The News-Times

New rules aimed at stopping rise of extremism


Warning that extremism in the ranks is increasing, Pentagon officials issued detailed new rules Monday prohibitin­g service members from actively engaging in extremist activities. The new guidelines come nearly a year after some current and former service members participat­ed in the riot at the U.S. Capitol, triggering a broad department review.

According to the Pentagon, fewer than 100 military members are known to have been involved in substantia­ted cases of extremist activity in the past year. But they warn that the number may grow given recent spikes in domestic violent extremism, particular­ly among veterans.

Officials said the new policy doesn’t largely change what is prohibited but is more of an effort to make sure troops are clear on what they can and can’t do, while still protecting their First Amendment right to free speech. And for the first time, it is far more specific about social media.

The new policy lays out in detail the banned activities, which range from advocating terrorism or supporting the overthrow of the government to fundraisin­g or rallying on behalf of an extremist group or “liking” or reposting extremist views on social media.

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