Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas, said Wednesday the idea "white supremacy" is impacting the readiness of U.S. military troops is a "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 told Newsmax's "Stinchfield" on Tuesday. "This is a fabricated issue."
Fallon asked for the number of soldiers kicked out of the service for "extremist behavior," and was told four out of the 220,000 Marines and nine out of the Army were kicked out of the service.
The Navy and Air Force did not respond to his request, he said.
"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 said. "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."
Fallon said the military held a one-day "stand down" to talk about the subject at an estimated cost of $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," he said. "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, the poll participants were readers of The Military Times publications, and whose military status was verified through official Defense Department email addresses.
The survey included about 30 questions on service members' opinions related to the current political climate, policy, and national security in the United States.
According to the publication, the survey received 1,018 responses from active-duty troops.
The IVMF used standard methodology to weight the results according to the rank, gender, and service branch of the actual U.S. military.
The margin of error for most questions was less than plus or minus 2 percentage points.
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