WASHINGTON — The U.S. army on Wednesday acknowledged it was uncertain about learn how to handle white nationalism and different extremism in its ranks, and introduced plans for military-wide stand-downs pausing common exercise sooner or later in the next 60 days to sort out the difficulty.
The determination to carry a stand-down was made by Lloyd Austin, who made historical past by turning into the army’s first Black protection secretary after a protracted profession rising in the ranks of the Army. In his affirmation listening to, Austin underscored the necessity to rid the army of “racists and extremists”.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby mentioned Austin ordered the stand-down after a gathering with the U.S. army department leaders, who’re underneath stress to point out progress in combating extremism after present and former army service members had been discovered to have participated in the siege of the U.S. Capitol on January 6.
The Pentagon has but to outline the way it will cope with extremism or provide knowledge estimating what number of service members maintain white nationalist ideology. It has additionally not disclosed what number of troops have been disciplined for extremism.
“We don’t know how we’re going to be able to get after this in a meaningful, productive, tangible way and that is why he had this meeting today and that is why he certainly ordered this stand-down,” Kirby advised reporters.
It was unclear whether or not the announcement was meant to foreshadow any near-term concrete actions by President Joe Biden’s Pentagon or whether or not the stand-down was extra of a symbolic transfer, meant to reveal Austin’s acknowledgment of the issue and continued resolve.
The Pentagon didn’t outline whether or not stand-downs pausing common exercise throughout the U.S. army would possibly final minutes or hours, or what commanders would do throughout that point to precise opposition to extremism.
The announcement got here as mourners filed beneath the U.S. Capitol dome to pay tribute to Brian Sicknick, the Capitol Police officer who died from accidents sustained in the course of the Jan. 6 storming of the seat of presidency.
The assault on the constructing led to the second impeachment of former President Donald Trump, who spoke at a rally in his last days in workplace and urged supporters to go to the Capitol and “fight.” His impeachment trial in the Senate for inciting the siege is scheduled to start out next week.
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