Rep. Pat Fallon, a member of the GOP from Texas, stated on Wednesday that the whole idea that “white supremacy” is a threat to the readiness of troops in the U.S. military is a totally “fabricated issue.”
“We’re talking a couple of dozen people [expelled from the military for extremist behavior] that does not affect the readiness of the United States,” Fallon said during a conversation on Newsmax‘s “Stinchfield” show. “This is a fabricated issue.”
Fallon actually asked for the number of soldiers who had been removed out of service for “extremist behavior,” and was told that four out of 220,000 Marines and nine out of the Army had been given the boot from the armed forces.
Neither the Navy or the Air Force responded to Fallon’s request.
“What is so troubling is that we asked each branch, the Marines were forthright and forthcoming with us, and the Army had given the number to ranking member Rep. [Mike] Rogers, R-Ala., but the Navy and the Air Force never got back to us,” Fallon went on to state. “We have been waiting now for a couple of months. We hope to get them because this is supposed to be about logic and fact, and not speculation and emotion, because this is a problem that does not exist from the numbers.”
The congressman said the military held a one-day “stand down” so they could dialogue about this particular issue, which is estimated to have cost somewhere around $600-700 million.
“Budgets are so tight now, and the Democrats want a flat budget that doesn’t even meet inflation while China is increasing their military spending by 7% because they want to go with parity, and then eventually want superiority,” Fallon stated. “What we found was to stand out for that one day in just expense, you know, lost productivity for the active-duty force alone is about probably $304 million. When you add in the additional 1.1 million of [National] Guard and reservists, and then the other 700,000 civilians, we could be talking about $600-$700 million, almost $1 billion dollars for a problem that doesn’t exist.”
While only a small number of soldiers appear to have been removed for that behavior, a 2019 poll of soldiers conducted by The Military Times and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families found a third of active-duty personnel reported seeing signs of “white supremacy or racist ideology” in the ranks.
In the survey, 47.6% of respondents said white nationalism was a “significant national security threat.”
The voluntary and confidential poll of active-duty service members was conducted between July 27 and Aug. 10, 2019, by The Military Times in collaboration with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University.
According to the publication, folks who participated in the poll were readers of Military Times publications who had their military status verified through official Defense Department email addresses.
The survey itself contained 30 questions that asked service members for their opinions on the current political climate, national security, and other policies related to the U.S.