Leo Shane III, Deputy Editor of the Military Times, warned CNBC that extremism in the U.S. military “has been an issue for quite some time,” as considerations develop after plenty of former and present military members participated in the revolt at the Capitol final month.
“We know that especially White Nationalist groups, extremist groups like to recruit military folks because of the skills they bring,” Shane mentioned. “These are desirable things if you have these crazy ideas of waging a revolution … We’ve seen for years they’re targeted on social media, fed false information.”
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered a “stand down” by all items in the subsequent 60 days to present military leaders the probability to speak with their troops about extremism in the ranks. Shane instructed “The News with Shepard Smith” that it is going to be necessary for senior military leaders in the subsequent two months to not solely talk about extremism amongst themselves, however to additionally communicate to the decrease ranks.
“Are they going to get down to the individual units…where we’re hearing from folks… seeing signs of tattoos, seeing stuff posted on social media that indicates that folks are affiliated with these violent groups, in some cases, there’s even Nazi symbolism, Nazi flags, or Nazi paraphernalia that the folks are showing, but that’s not seen by commanders all the time?” mentioned Shane.
The FBI produced a report that warned about the infiltration of white nationalists in native regulation enforcement in 2006. A Department of Homeland Security and an FBI evaluation from final 12 months confirmed that racist terror teams are displaying unparalleled exercise in the fashionable period. Shane identified that the U.S. military hasn’t finished “any really good surveys up to this point to find out how many folks have been affiliated” with extremism.
The Military Times has surveyed its readers for the previous 4 years on extremism and discovered that “one-third of all active-duty troops and greater than half of minority service members say they’ve personally witnessed examples of white nationalism or ideological-driven racism inside the ranks.”
Shane instructed host Shepard Smith that the military thinks the one-third determine is excessive, nonetheless, they do not have the date to refute it both approach.
“They haven’t looked at the numbers before, so this 60 days should be a chance for them to really assess that and get a sense of whether or not we’re right, which we think we are, or whether or not they’re right and it’s a very small problem,” mentioned Shane.