On Wednesday, CNN reported that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is ordering a staggered "pause of operations" across the military to give commanders time to look into domestic extremism in the ranks — a new move first announced by Pentagon spokesman John Kirby.
"Austin hopes the pause, known as a stand down, will accomplish two things — he wants leaders of each branch to be able to communicate their expectations of how their troops should behave, and leaders to 'gain insight' from members on the 'scope of the problem from their view,' Kirby said," reported Barbara Starr, Zachary Cohen, Ellie Kaufman, and Oren Liebermann. "The issue of extremism in the military has been at the forefront since the January 6 riot at the US Capitol."
One CNN analysis found that among those charged in the Capitol invasion are 22 people "either formerly or currently associated with the military." Other reports have suggested that number could be even higher.
Some of the paramilitary groups involved in the attack, like the Oath Keepers, have historically had ties to current or retired military or law enforcement.
"In December, the Pentagon's personnel and readiness director was ordered to conduct a review of domestic extremism in the military," noted the report. "That ongoing review that is due at the end of March will come up with milestones 'to be completed by mid-summer,' Kirby said last week."
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