Washington Free Beacon Managing Editor Aaron MacLean told John Stossel that new standards being imposed upon the U.S. military are a result of a top-down effort from left-wing Washington bureaucrats rather than a legitimate grassroots desire from U.S. service members.
MacLean, a former Marine Corps captain and Afghanistan war veteran, said that the U.S. military is hampered by its effort to maintain security around the world because of political correctness. First, MacLean tackled the issue of sexual assault.
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"In fact, there is sexual assault in the military; there's sexual assault on American campuses; there's sexual assault in American society–and even one case of sexual assault is too many," MacLean said.
"But I think that something the left has been very good at is politicizing this and shifting the focus to this issue."
This shifted focus, MacLean said, has exemplified the degree to which the Obama administration is out of touch.
"I think of a young 19-year-old lance corporal standing at his post in Afghanistan and listening to the president and Secretary Hagel tell graduating classes at the Naval Academy that the biggest challenge they will face in their military careers is eradicating sexual assault," MacLean said. "And I think he thinks that we are all crazy. I don't think that this is a big part of his experience."
MacLean said the push to lower training standards in order to put more women in ground combat units with men is another heavily politicized issue, despite the fact that men and women have been fighting side by side for decades.
"There's tremendous pressure coming from Washington to look at their training standards and–in the sort of bureaucratic language of Washington–‘evaluate' whether certain training events and certain standards are really necessary," MacLean said.
"The subtext here is, in Washington people are very concerned about making sure that women will graduate from these programs. Now, the women themselves who want to serve in these units don't want the standards lowered. This is not being driven by them. This is a very top-down, very politicized issue."
MacLean also spoke about the emphasis on using green energy in the military, which he said seems like "a lot of effort for little gain."