by WorldTribune Staff, February 12, 2021
Covid, climate change, gender identity, and “the enemy within.” Joe Biden’s team has made these top priorities — for the United States military.
Protecting America from foreign threats apparently is not of chief concern for the post-Trump military, an analyst noted.
“In their first days, President Biden and his new Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, have clearly shown what they consider top priorities for the U.S. Department of Defense and its nearly three million military and civilian members — everything but actual military threats to the United States,” noted Paul Crespo, president of the Center for American Defense Studies.
“This obsessive focus on domestic, cultural, and other ‘woke’ issues, as China is bullying and threatening U.S. allies, Russia is hacking our infrastructure and government, and Iran is threatening to assassinate an ex-U.S. President, is disturbing many national security leaders,” wrote Crespo, a Marine Corps officer and former military attaché with the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Crespo noted that “the most controversial top priority” of the Biden team is rooting out “extremism” in the ranks of the military.
At his Senate confirmation hearing, Austin insisted the Pentagon’s job is to “keep America safe from our enemies. But we can’t do that if some of those enemies lie within our own ranks.”
Crespo noted that “accusing its own soldiers as possible domestic ‘enemies’ is a highly charged and unprecedented accusation by a Secretary of Defense.”
Following up on Austin’s remarks, the Pentagon on Feb. 3 announced it had issued a department-wide, 60-day “stand down” to address the issue.
“The concerns about this new aggressive push include serious questions,” Crespo wrote, “such as what constitutes ‘extremist’ activity? What is permissible in looking for extremists in the ranks? And how does this not become an ideological or partisan witch hunt to purge the military of members and views the current administration doesn’t like.”
Crespo added: “Meanwhile, in Biden’s new ‘progressive’ Pentagon, facing the global military threats to the U.S. will have to come later.”
In the days after being confirmed as defense secretary, Austin issued a message to the force that emphasized his commitment to finding ways the military can help the government move “further and faster” to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
Austin stated that the Defense Department “will immediately take appropriate policy actions to prioritize climate change considerations in our activities and risk assessments, to mitigate this driver of insecurity.”
Biden’s team also reversed the Trump administration’s ban on “transgender” members in the military. A Biden executive order prohibits any service member from being forced out of the military on the basis of “gender identity.”
“While progressives argue this is a much-needed corrective, others question whether the Pentagon should be responsible for expensive and time consuming ‘gender reassignment treatments and operations’ for troops changing ‘identity’ after joining the service,” Crespo noted. “They also question whether those members suffering from ‘gender dysphoria’ are the best suited psychologically to be in our combat forces.”