When Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a "stand-down" order for the military to start its witch hunt for violent extremism in the ranks, that was only the first symptom. Since then, the Biden administration has subjected America's men and women in uniform to a dizzying barrage of woke indoctrination. A whistleblower hotline set up by Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Representative Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) has already received "well over 300 serious, credible complaints."
Cotton gave a sampling of the reports on Wednesday's "Washington Watch." An officer told of a young cadet who "did not realize the Air Force was such a racist institution when she enlisted, and she never would have enlisted if she knew that was the case." Another soldier said "he was [so] tired of these indoctrination sessions… as opposed to tactical and operational excellence that he planned to leave when he his enlistment contract is up." These politically correct distractions "silently corrode morale and cohesion," Cotton insisted.
Many high-ranking officers are complicit in imposing this ideology on our military personnel. Tuesday, Cotton questioned Admiral Michael Gilday about books on his professional reading list, "which ensigns and sailors across your service take very seriously." The list included some of the seminal "anti-racist" texts, promoting notions like, "capitalism is essentially racist, and racism is essentially capitalist," "the only remedy for past discrimination is present discrimination, [and] the only remedy for present discrimination is future discrimination," and "some individuals, by virtue of his or her race, are inherently oppressive or privileged, while others are victimized or oppressed." The admiral twice refused to answer a direct question from Senator Cotton about whether "he thought capitalism was racist."
Anti-racism manifestos "have no business being on a service chief's reading list," Cotton observed. The reading lists should help young soldiers learn "how to lead, how to perform their craft well, how to learn from the history and biographies of those that went before them. They should be focused on teaching about how to win real wars, not culture wars." In advancing race-baiting, divisive theories, the Biden administration has lost sight of the fact that the military has a critical mission -- to fight and win wars. And America has major geopolitical rivals that would like nothing better than to undermine our ability to project force to defend our national interests. "I suspect if China and Russia, if they wanted to try to undermine unit morale and unit cohesion, they would probably not think of a much better strategy," Cotton pointed out.
The Arkansas senator's vocal criticism of critical race theory and defense of the U.S. military gained notoriety last year after the New York Times published an op-ed by him and then apologized to its own staff for running it. Cotton said he hopes "sunlight itself will help solve the problem" so that "further action" isn't required.
But if military officials persist in advancing critical race theory in trainings, Senator Cotton said the U.S. Senate would be within its rights to scrutinize promotions more carefully. Currently, the Armed Services Committee, on which Cotton sits, approves tens of thousands of military promotions every year, voice-voting everything from generals to lieutenants "in blocks of hundreds or thousands." Cotton proposed holding generals accountable for reigning in extremist trainings. "There are not that many generals in our military, and it wouldn't be that hard to scrutinize their commands."
The mainstream media will probably vilify him for refusing to promote woke officers, but the readiness of America's military for the next war will be literally a matter of life and death. Until then, Senator Cotton will keep fighting for our men and women in uniform.