a military-wide pause to allow troops and commanders a chance to focus on the issue."
“Lloyd Austin, the first Black secretary of defense who recently took over at the Pentagon, ordered each branch of the military to stand-down at some point over the next 60 days to discuss the threat posed by white supremacy and similar extremism, said Pentagon press secretary John Kirby.”
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said:
“There wasn’t one being in the room that didn’t agree that there wasn’t a problem."
Kirby said the S. Capitol breach was “a wake-up call” for the Department of Defense.
“Current and former members of the military took part in the siege, and the Pentagon is under scrutiny over how it vets recruits and tracks extremism within the ranks,” NBC reported.
“We don’t know how we’re going to be able to get after this in a meaningful, productive, tangible way, and that is why he had this meeting today, and that is why he certainly ordered this stand-down,” Kirby said.
“There may be cultural issues we have to deal with here.”
The 25,000 troops who were drafted in for Joe Biden's inauguration were screened repeatedly for extremism.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott (TX) said the vetting was "offensive."
“No one should ever question the loyalty or professionalism of the Texas National Guard," he said.
U.S. defense officials said the vetting process was due to concerns about an “insider attack or other threat” from service members involved in the inauguration.
The “threats against Biden’s inauguration,” AP added, “have been fueled by supporters of President Donald Trump, far-right militants, white supremacists, and other radical groups.”
During his confirmation hearings, Austin pledged he would “rid our ranks of racists and extremists,” The New York Post reported.
“We also owe our people a working environment free of discrimination, hate, and harassment. If confirmed, I will fight hard to stamp out sexual assault, to rid our ranks of racists and extremists, and to create a climate where everyone fit and willing has the opportunity to serve this country with dignity,” Austin said.
“The job of the Department of Defense is to keep America safe from our enemies. But we can’t do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks,” he added.