It’s a terrifying new world for the Department of Defense, thanks to the siege on the Capitol back on January 6th.
The brazen event shocked much of the nation, as would-be insurrectionists stormed the building, overwhelming Capitol Police in the process. Of course, there was a great deal of controversy as well, as a number of members of law enforcement were seen on camera assisting the rioters, or otherwise being quite jovial with them.
This led to a worrisome conclusion for the Capitol Police department, as well as for the military: What could they do to identify and removed potential extremists or extremist sympathizers from their ranks?
The Pentagon is tackling the issue head-on, ordering an unprecedented stand-down order.
The U.S. military on Wednesday acknowledged it was unsure about how to address white nationalism and other extremism in its ranks, and announced plans for military-wide stand-downs pausing regular activity at some point in the next 60 days to tackle the issue.
The decision to a hold a stand-down was made by Lloyd Austin, who made history by becoming the military’s first Black defense secretary after a long career rising in the ranks of the Army. In his confirmation hearing, Austin underscored the need to rid the military of “racists and extremists”.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Austin ordered the stand-down after a meeting with the U.S. military branch leaders, who are under pressure to show progress in combating extremism after current and former military servicemembers were found to have participated in the siege of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Kirby would go on to admit that the Pentagon has yet to settle on a method with which to address the issue, but understood that the stand-down would provide them with the best opportunity to formulate their plan.
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