Politicizing the Military

Politicizing the Military

Democrats want the new National Defense Authorization Act being debated in Congress to demand that armed services personnel and recruits do not participate in “extremist activities.”

Sounds logical, until you realize what the left defines as “extremist.” Some, like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) have defined traditional Catholics as “extremists.” Others have labelled those who question man-made climate change as “terrorists.”

Essentially, anyone who dissents from Progressive orthodoxy is in danger of being labelled an “extremist.”

Some liberal politicians and thinktanks are in favor of politicizing the Pentagon. The Brookings Institute seems to approve of the concept, noting that  “Claiming that the military is, or should be, apolitical is both confusing and counterproductive. The military itself is, of course, an intensely political institution. Military leaders need to be able to engage on political issues with their troops and with the public, and they shouldn’t shy away from a topic simply for fear of being labeled “’political’.”

Historically, politicization of the armed services by socialists has proven disastrous. Germany’s National Socialists played a key role in the rise of the Nazi’s, most particularly in January 1933 in persuading President Paul von Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as Chancellor. In the Soviet Union, “Commissars” insured the primacy of Communist Party control over the military.

On May 12, an Open Letter from Retired Generals and Admirals  noted: “Using the U.S. military as political pawns with thousands of troops deployed around the U.S. Capitol Building, patrolling fences guarding against a non-existent threat, along with forcing Politically Correct policies like the divisive critical race theory into the military at the expense of the War Fighting Mission, seriously degrades readiness to fight and win our Nation’s wars, creating a major national security issue. We must support our Military and Vets; focus on war fighting, eliminate the corrosive infusion of Political Correctness into our military which damages morale and war fighting cohesion.”

That organization has also blasted the current Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs (CJCS) General Mark Miley for putting political loyalty to President Biden above their obligation to the men and women they lead. “What should have happened upon learning of the Commander in Chief’s (President Biden’s) plan to quickly withdraw our forces and close the important power projection base Bagram, without adequate plans and forces in place to conduct the entire operation in an orderly fashion? As principal military advisors to the CINC/President, the SECDEF and CJCS should have recommended against this dangerous withdrawal in the strongest possible terms. If they did not do everything within their authority to stop the hasty withdrawal, they should resign. Conversely, if they did do everything within their ability to persuade the CINC/President to not hastily exit the country without ensuring the safety of our citizens and Afghans loyal to America, then they should have resigned in protest as a matter of conscience and public statement.”

The problem began in earnest during the Obama-Biden years. James Hasson, a former U.S. Army Captain, warns about the growing crisis in his book, Stand Down. 


He writes that during that eight-year Administration, their politicization of the military “Invert[ed] the traditional military ethos…shift[ing] the military’s resources and focus away from the central task of preparing for and winning wars.” During that time period, the White House damaged military readiness, replacing that priority with Progressive political goals. This was accomplished by appointing left-wing ideologues to the most influential national security positions.

No one should be surprised by the way U.S. civilians and our allies were abandoned in Afghanistan by Biden.  A very similar cast of characters engaged in this behavior in the refusal to come to the aid of American personnel in Benghazi.

Frank Vernuccio serves as editor-in-chief of the New York Analysis of Policy and Government.

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