On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," Ret. Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson sounded the alarm about more threats to democracy on the scale of the January 6 Capitol riots.
"You write in [your] article that with the country as divided as — still as divided as ever, we must take steps to prepare for the worst," said anchor Kate Bolduan. "What's the single most important thing that needs to happen?"
"The most important thing is accountability," said Anderson. "You need to be — we need to account for all the people, all the insurrectionists that participated, and a lot of them are being brought to justice, but we haven't accounted for the leaders. The people out there — the Josh Hawleys, the Donald Trumps, the people that fanned the flames of insurrection and then stood back and acted surprised when it happened."
Anderson also warned about the potential threat of radicalization from within the ranks of the United States military.
"But the other thing that we advocate in our op-ed is that we need to educate soldiers and sailors and airmen and marines on civics 101," Anderson continued. "You need to understand the difference between allegiance to the Constitution, and allegiance to a cult-like figure, like — like Donald Trump. We cannot let that happen. We signed an oath to the Constitution, not to a person. We need to gather intelligence about the people within our midst. We need to find out next — the next generation of insurrectionists out there and we need get them out of the Army. And I believe the military took a step in that direction today with this new policy in which they are making it very difficult to become an active member in an extreme group which is really good."
"And the final thing I would say is strategic planning and working," added Anderson. "We need to think now. We need to imagine the unimaginable. When I — a year ago, if somebody told me on the 6th of January, we would have thousands of Americans storming the Capitol, I would have said it's ridiculous. It's unimaginable. Well, we need to think about 2024 now. There are things out there that could happen — cybersecurity and other threats — we got to start thinking about it now and take action."
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