“Woke” left-wing cultural battles plaguing the Department of Defense likely caused a distraction for military leadership that impacted both Afghanistan planning and military readiness, former senior officials told Fox News on Tuesday.
Speaking on a condition of anonymity, one former official said President Joe Biden’s Defense Department held weekly meetings on “culture war” issues. Those attending the frequent meetings included Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and the secretaries of all the military departments.
“They never met once on readiness. But they met every week on transgender issues, extremism, racism, sexual assault, sexual harassment, et cetera,” a former official said, noting that the focus on cultural issues likely took away from critical planning on Afghanistan.
“There’s only 168 hours in a week. They were spending all their time on these things, particularly early on. Yes, they were distracted,” an official said.
President Biden’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan left 13 U.S. troops dead and thousands more stranded behind enemy lines, raising questions about the capabilities of military leadership.
“The political leadership are unfocused on mission. They’re focused on just waging a culture war against our service members,” an official said.
In July, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley insisted the U.S. military is “apolitical” and the focus on culture is important to ensure fair treatment of all troops.
“I want America to know that the United States military is an apolitical institution,” said Milley.
The Fox News report comes after the White House appointed Bishop Garrison as a senior advisor and head of the Pentagon’s “Countering Extremism Working Group.”
In 2019, Garrison tweeted that Trump supporters also back racism, misogyny and extremism. “Support for [Trump], a racist, is support for ALL his beliefs,” he wrote.
In response to the increasingly left-wing messaging occurring within the U.S. military, Sen. Tom Cotton and Rep. Dan Crenshaw created a tip line for troops to report “woke” issues. The pair has received hundreds of responses.
“An airman told us their unit was forced into a racist exercise called a privilege walk, where members of the wing were ordered to separate themselves by race and gender, in order to stratify people based on their perceived privilege,” Cotton said.
“One Marine told us that a military history training session was replaced with mandatory training on police brutality, White privilege and systemic racism,” Cotton noted.
“A member of the Special Operations community has told us that they are being instructed that, ‘The U.S. special operations community is racist,’” the senator continued.
The report also noted one Navy lieutenant who said, “sometimes I think we care more about whether we have enough diversity officers than if we’ll survive a fight with the Chinese navy.”
“It’s criminal. They think my only value is as a Black woman. But you cut our ship open with a missile and we’ll all bleed the same color,” she added.