Nearly one in every four US troops surveyed this year believes that white nationalism is a bigger security threat in the country than any combatants in Syria, Afghanistan, or Iraq, a new study by The Military Times has found.
Surveyed just one month after the Charlottesville riots, some of the 1,131 predominantly male and white military members who participated also reported that, beyond seeing the overall threat of white nationalism in the country at-large, they see it unfolding within their ranks — something that military leaders have repeatedly said does not fit with the military’s service values.
Another one in four respondents admitted that they had seen evidence of white nationalism among fellow service members. 42 percent of non-white troops noted that they have personally experienced examples of white nationalism in the military, while 18 percent of white service members responded similarly.
Though the military has been quite vocal about protecting the rights of all troops, regardless of race, sexual orientation, or gender, not all survey respondents were eager to denounce white nationalist organizations. Five percent complained that Black Lives Matter should have been included with white nationalist organizations as a public threat, and at least one military leader (who chose to be unnamed) wrote in his survey, “white nationalism is not a terrorist organization,” with another anonymous military person asking, “you do realize white nationalists and racists are two totally different types of people?”
The Military Times study made clear to those who voluntarily filled out their questionnaire that they rate their answers based on the US political climate of only the last 10 months — that is, the period of time that President Trump has been in office. The Commander-in-Chief has yet to outright condemn white nationalist groups to the public.
What do you think of this recent military study? Tell us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Drew Angerer/Getty)