US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said the agency focuses on restricting activities, not particularly on ideology or political orientation. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told a press conference on Monday that, in accordance with direction from US Secretary of Defense Austin, the Pentagon maintained a distinction between thoughts and actions.
Speaking on the updated policy on prohibited extremist activities by military personnel, the press secretary for the US Department of Defense said that the revised instruction groups issues into three sections, including prohibited extremist activities; command authority, responsibilities and criminal gangs.
Kirby said the update “prohibits active participation in extremist activity and clearly defines what we mean by extremist activity. As Secretary Austin pointed out, the Department focuses on prohibited activities, not on any particular ideological thought or political orientation.
“The Department has always maintained a distinction between thoughts and actions. The new definition preserves a service member’s right of expression to the greatest extent possible while balancing the need for good order and discipline to affect military combat and unit readiness,” he said. added.
Pentagon documents reveal ‘deeply flawed’ US air wars in the Middle East
The US Department of Defense has updated its policies at a time when its attacks in the Middle East region are under scrutiny for killing civilians under the veil of the fight against terrorism. New York Times reported on Sunday that newly discovered Pentagon documents revealed that the United States’ air wars in the Middle East region were marred by “deeply flawed intelligence” that resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians, including children .
The newspaper said a series of confidential documents covering more than 1,300 reports of civilian deaths contradict the government’s depiction of a war being fought with precision bombs. He also said commitments to transparency and accountability have consistently fallen short.
In the first of a two-part series, the article reported: “Not a single record provided contains a finding of wrongdoing or disciplinary action.” Several cases mentioned by the NYT have already been reported, but the newspaper also noted that its investigation found that the civilian death toll had been “significantly understated” by at least several hundred.