DOD Holds Conference On ‘Far-Right’ Extremism

The Department of Defense recently organized a staff event focused on addressing the issue of far-right terrorism in the United States. This event was part of a new initiative called the “brown bag events” series, which features internal and guest speakers. The invitation for this event was extended to all staff members within the DOD’s Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Office (SO/LIC).

Renowned terrorism scholars Jacob Ware, a research fellow at the CFR, and Dr. Bruce Hoffman, a professor at Georgetown University and senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), were invited by the Pentagon to discuss their recently published book titled “God, Guns, and Sedition: Far-Right Terrorism in America.”

The event, held virtually, aimed to delve into the rise of far-right terrorism in the United States, its impact on domestic and foreign policies, and potential strategies to counter this threat. The discussion was based on the insights and recommendations presented in Hoffman and Ware’s book, which sheds light on the historical context and the convergence of radical ideologies and conspiracy theories that fuel far-right terrorism.

The book examines notable incidents, such as the tragic 2015 mass shooting at a historic Black church in Charleston and the January 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, highlighting that these events are not isolated incidents but rather part of a broader and ongoing trend. The authors emphasize that far-right extremism encompasses various groups and individuals with distinct beliefs, ranging from white supremacists to anti-government militants and conspiracy theorists.

During a recent podcast interview, Hoffman explained the challenges faced while researching the book: far-right terrorism encompasses a diverse and decentralized movement rather than a single hierarchical organization. This movement appeals to individuals with different motivations, including racism, anti-Semitism, xenophobia, anti-LGBTQ sentiments, opposition to federal taxation, and an unwavering commitment to the Second Amendment.

It remains unclear who authorized this book discussion event within the Department of Defense, as the issue of domestic terrorism falls outside of its official purview. The Daily Caller News Foundation (DCNF) contacted the DOD, Hoffman, and Ware for comment but received no response.

The event serves as a valuable platform for stimulating dialogue and increasing awareness about the rise of far-right terrorism in the United States. The Department of Defense demonstrates its commitment to understanding and addressing this significant security concern by engaging with scholars and experts. Through such initiatives, it is hoped that policymakers and stakeholders can develop effective strategies to counter far-right terrorism and safeguard democracy.