Terrorism & Extremism

Pentagon Updates Its Rules on Extremism in the Military

Emily Dai
Tuesday, December 21, 2021, 5:02 PM

On Dec. 20, the Pentagon put out a clearer definition of extremist behavior as part of an ongoing effort to combat extremism inside military ranks.

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The Pentagon released on Dec. 20 an updated version of its policies as part of an ongoing effort to combat extremism inside military ranks. The guidelines stem from recommendations by the Countering Extremism Working Group, which was established by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in April in response to revelations that military personnel and veterans were among those who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

The updated rules clarify specific banned activities, including advocating for terrorism, supporting overthrowing the government. and liking and reposting extremist material. The new guidance also includes a two-part test to evaluate whether something is prohibited extremist activity.

You can read the Secretary of Defense memorandum, the report on countering extremist activity within the Department of Defense and the Department of Defense Instruction on handling protest, extremist and criminal gang activity in the armed forces here and below:

Emily Dai is a junior at New York University studying Politics and Economics. She is an intern at Lawfare.

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