AMAC Exclusive – By Andrew Abbott
For years, congressional Democrats have used military spending bills as a vehicle to push their radical social and cultural agenda on the men and women of America’s armed forces. But with the GOP now in control of the House, conservatives have pledged to cut funding for “woke” military programs – if they can win over moderate Republicans.
While congressional Republicans have long called for reigning in federal spending, military funding has typically been exempt from these demands. Since at least the Reagan administration, Republicans have generally recognized the importance of not skimping on national defense and military readiness. Last December, Congress approved the largest military budget in United States history, at $858 billion.
But as many conservatives both in and out of Congress have increasingly warned, there are now buckets of cash for far-left ideologues lumped in with funding for essential military programs and weapons development. Just as they have with other policy areas like infrastructure, Democrats use essential spending on things like roads and bridges to fund their radical crusade to “remake” America.
Some House Republicans, including the new Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan of Ohio, have hinted that targeted cuts to military spending could be one way to clean out the wokeism that has crept in under Biden. “We got a $32 trillion debt. Everything has to be on the table,” Jordan told Shannon Bream on “Fox News Sunday” earlier this month. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has also suggested that he could be open to defense spending cuts.
The news sparked immediate and predictable backlash from mainstream media outlets and congressional Democrats, who blasted Republicans for “undermining military readiness.” Some moderate House Republicans also chimed in and voiced their opposition to any cuts to defense spending.
But, as several conservative Republican House members have emphasized, cutting military spending doesn’t mean sacrificing readiness or pay increases for troops. Rep. Jordan suggested “focus[ing] our military spending on the soldiers” and “getting rid of all the woke policies in our military” so that “we’d have the money we need to make sure our troops get the pay raise they deserve, we have the weapons systems and the training that needs to be done, so we’re ready to deal with our adversaries around the planet.”
Taxpayers have increasingly seen their money go toward funding woke training programs on military bases and at military academies, drawing criticism from Americans both in and out of uniform. Last month, for example, it was revealed that the Pentagon had spent more than $2 million on a University of Pittsburgh Commission that recommended the Marines stop addressing senior members as “sir” or “ma’am.” The Air Force also spent $540,000 last year developing a “maternity flight suit,” despite obvious concerns about whether pregnant women should be subjected to the pressures and stress involved with operating high-powered aircraft.
Democrats in Congress have also set aside millions of dollars for the military to combat alleged “extremism” in its ranks, which Republicans believe is thinly-guised code language for purging political conservatives from the armed forces. According to Republican Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, “For every documented case of extremism in the military, our military spent a whopping 58,000 hours in training on extremism.”
Various accounts have also alleged that cadets at West Point and other military academies are being force-fed Critical Race Theory, which teaches that America is systemically racist and evil. So-called “equity and inclusion” offices and programs now proliferate in every branch of the military. Hundreds of soldiers have complained that these programs criticize conservative organizations and suggest white people are inherently “racist,” while ignoring the dangers of actual extremist groups like antifa.
Military leadership has also “gone woke” in recent years, working hand in glove with Democrats to push a radical social agenda through the ranks. In 2021, the Navy included on its “recommended reading list” works like How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, a leading proponent of Critical Race Theory. General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, infamously stated that he wants to “understand white rage.” Biden Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also signed a “stand down” order directing military leaders at all levels to “address extremism.”
Perhaps the biggest obstacle to Republicans cutting wokeness out of the military, however, will be the military itself. Every year, the Pentagon is required to perform an annual audit of its $3.5 trillion in assets. It has failed at this task each year since 2017, and in 2022 could only account for 39% of its assets. The alarming truth is that hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars each year simply disappear into the cavernous military bureaucracy.
The challenge of getting woke politics out of the military is a daunting one. But unless House Republicans are up to the task, the country may soon have a very real readiness crisis on its hands, no matter how much money Congress spends.
Andrew Abbott is the pen name of a writer and public affairs consultant with over a decade of experience in DC at the intersection of politics and culture.
On the positive side it is good that this politically left inspired propaganda that exists in the Armed Forces is known about and that there are people who want to stop it. That leads to the next thing to consider, which is how to deal with it. The leftist mindset is as twisted as a corkscrew, and there should be no place for any of their garbage in the Armed Forces. What could be a better situation would be to have improved military history programs instead of the woke stuff. The words ‘ equity ‘ and ‘ inclusion ‘ , and the critical race theory are indicators that there is something way off course in the Armed Forces programs that are presenting that politically inspired leftist propaganda So, it should be considered to be time to make the necessary course correction, and replace all of the
‘ woke ‘ garbage with military history programs that would be in the interest of strengthening everything involved in Armed Forces programs. This article is appreciated Mr. Abbott, In the spirit of respect for Truth . Congress needs to do some work on these matters and bring some good sense into the picture. Freedom is the watchword.
It’s about time!I’m the father of a current DI and the grandfather of a second year enlisted infantryman. Both Army and both tell me of the extreme wokeness invading the training, readiness and discipline going on. This has come as a storm since this administration has been in office. My DI son has seen it especially in the quality of recruits and new requirements in methods of allowed training.Crap. I shouldn’t have gotten started.
Don’t forget all the money the military will be spending on changing the names of some of these Forts. All the signs all over post and everywhere around the local community. It’s a serious waste of money, money the members of the Armed Forces could have instead. I wish some of them would think about that when the go to the voting polls.
Agree, changing the names of military bases is a bad idea & will cost a bunch of money that could be better spent.
Agreed but we shouldn’t have named our military bases after traitors in the first place.
