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Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. DoD Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license (

Top Retired Officers Are Right: Biden’s Leftism And ‘Woke’ Military Threaten U.S. Security

Military officials are trained to stand silently on the sidelines of politics, saying nothing but what relates to their mission, whatever it might be. But a recent open letter signed by 124 former flag-level officers warning of the dangerous effects of our nation’s sharp sudden turn to the left overturns that tradition. What do they know that the rest of us don’t?

The letter was not couched in military jargon or bureaucratese; it was plain-spoken and blunt in its concern about America’s course. It starts with a call for protecting our free and fair elections, but then turns toward the ominous political and cultural trends of recent years. No need for a translation:

Aside from the election, the current administration has launched a full-blown assault on our constitutional rights in a dictatorial manner, bypassing Congress, with more than 50 executive orders quickly signed, many reversing the previous administration’s effective policies and regulations. Moreover, population control actions such as excessive lockdowns, school and business closures, and, most alarming, censorship of written and verbal expression are all direct assaults on our fundamental rights. We must support and hold accountable politicians who will act to counter socialism, Marxism, and Progressivism, support our constitutional republic, and insist on fiscally responsible governing while focusing on all Americans, especially the middle class, not special interest or extremist groups which are used to divide us into warring factions.

They warned about the negative trends in a number of areas, ranging from our increasingly open borders and social media exercising control over speech, to Joe Biden’s return to the fatally flawed Iran nuclear deal and the failure to protect the rule of law.

The letter somberly noted that “our country has taken a hard left turn toward socialism and a Marxist form of tyrannical government which must be countered now by electing congressional and presidential candidates who will always act to defend our constitutional republic. The survival of our nation and its cherished freedoms, liberty, and historic values are at stake.”

Sadly, that’s not hyperbole.

No surprise that those on the left treated the letter as some sort of extremist tract, or a call to arms against a Democratic president. One critic even referred to the letter as “GOP talking points.”

Such sarcasm wasn’t in evidence back in October 2019, when left-leaning retired Adm. William McRaven in the New York Times called for President Donald Trump’s removal from office, “the sooner, the better.” Note that he didn’t call simply for Trump’s impeachment; the clear implication was he might even support a coup.

He was seconded later by former Adm. Mike Mullen, Barack Obama’s ex-head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mullen and McRaven made the media rounds, deriding Trump’s leadership and undermining his administration’s attempts at military reform. In an interview with NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Mullen said he was “very concerned about the Trump loyalists who have now gone to work in the Pentagon.”

Yesterday’s military can best be summed up by the motto of West Point: “Honor, Duty, Country.” Today’s motto might better be “Wokeness, Race, Gender.”

More than ever, we see a sharp generational and ideological split, one reflected within our current military leadership, as noted above. Today’s ultra-woke military under Biden Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is undergoing a dangerous “progressive” transformation. If not halted, the radical changes will make America a superpower in name only.

How bad is it? One hundred days into his job, with crises erupting around the globe, Austin declared his new top priority: curbing sexual assault. His other major political priorities included fighting “extremism” and boosting vaccines.

No one should be surprised, since even before he took his post he called coronavirus the nation’s top security challenge, and warned that global warming posed an “existential threat” to our country.

While the military leadership wallows in its Wokeism, we face growing real threats from real enemies, among them, China, Russia, Iran, North Korea and Islamist terrorist groups. No doubt, they’re licking their chops at the prospect of undermining our military.

Meanwhile, the military is rooting out at least one kind of enemy: ideological ones. Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier was relieved of command of the 11th Space Warning Squadron at Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado for possible “partisan political activity.” That is, he spoke out about the new left-wing politics of the military under Biden.

“The diversity, inclusion and equity industry and the trainings we are receiving in the military … is rooted in critical race theory, which is rooted in Marxism,” Lohmeier said on a podcast, calling the leftist politicization of the military “a warning sign.”

We agree. The military’s new Woke politics will not make troops more ready or able to fight. It will only lead to more anger, racial division, sexual grievances, social schisms and a lack of military preparedness. And that will leave us all vulnerable in the next major war, by ignoring or downplaying what our potential enemies are doing.

Americans of whatever political stripe would be wise to take their former military leaders’ open letter seriously. No doubt, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, both masters of Marxist propaganda, do.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.

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