President Joe Biden’s new Defence Secretary, Lloyd Austin, has begun to leave his mark on the military and in the Pentagon, just two weeks after starting in his new role, setting out a new, ‘woke’ agenda.
Austin, a veteran of more than 40 years’ service in the US military, became the 28th Defence Secretary of the United States two days after Biden’s inauguration, becoming the first person of colour to ever hold the office.
He has now begun work for his vision of the United States military, setting up a programme to rid the military of ‘white nationalists’ and any other extremists, whilst simultaneously purging the Pentagon of more than 100 late appointees to numerous advisory boards, who were all appointed in the final weeks of the Trump administration.
So, what has Austin started to do?
Austin has ordered a complete military-wide stand-down of all operations and regular activity, as his new agenda involves purging military ranks of anyone believed to be a ‘white nationalist’ or an extremist of any kind after reports suggested that Capitol Hill police and the National Guard had to be vetted for ideology before being allowed on duty at President Biden’s inauguration.
However, Austin nor the Pentagon have released any information regarding how an individual would be considered a white nationalist or an extremist.
They have also failed to state how the department intends to deal with individuals who meet this undisclosed criterion.
John Kirby, a spokesperson for the Pentagon, said to justify the stand-down order, that the Pentagon currently does not know how they are going to identify and handle individuals that come under Austin’s brush, saying it is the department’s intention to handle the matter in a ‘meaningful, productive and tangible way’.
After Austin’s order of a 60-day stand-down of all regular military activity, he has also begun to leave his mark in the Pentagon, stripping over 100 appointees of their positions on Pentagon advisory boards, fearing that they may be wholeheartedly loyal to the former President Donald Trump.
To back this decision, in a memo sent out, Austin has called for an immediate suspension of all committee operations whilst the Pentagon conducts full reviews into all 42 advisory boards, to ensure all Trump appointees have been purged.
In his memo, Austin justified this decision, saying the department needs to ‘continually assess to ensure each advisory committee provides appropriate value today and in the future, as times and requirements change’.