RAND Corporation has recently released Prevalence of Veteran Support for Extremist Groups and Extremist Beliefs: Results from a Nationally Representative Survey of the U.S. Veteran Community, a report aimed at understanding the likelihood of U.S. veterans being successfully recruited by extremist organizations. While veterans in general appear to support extremist groups and ideologies at the same rate as the general public, those from the Marine Corps seem to have the highest prevalence of support for such organizations and ideals amongst the veteran community. The survey focused on the level of support responders felt for Antifa, Proud Boys, Black nationalists, and white supremacists. It also questioned how strongly participants agreed with the use of political violence, as well as beliefs in QAnon and replacement theory.
Of the groups veteran participants responded “very or somewhat favorably” to, Antifa and Black nationalist groups held the most support at 5.5 and 5.3 percent, respectively. Support for Proud Boys and White supremacist groups appeared to be prevalent at much lower rates than the general public, with “very to somewhat favorable” responses encompassing 4.2 and 0.8 percent of all respondents, respectively. In addition to this, according to the report, the “majority of veterans who expressed support for extremist groups did not endorse political violence.” Alternatively, that means that the majority of the 17.7 percent of veterans who “completely or mostly agree” with the use of political violence remain potentially susceptible to other existing or emerging extremist organizations and ideologies.
For more information, check out HSDL’s In Focus topics on Domestic Terrorism in the U.S. and Hate and Antisemitism.