U.S. Army via Wikimedia Commons

ANALYSIS – In what many call a politicized and ideological witch hunt masquerading as a counter ‘extremism’ effort, the Pentagon’s Countering Extremist Activity Working Group has delayed the release of its long-awaited report.

Despite the contrived partisan urgency to make this an issue to hammer conservatives and supporters of former President Trump, it’s still unclear when Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will be briefed on the report, and the Pentagon has yet to set a date for when it will be made public.

The question is why?

As Politico’s NatSec Daily reports:

Austin first announced the establishment of the Countering Extremist Activity Working Group in an April memo, ordering that its report should be “provided … no later than 90 days from its first meeting on or about April 14, 2021.” More than four months after Austin’s deadline, however, the secretary still has not seen the final product.

Kirby defended the delay to NatSec Daily, saying in a statement: “We appreciate the work stakeholders across the enterprise have put in this important effort. That work is undergoing some additional reviews and coordination. This is an important enough issue to the Secretary and the Department that we want to get it right, and to move forward in the most deliberate way possible.”

The wait for the working group’s report conflicts with the sense of urgency the Biden administration has sought to instill about the dangers of domestic violent extremists since Jan. 6 — when a number of active-duty service members and veterans allegedly participated in the storming of the Capitol.

This exaggerated “domestic extremism” threat has become the Left’s and Democrats number one boogeyman in 2021. Trying to show that it is a major danger in the US military has been key to their narrative.

The Pentagon’s inability to define the threat, much less quantify it has many experts arguing that the danger is fairly small, and the numbers show it. Delaying the release of this report even longer, adds fuel to this speculation. It has also angered proponents of the narrative, as NatSec Daily notes:

The report’s hold-up has also frustrated Rep. ANTHONY BROWN (D-Md.), a retired U.S. Army Reserve colonel who has called for tougher measures by Congress to curb military extremism. “If you really care about the men and women who serve, you don’t delay on extremism in the ranks.”

Following the unarmed riot at the Capitol, which partisans and ideologues insist on misnaming an “insurrection,” the Defense Department has moved to root out so-called “extremists” in the U.S. military, with Austin directing commanding officers and supervisors in February to conduct a one-day “stand-down” to discuss the issue with their personnel.

Additionally the department sponsored a RAND Corporation study published in September that put forward a framework for helping commanders reduce the risk of military extremism. But the dangers of this effort being politicized, and partisan, are clear.

Many argue this effort must not become a mechanism to purge conservatives, Christians or Trump supporters from the military.

NatSec Daily reported that:

TODD HELMUS, another coauthor of the October RAND study, said the report should recommend implementing “a very strong education and awareness campaign” for incoming troops and seek to “manage perceptions” of the antiextremism efforts, “so this does not become a political lightning rod.”

Helmus also told NatSec Daily that the Pentagon should institute some type of “off-ramping intervention,” though he was pessimistic the working group would back such a proposal. “There needs to be some way of helping people who they do identify as being extremist, and help them get out,” he said.

All three RAND experts downplayed the significance of the working group’s report being delayed, but Brown, the Maryland congressman, said he was “absolutely” concerned by the Pentagon’s slow pace, and he argued the Defense Department was incapable of addressing this national security threat without congressional action.

Brown, a member of the Armed Services and Veterans’ Affairs Committees, sponsored an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would establish an “Office of Countering Extremism” at the Pentagon.

That, however, is a whole different fight. NatSec Daily reports that: “The White House opposed the congressman’s measure “because it would impose onerous and overly specific training and data collection requirements and would foreclose other options to address extremism.”

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of AmericanActionNews.com


Paul Crespo is the Managing Editor of American Defense News. A defense and national security expert, he served as a Marine Corps officer and as a military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) at US embassies worldwide. Paul holds degrees from Georgetown, London, and Cambridge Universities. He is also CEO of SPECTRE Global Risk, a security advisory firm, and President of the Center for American Defense Studies, a national security think tank.

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Melinda Richie
Melinda Richie
1 month ago

The only extremists are from the Biden and his regime of obstructionists criminals who are communist

Pgb
Pgb
1 month ago

Most likely reason this “report “ hasn’t been released is that “extremism” in the military simply isn’t a problem!

Trebor Retsbew
Trebor Retsbew
1 month ago
Reply to  Pgb

Pgb
I can see you have never served, or if you did you paid no attention. I served 26 years in that military and it was quite evident when i first went in that racism ran rampant in all the ranks and then it was Women when put in jobs normally done by men that the hating of women in the military technical field mushroomed. In Nam one of the bravest best soldiers i had in my company was a Gay Captain and everyone knew it but he laid his life on the line many times to save others and the entire outfit except for 3 loved him and respected him. Now it is all against what used to be called cross dressers, and I have known a lot of Military career persons who were in fact what is now called Trans, and another fact less than 10% of trans ever request a sex change operation.

Joe
Joe
1 month ago
Reply to  Trebor Retsbew

Oh who cares? Nobody wants queens in the military. I am a veteran too. Dirty, filthy lgbt. Oh and there is no gay medal.

tracker1
tracker1
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe

Not yet anyway

Mutzika
Mutzika
1 month ago
Reply to  Trebor Retsbew

We know…we all know it…..
that is what will tear at its fabric
those numbers are few …always the few that are the thorns
Until the thing, the real war comes then will the real truth step forward
look at those who survived Hitler’s camps, especially in Austria….then happening now as we, the survivors see the cycle being repeated ALL OVER AGAIN
by the spirit of hitlerism
thank you for saving us the first time, will there be a second time?

Bill Davies
Bill Davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Pgb

The report has been delayed because it will clearly expose the Biden administration’s purge of the patriots currently serving in the military. The true “extremism” comes from the Obama generals who are now in command.

CharlieSeattle
CharlieSeattle
1 month ago
Reply to  Pgb

Why?? The military leaders got the bribes to spew CRT BS, not the patriotic troops!

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
1 month ago

2 Hide Dems involvment in extremisim