Democratic Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth says that the use of social media has created a “radicalization problem” in the United States military.
A “growing radicalization” within the military “comes with social media consumption,” Duckworth said during The Hill’s Future of Defense virtual summit this week. Duckworth suggested that the Defense Department, under Secretary Lloyd Austin, should make more of an effort to monitor media consumption.
“We don’t know what our young troopers are consuming, because we don’t know what they’re consuming on their personal devices and the like. So we need to make sure that we understand what kind of information they’re getting, and that they are trained to recognize false information,” Duckworth said.
Duckworth is a retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel. She also blamed Fox News for encouraging “radicalization.”
“When I first enlisted … sitting in the waiting room, any military activity, there’d be a TV channel on, it was always a Pentagon channel reading the news to me. Over the course of my career, I saw that change to CNN, and then it became Fox. Everywhere I went, it was Fox News, and not just Fox News, but Fox entertainment,” Duckworth said.
“I would say, that’s not actually news. That’s entertainment. If you want news, put on CNN,” she added.
In February, Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered all military commanders and Defense Department supervisors to hold training sessions on race and extremism issues. During the training sessions, some soldiers expressed concerns that the military was not talking enough about the violent summer riots associated with the Black Lives Matter movement.