Ali warns of COVID-related military susceptibility to extremism

December 23, 2021 The Hill

As the Pentagon begins to separate out non-vaccinated personnel across different services for refusing to comply with the Defense Department’s COVID vaccine mandate, a risk exists that those people could become targets of domestic extremist influence. In an opinion piece in The Hill, Ford School professor of practice Javed Ali and Tom Warrick warn of the dangers that could present.

"COVID-19 threatens the U.S. military’s readiness, leading to the decision that military personnel should be vaccinated, show a religious exemption or face separation. The military has announced measures to enforce this rule to ensure readiness of the force, but it is not yet sure of all the second- and third-order effects of the decision. Therefore, the Biden administration should take several additional steps to ensure that separated military personnel do not become susceptible to extremist messaging and recruitment," they write.