US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has praised the US military as “the best” in the world today, while saying that he would not succumb to criticism alleged to be coming from Chinese and Russian leadership.
Speaking to CNN in an exclusive Memorial Day interview, Austin argued that the American military will never get “soft”, despite what he sees as Russian and Chinese attempts to “capitalize on talking points like that."
"I will not lose one minute of sleep about what the Chinese leadership is saying or what [Russian President] Vladimir Putin is saying. What I will focus on, and what I am focused on, is the defence of this nation, and making sure that we have what's needed to be successful," the official said.
Speaking not long after the US Army was criticised for a new recruitment campaign described by some on the right side of of the political spectrum as "woke", with ads released this month featuring “intimate” portrayals and personal stories from soldiers, including those about equality and being raised by two mothers, Austin said that American military still greatly surpasses those of other countries due to its technology and its members.
"I think we're doing a great job in terms of recruiting the right kinds of people, providing access to people from every corner, every walk of life in this country. As long as you're fit and you can qualify, there's a place for you on this team," the defence secretary, who has served more than 40 years in the US military, said.
According to a Republican senator from Texas, Ted Cruz, the new recruitment ads suggest that an “emasculated military” has been turned “into pansies” by the Democrats and what he characterizes as “woke media.”