On the heels of the White House's new National Strategic for Countering Domestic Terrorism, The Pentagon is now struggling with what the precise definition of "extremism" is for them.
The Countering Domestic Terrorism document itself is 32 pages long, and orders all branches of the government to improve information sharing, both with other government agencies and with the private sector, in order to find and root out political extremist groups.
According to Defense One, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who said the new document was a "milestone," stated:
"While domestic law enforcement agencies take the lead, the Department of Defense will do our part to support this important strategy."
"That includes maintaining the Department's robust relationship with federal law enforcement as well as refining our policies to better address this issue within the Department."
Part of the DoD's purview and duty will be, under the new rules, to define what sort of "extremist activities" should be prohibited for members of the US military. Also, they are curating a list of activities that could cause potential consequences for civilians and contractors who deal directly with any part of the military.
"They are working that quite hard, both as a policy matter with the security experts and with lawyers at the Defense Department and elsewhere to ensure they’re doing this in a way they feel ratchets up the protections but also respects expression and association protections," said an unnamed senior official at the Pentagon.
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