Pentagon IG Announces Probe of Efforts to Root Out Extremists in Military Members of the National Guard gather at the Capitol a day after the House impeached President Donald Trump. (Aurora Samperio/AP)
Thursday, 14 January 2021 05:38 PM
The Pentagon's internal watchdog said Thursday it will investigate whether the military is doing enough to root out extremist and white supremacist ideologies among active-duty personnel.
The announced probe by the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General comes in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol.
''Our objective is to determine the extent to which the DoD and the Military Services have implemented policy and procedures that prohibit active advocacy and active participation related to supremacist, extremist, or criminal gang doctrine, ideology, or causes by active duty military personnel, as required by DoD'' rules, the IG said.
''The DoD OIG may revise or expand the objective and scope as the evaluation proceeds, and we will consider suggestions from management for additional or revised objectives.''
Lawmakers of both parties have pushed for investigations into the assault on the Capitol, and the response by law enforcement authorities, CNBC reported.
More than a dozen Democrat senators, led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., have also called on the Defense Department to launch an investigation into the prevalence of white supremacy in the military, the news outlet reported.
''The issue of white supremacy and extremist ideology within the ranks of our military is not new, but the attack on the Capitol makes clear this alarming trend must be immediately addressed,'' they wrote to the Pentagon's acting Inspector General Sean O'Donnell, CNBC reported.
''The spread of white supremacist ideology is dangerous for the military and threatens to rupture civil-military safeguards that our democracy requires,'' they wrote.
The IG probe was revealed as the U.S. military presence in Washington swells to 20,000 National Guard members — a number four times larger than service members currently deployed in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan combined, CNBC reported.
A senior Defense official said Thursday on a call with reporters the National Guard members supporting the events in D.C. will undergo additional background checks, CNBC reported.