Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s stated ambition to drive domestic terrorists and extremists out of the military amounts to a “witch hunt,” former Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday. 

According to North, the military-wide stand-down ordered by Austin last month in an attempt to address the issue has resulted on “1.5 million man-days lost from readiness and preparing to deal with the number one adversary we’ve got on the planet Earth, the Communist Chinese.”

“Our military has two missions, no more than that,” North said later in the segment. “Number one, deter war. Number two, if you have to fight a war, win it.”

Earlier in the program, Carlson noted that Austin, a retired general, had been “plucked” by Biden “from the cynical world of private equity.

“Youre not supposed to notice that,” the host added. “You’re only supposed to notice Lloyd Austin is Black.”

Carlson went on to criticize Austin as an “openly political” military leader who had made “the entire armed services submit to a political purity test. Anyone who had views that Lloyd Austin found extreme had to leave.”

North noted that when he enlisted, he had to sign a simple document stating under penalty of perjury that he was not a member of the Communist Party. Today, he continued, the document pledging one’s duty to their brothers-in-arms is pages and pages longer.

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“‘I got your back’ are four very important words, not a sentiment, but a pledge. And that pledge goes up and down. It goes to the guy standing beside you who is carrying an [ArmaLite rifle] … The bottom line of it is, that pledge goes all the way to the top,” he said.

“Does this president have the backs of those guys who volunteered to come into service? I dont think so.”