Good grief. Why are we on here ? The commies have already taken over the
nation . Are we here to wish for the good old days ? Too bad. We missed our
chance. This war is done and we have lost.
I was amazed to learn that our defense budget is only 12% of the entire federal budget while
our social programs amount to 71%. We are socially spending ourselves to hell while we
are not ready for the China attack on Tiawan. So all of you BIden voters out there ( and that is
at least 50% of our communist nation ) nice job. It totally makes sense. Less that 50% of voters
pay taxes. Those who pay no tax should not be allowed to vote,. Let the current Republican
House so called “bad-asses” chew on that.
And the lion’s share of our social program spending comes from Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid a/k/a The Untouchables.
I’m guessing you don’t have to pay into social security. After 45 years of working I’d like to keep the meager amount they give back monthly for my efforts. A lifetime of federal / state taxes paid .
If instead of pumping the money into Social Security, I had been pumping those funds in well rated saving, I would be financially a lot better off in my retirement.
What the Dems/left seem to have forgotten is, the armed forces are the PEOPLE’S . Our tax dollars pay for them. The people do not want soft soldiers, we want ass-kickers.
Right! When I think of the DemocRat Party symbol donkey, it stirs up my interest in ass-kicking!!!
It looks like the liberal left will not stop to have our country destroyed and down on our knees. We patriots must stop this crazy evil now
Why are my tax dollars being wasted on teaching our soldiers to be losers with that WOKE garbage?
Do you think our enemies give a damn about that crap?
Do you see our enemies teaching that garbage to their soldiers? NO, you don’t see it cause they don’t brainwash their soldiers with that BS. cause you can’t WIN WARS with
commie correct STUPIDITY.
All the things that the Democrats have placed into the military spending plan are just mainly for woke programs. It needs to be removed so that the actual spending for defense can be placed first. The Republicans that are moderate are not truly moderate but more in the line of a Democrat in sheep’s clothing.
They also need to cut out the “green” initiatives in the military. Mandating military electric vehicles is a non-starter. Same for all the climate-change hysteria that they spend millions on.
Who is in charge of this insanity ,are they not answerable to no one?How could anyone serve or respect such I don’t know what to call it
CUT defense waste
Merge programs needed
CUT Pentagon overhead civilian labor force
And your military will still suck like when you were in it grampa lol
Can you give some examples? I am a vet and don’t understand your logic.
Because that person doesn’t have logic. My nephews are in the military and have condemned the waste in the military now, citing everything that could easily be combined. One was just an admiral and barely retired.
Don’t disagree but if cutting the $32 trillion debt is the goal, I was waiting to hear how much of the $858 billion military budget would be cut by weeding out the woke initiatives.
They have to start somewhere. Wokeness isn;t doing anything positive for the military.
From a budget perspective outside of the defense budget, the money is in Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid. That is where hard choices have to be made by politicians who don’t care about being reelected.
For this reason, I think that we are stuck regarding the national debt but I am open to suggestions.
Well Dan, if modifying any of the fiscal 2023 were actually possible, which it is NOT as a result of the $1.7 trillion dollar omnibus spending bill signed into law last year (no incentive for the Democrats to participate in any reduction of spending this year as a consequence), in addition to the woke BS initiatives in the DoD they could take a knife to the administrative budget of the Pentagon itself. The amount of waste and bloat that exists in most government departments and agencies could easily be trimmed by 15 to 20 percent. For the Pentagon staff and administrative infrastructure, that has to amount to somewhere between $50 – $75 billion dollars a year. All without touching any actually needed defense programs and projects. By the way, you could cut the same percentage from just about every other federal department and agency and probably save somewhere in the area of an additional $200 billion total on top of the amount saved from the Pentagon.
As for Medicaid, the cost of that has exploded since the Democrats turned the program in a catch-all for those unable to pay Obamacare premiums. Look at the enrollment rates since 2012 up through the present to see the escalating cost trend. Also Medicaid has become the default for how our millions of new illegals are being handed “free health care”. The latest government stats on this shows we’re footing a $100+ billion dollar a year bill just on this segment of Medicaid.
Now do I think anything will actually be cut? NO of course not. As I’ve said earlier, I fully understand how Washington works from my time in the federal government. We will be treated to this little back and forth show right up until the deadline of June 5th. Each side leveraging the issue in the lead up to the 2024 election cycle. Everything in Washington is centered around politics and positioning for advantage. In the end, Congress will do a last minute vote as the clock nears midnight to once again raise the debt ceiling. It’s all theater for the masses.
Agree with you as always. Really needed is to FIRE the military (political oriented) leadership that has allowed the military to decline to the sorry state that it is currently in. I don’t anticipate this to happen anytime soon.
Agreed. The Pentagon seems to be loaded with political Generals and Admirals. That was started in earnest under Bill Clinton by firing competent officers all up through the ranks and replacing them with glorified yes men and women. Then whatever Clinton didn’t manage to finish in his two terms was amped up to completion under Obama. Completely underminding military readiness and preparedness.
These political types in uniform are good at being politically correct, but lousy at being able to do strategically appropriate military planning to actually wins wars or lesser military engagments. Like you, I don’t see anything materially improving to restore the Pentagon to being mission ready anytime soon. Meanwhile our enemies are just licking their chops at the declining state of affairs that is the United States military.
Your second paragraph I am in agreement with.
SS and Medicare were paid for by people working their entire adult lives.. SS is supposed to be a side line item for that reason and shouldnt even be part of that discussion.