The Pentagon is subbing out the use of the term “unmanned” in a nod to political correctness and will henceforth refer to “uncrewed” drones and other autonomous weapons. The change appears in the Pentagon’s latest annual report to Congress on the Chinese military made public this week.
The new wording affects three of the military’s acronym-heavy lexicon’s terms: UAS for unmanned aerial systems; UAV for unmanned aerial vehicles; and UCAV for unmanned combat aerial vehicles.
The new terms are “uncrewed aerial systems,” “uncrewed aerial vehicles,” and “uncrewed combat aerial vehicle.”
In the 194-page China military power report, the word uncrewed appears six times, including in a list of acronyms.
The word “unmanned” has not been banned. It appears 10 times, mainly in referring to Chinese autonomous weapons systems.
A Pentagon spokeswoman had no immediate comment on the change in vocabulary.
The shift to “uncrewed” comes as a congressional report criticized the Pentagon’s leadership for adopting what critics say are liberal and left-wing “woke” policies.
“Our military’s singular purpose is to ‘provide for the common defense’ of our nation. It cannot be turned into a left-wing social experiment. It cannot be used as a cudgel against America itself,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, and Rep. Chip Roy, Texas Republican, stated in the report. “And it cannot be paralyzed by fear of offending the sensibilities of Ivy League faculty lounges or progressive pundits.”
The lawmakers said the world remains a dangerous place and “the Biden administration’s insanity is eroding our greatest source of security in it.”
The report, “Woke Warfighters: How Political Ideology is Weakening America’s Military,” accuses the Pentagon of being “obsessed” with race and diversity and of adopting elements of controversial critical race theory that puts structural and institutional racism at the center of much of American history.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin last year ordered a military-wide “stand down” to search for alleged racists and extremists in the ranks, after a number of military veterans took part in the January 6 riot at the Capitol. But administration and congressional surveys found that cases of racist or extremist views among active-service personnel were not common.
A Biden administration “Countering Extremist Activity Working Group” conducted a review and found that “cases of prohibited extremist activity among service members were rare.” Among the more than 2.1 million active and reserve forces, just 100 cases were found.
A Senate Armed Services Committee report also concluded that extremism in the military is limited. The report said the working group results show “a case rate of .005 percent, [or] one service member out of every 21,000.”
The committee report urged halting efforts to purge the military. “Spending additional time and resources on extremism in the military is an inappropriate use of taxpayer funds and should be discontinued by the [Pentagon] immediately,” the report said.
The report by Mr. Rubio and Mr. Roy said the Biden administration is seeking to indoctrinate U.S. military academies to critical race theory.
Midshipmen at the Naval Academy were urged to read the book “How to Be an Anti-Racist” that argued racial prejudice was widespread in American society and that capitalism is racist. Air Force Academy cadets were taught that “structural racism” is endemic to U.S. society, while West Point cadets were told that they need to understand “whiteness” in learning about racial inequality and slavery.
The military is also promoting sex reassignment surgery for transgender troops as part of its woke policies, the report said.
The report also said the Biden administration is punishing troops who object to woke ideology while supporting those that agree with it.
“This flagrant discrimination is fundamentally unjust and cannot continue. Moreover, it breeds resentment and allows loyalty to an ideology, rather than competence, to determine success in our military, the report said.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has staunchly defended what he said was an effort to help those in uniform understand different viewpoints and racial perspectives.
“I personally find it offensive that we are accusing the United States military … of being ‘woke’ or something else because we’re studying some theories that are out there,” the general told a congressional hearing in the summer of 2021.
“I want to understand white rage — and I’m white,” Gen. Milley told a House Armed Services Committee hearing. “What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America?”
• Bill Gertz can be reached at email@example.com.
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