Veterans In Congress Warn: Enemies ‘Smell Weakness In This White House’

A former Green Beret and retired Navy SEAL serving in Congress are both concerned about the Biden administration’s “bad” military policy, arguing that the United States’ enemies “smell weakness in this White House.”

Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL), the first Green Beret to serve in Congress, and Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-WI), a retired United States Navy SEAL, made the comments during a Saturday appearance on Fox News’ “One Nation with Brian Kilmeade” while discussing the recent focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives over national security in the military.

Both veterans agreed that the DEI push was “bad policy,” noting that it did not exist when they were serving.

“This is just bad policy; it’s not a tsunami from nowhere or an act of God. It’s bad policy out of the White House,” Waltz said, referring to DEI. “At the end of the day, it has not deterred anyone. Our enemies are on the march because they smell weakness in this White House, and they see bad policy and bad priorities imposed on the greatest military the world has ever seen and one that should be feared by our allies and right now… is not respected worldwide.”

“We are — and I want to put in perspective for people — over six years, the Biden administration wants to spend $280 million on DEI initiatives, which are something people should be doing already. Just treat people with respect… But if you look at the United States military, right now we are mocked because leadership in the Pentagon and Joe Biden led us down a road where we have decreased lethality and made the world a dangerous place,” Van Orden added.

While the Biden administration continues to focus on DEI and pushing transgenderism on the military, the U.S. military has essentially been crumbling.

Recruitment efforts have fallen short of their goals amid the far-left push in the military, with the Army reporting last year it was 25% short of its goal, down by roughly 15,000 recruits. The Navy was also short 8,000 active-duty sailors, roughly one-fifth less than its goal, and short 3,000 reservists, which is nearly 30% less than its goal.

Just a week after the Pentagon failed its sixth consecutive audit, the department submitted its budget request for nearly $144 million. While the Pentagon has not yet released its 2024 DEI initiatives, the department spent $68 million on DEI initiatives in 2022 and $86.5 million in 2023.