Austin told CNN’s Barbara Starr in an exclusive, broad Memorial Day interview that the U.S. military would “never be soft”, adding that “America’s enemies, like China and Russia,” want to use such talking points.
“I will not sleep for a minute about what the Chinese leadership is saying or what (Russian President) Vladimir Putin is saying. What I will focus on, I focus on the security of this nation, and we have to be successful in ensuring that,” the defense secretary said Monday. Said in an exclusive interview.
Earlier this month, the U.S. military launched a campaign to recruit General Z, which featured stories about how five soldiers responded to a call for service. The series is “a unique departure from previous military campaigns,” using its animation and “intimate” depictions and twists that “once had a one-dimensional perspective on military service,” the military said in a statement.
Conservative Media and Republican Sen. Critics of the ads, including Ted Cruz, responded by tweeting, “Holy trick, maybe the awakened, withdrawn army is not the best idea.”
Cruz’s comments came in response to a Twitter video of a Russian military ad and an excerpt from a US ad featuring CBL. Emma Malonelard’s story says she was “raised by two moms” and “marched for equality.”
“We have the largest army on earth, but Dem politicians and the awake media are trying to turn them into ponzi,” the Texas Republican senator added.
In his interview with CNN, Austin said the U.S. military is “the best military in the world today,” not only because of technology, but also because of “the people who are expanding our teams.”
“I think we do a great job of recruiting the right people, giving access to people from every corner and every life in this country. You can qualify as long as you are fit, this team has a place for you,” he said.
Austin argued that a different U.S. military force “should be part of who we are.”
“We represent the United States. We want to be like the United States, not just in teams,” he told Starr. “But our leadership must be like America.”
Prior to his appointment as Secretary of Defense, Austin served in a number of key positions, including Commander-in-Chief of the US Central Command, Deputy Chief of Army Staff and Commander-in-Chief of US forces in Iraq.
“I have a front row seat … at the biggest point in our history, we were able to see our troops in action, the things they have to do for each other, the sacrifices they make to build this country and each other,” Austin told the Star. “I can tell you, despite the fact that we can make great films and write a lot of books, you can not adequately describe what I have seen in these 20 years. What these young people will do to each other and what they will do for their country is absolutely amazing.”