Provisions to defund the Pentagon’s anti-extremism efforts are on tap for potential inclusion in the fiscal 2024 defense policy bill when members of the House Armed Service Committee hold their marathon markup session on June 21.
Those amendments, along with a third to evaluate staffing levels within the Defense Department’s so-called diversity, equity and inclusion office, offer an early sign of some of the pending disputes as conservatives target what they call “woke” Pentagon policies.
Championed by Republican Rep. Mark Alford of Missouri, the three amendments would build off of a chairman’s mark of the National Defense Authorization Act that calls out Defense Department initiatives to promote DEI programs — a topic that an aide warned reporters would see amendments in the full committee review of the legislation.
Specifically, Alford’s amendments, shared with CQ Roll Call ahead of their formal introduction, would bar DOD from using any fiscal 2024 dollars for its working group aiming to counter extremism or for the deputy inspector general post lawmakers previously created seeking to root out extremism in the military.
The third provision would order an assessment of staffing within the Pentagon’s DEI office, which would require officials to validate every civil service position against existing civilian personnel requirements and report on the findings to Congress one year following the law’s enactment.
“These amendments are critical to eliminating the wokeness in our military and unnecessary extremism working group,” Alford said in a statement. “We should not be wasting man-hours and taxpayer dollars on programs that do nothing to benefit our military but rather hamper recruitment and retention efforts.” . . . (read more on Roll Call)
Diversity Thursday (Commander Salamander, 15 Jun 23)
Well, look what we have tucked in the House Armed Services Committee Chairman’s mark in the FY24 NDAA;