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Old 09-26-2012   #1
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Default America's military: a far-right threat?

A new book 'Irregular Army: How the US Military Recruited Neo-Nazis, Gang Members, and Criminals to Fight the War on Terror' and a short article by the author that opens with:
A lax recruitment policy has allowed neo-Nazi and other extremists to enter the United States army. The violent consequences are increasingly being felt in the domestic arena, says Matt Kennard.
From this viewpoint I would not base a book on:
What is certain, however, is that the impunity afforded to violent neo-Nazis and white supremacists by the US military hit a new high during the “war on terror”... includes extensive interviews with neo-Nazi veterans as well and leaders of the far-right movement, all of whom reported ...that the US military was basically running an open-door policy on far-right radicals during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. An internal Pentagon report I dug up noted that by 2005, “The military [had] a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy pertaining to extremism.”
Nor does citing the example of the Wisconsin Sikh temple murderer, Wade Michael Page as a 'neo-Nazi army veteran' when he left the army in 1998 and in 2012 committed the murders.

Hopefully there is more "beef" in the book.

Link to article: and to the book's website:

I read this week a reference in a FBI report on gangs a section on their presence in the US military and occasionally the issue of extremism appears in the UK military.

There is a critical review of the book here:
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Old 09-26-2012   #2
Steve Blair
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Not the first time this has come up. There was a whole fit about it in the 1980s (gang members then) and again in the 1990s (same deal, although some did notice that militia elements entered as well). The Amazon review is also right to point out the various extremist elements in the military during Vietnam (brought in by the much-revered-in-some-circles draft).
"On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War
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Old 09-27-2012   #3
Bill Moore
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Nor should we forget that the Hell's Angel's started off as a group of disgruntled WWII veterans.

I think the issue is important, but not new. I have seen my fair share of gang bangers, right wing extremists, racial conflicts (late 70s early 80s), etc. in our ranks. We do reflect the population we hail from, and that includes the bad with the good. We also had FALN members (a Puerto Rican terrorist groups two or three decades ago) join the military to get training. The FALN set off over a 100 bombs in the U.S.. Lets not forget the Islamist extremists we had in our ranks. Timmy McViegh and Terry Nichols were Army buddies before they conducted their terrorist attack in Oklahoma city. The list gets much longer when you look at the list of criminals.

However it is inaccurate to state or imply we're actively recruiting these people. I think the Services have also given several gang members a chance to escape that life and completely transform their lives for the better, and I suspect the same may be true for some former extremists. We're too quick to pass laws and develop regulations in an attempt to solve the problem in my view. I don't think we should have an absolute ban on these individuals entering the Army, but they do need to reject that life style. If we continue to ban options for people who started the down the wrong path in life, then we are in practice commiting them to life of criminality with no off ramps available.

The author makes good points that need to be taken seriously, but lets avoid another knee jerk over reaction.
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Old 09-30-2012   #4
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Then again there are uncomfortable reasons we draw recruits from the ranks we're concerned with, because we can and we need them.

Seventy-five percent of young adults nationwide are unable to join the military because they haven't graduated, have criminal records or are obese, according to a report released Friday by Mission: Readiness, a national security organization of more than 300 retired generals, admirals and other senior military leaders who support investments to help youngsters succeed in school and later in life.
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extremism, right wing extremism, us military

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