U.S. military vows to cleanse armed forces of extremists and white supremacists

President Biden's newly appointed Secretary of Defense, Lloyd J. Austin tweeted that he is ordering a "stand down to occur over the next 60 days" to "discuss extremism in the military." It comes at a good time — according to NPR, "nearly 1 in 5 people charged over their alleged involvement in the attack on the U.S. Capitol appear to have a military history."

The military is already stepping up background checks for recruits and people applying for a security clearance.

From Vanity Fair:

Jackie Speier, chair of the House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee, called on Biden, Austin, and Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines to direct agencies to screen the social media histories of military recruits and those seeking security clearances for extremism. "The screening processes for servicemembers and others in critical national security positions are outdated," Speier wrote in a letter last week. "Modernizing background investigations to bring them in line with these new realities should be among your highest priorities as the new administration commences." Implementing such a policy could go a long way toward keeping white supremacists and other radicals out of the military. But, of course, it doesn't fully address the threat posed by those already in the ranks. "There wasn't one being in the room that didn't agree that there [was] a problem," Kirby said of Austin's meeting with Pentagon leaders Wednesday.