The Military’s ‘Extremism’ Hoax
Contrary to the disgraceful claims of the Biden administration, the U.S. military isn’t a hotbed of “extremism.”
Last year, according to Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley, the U.S. military spent $1 million and 5.8 million man hours on programs meant to root out extremism, improve diversity, and prepare for the national security challenges of climate change.
That’s a lie, of course. Unless we’re paying our military personnel 17 cents per hour. In fact, the average hourly wage for our warriors works out to just under $21 per hour. So if we spent 5.8 million man hours rooting out extremism last year, then we spent somewhere around $122 million, not $1 million. Heck, $1 million wouldn’t even cover the printing costs for all the critical race theory course packs, nor the stocking of the PX bookshelves with copies of White Fragility and How to Be an Antiracist.
Your tax dollars at work.
But, as it turns out, all this “extremism” talk has been much ado about very little. We figured as much last February, when we remarked that Biden’s DOD is focused on 19 skinheads and a distressed polar bear.
Today, we can also see last year’s much-publicized military-wide standdown, which was ordered by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin “to discuss the problem of extremism in the ranks,” for what it really was: a Biden administration exercise in vanity, virtue signaling, and woke feel-goodism. Try as they did to ferret out that elusive extremism, Biden’s military brass seemed to have even more trouble defining the term.
Oh, sure, there was the recent study by a Washington “think” tank, which found that between 2019 and 2020, the percentage of domestic terrorism attacks committed by active-duty and reserve personnel quadrupled. Of course, “quadrupled” sounds ominous. But as we dug into the piece, we found the math to be somewhat less than frightful: It turns out that our two million or so military personnel were involved in seven of 110 total extremist incidents in 2020, which is indeed up from a single incident out of 65 total in 2019. But using the term “quadrupled” here reminds us of Twain’s quote about “lies, damned lies, and statistics.”
More to the point but little-noticed by the mainstream media two weeks ago was this article on Fox News, which was built upon more than 30 interviews of active and retired warriors, ranging in rank from cadet to major.
“I noticed zero extremism during my time in the military,” said Matthew Griffin, a former Army Ranger. “None. Didn’t witness it at all.” And Griffin’s take wasn’t unique. In fact, the report continues, “Every service member Fox News interviewed for this story — on and off the record — said they never witnessed extremism during their time in the military.”
Among those interviewed was Jariko Denman, also a retired Army Ranger. “Extremism and racism aren’t issues within the ranks,” says Denman, “since such beliefs are incompatible with unit cohesion — a necessary element for combat victory.”
People come from all walks of life to come to the military. People that came in with some of those views — they were racist, they were sexist, they were homophobic — it didn’t take long for them to lose it. All of the kind of ignorance that leads to extremist behavior, it’s squashed because you’re immersed in all these other cultures. You’re immersed with all these other types of people.
“Seeing all these people of all walks of life,” concluded Denman, “different races, different creeds, different sexual orientations, all this, doing great things together and then to have our government come in and say ‘the military has an extremism problem,’ it’s a slap in the face.”
Hopefully, the Department of Defense can now begin to put this fruitless, costly, and largely destructive exercise behind it, and get back to training for war. Back to training for its core mission, which is “to provide the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation’s security” — you know, like it says right here on its website.
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