The military reportedly spent over five million man-hours on “stand downs” to counter “extremism” among service members and another 500,000 hours on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training sessions.
According to Fox News, the details about the trainings and how much money was spent on them was revealed in a letter from Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Mark Milley to Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Inhofe after an inquiry by several senators. Milley’s letter was sent in early January but was just obtained by Fox News.
Republicans were quick to condemn the hours spent on trainings and “stand downs.”
“We face real threats across the world, yet the Biden administration is more focused on promoting its leftist social agenda in the military instead of countering China, Russia and Iran or creating an effective counterterrorism plan,” Republican senators on the Armed Services Committee said in a letter on Monday.
“Our military is not an extremist organization, and our service members, by and large all good people, are dedicated, faithful patriots,” they continued.
Aside from the millions of hours spent on the “stand downs,” the sessions also cost $535,000. Additionally, $477,000 was spent on DEI training for a total of 530,000 hours. Another 1,000 hours were spent on pursuing the Defense department’s climate change policy goals.
“We are alarmed that so much training time and taxpayer money was devoted to a partisan, political agenda instead of recruiting, training and equipping the lethal force we need to defend this country,” Republican senators noted.
They continued, “The Department of Defense’s primary task is to protect Americans from foreign threats. If the Biden administration doesn’t make this a priority moving forward, we will use all tools at our disposal, including the annual defense authorization bill, to ensure that it does.”
The report noted that, according to a December report from the department, the number of service members found to have participated in “extremist activity” was less than 100.
Milley has previously testified that he wanted to understand “white rage.”
“But I do think it’s important actually for those of us in uniform to be open-minded and be widely read and the United States Military Academy is a university and it is important that we train and we understand, and I want to understand white rage and I’m white,” he said back in June.
The military leader noted that he hoped to study what caused January 6.
“And I want to understand it so what is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America. What caused that?,” Milley also asked. “I want to find that out. I want to maintain an open mind here and do want to analyze it.”
Milley and other military leaders have come under increasing scrutiny following the unorganized and disastrous Afghanistan pullout, an aggressive China, and the possibility of conflict in Ukraine.
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