Congress Wants the Military to Report Extremism in the Ranks. Here’s Why That Will Be Tough

Lawmakers want the military to explain how it’s tracking dangerous ideologies in the ranks, including white supremacy and neo-Nazisim. But even as the problem grows more widespread, it’s going to be difficult for leaders to spot and police, experts who spoke with warned.

A new mandate proposed by Senate appropriators, tucked into the $695 billion fiscal 2020 defense spending bill, would require the Defense Department to provide a report explaining how it’s tracking extremist beliefs among those in uniform.

Pentagon officials would have to explain in the report its policy “on extremist affiliations by service members and recruits, procedures to identify and mitigate such affiliations, and how many violations have been identified.” The document would be due to Congress within six months of the bill passing.

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