Gaetz Slams Military for Considering Race in Awarding $90 Million Contract

Florida Representative and Conservative Matt Gaetz slammed the Pentagon for its prioritization of ‘Wokeism’ on Friday, when it was revealed that it awarded a 90 million dollar military research contract partially based on race.


The contract was awarded to Howard University, a Historically Black College or University (HBCU), something top brass was sure to make clear on Monday.

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“Howard’s new research center will focus on tactical autonomy. That’s central to U.S. security in our changing world. Responsibly used autonomous systems make our military faster, stronger, and smarter.”

– US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J Austin

According to Face2Face Africa, executive director and principal investigator Dr. Danda Rawat described the purpose of the contract as creating autonomous battle systems for the Air Force, presumably including unmanned drones and similar technologies.

“Howard’s UARC will focus on advanced battle management systems (ABMS) and tactical autonomy which the Air Force defines as autonomous systems acting with delegated and bounded authority of humans in support of tactical, short-term actions associated with a longer-term strategic vision in war.”

However, the way that Howard University was selected is a problem for Gaetz.

The Florida Representative penned a column in the Washington Examiner where he ripped the Pentagon for its priorities and noted that even Austin admitted that Howard University’s status as an HBCU factored into the contract.

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“Austin even admitted in his remarks that race played a deciding factor in the awarding of the contract. “Only a tiny fraction of the Defense Department’s research funding goes to [historically black colleges and universities],” he said. “You know, that just doesn’t add up. And as secretary of defense, I’m determined to change that.””

Gaetz made the same point on Twitter as well.

Gaetz never argues that Howard University is not necessarily worthy of such a contract but that focusing on race is not Austin’s job and that it should be no factor in leading the military.

“Austin’s role as secretary of defense isn’t to make sure that our research and development contracts are given out to people of the right race. He is supposed to be focused on keeping the nation safe. The quality of the research is what matters, not the skin color of the people performing the research. This used to be obvious, but apparently now it needs to be said out loud.”

Gaetz also noted that this is not a one-off, quoting Austin as saying that the Pentagon is “committed to investing even more in HBCUs and minority-serving institutions.”

Gaetz also pointed to examples of recent failures by the Pentagon, such as the pullout of Afghanistan, as evidence of the damage that ‘wokeism’ is doing to the military.

Austin and Gaetz argued over this in person in Congress last April, where Gaetz similarly looked for answers regarding Afghanistan and Ukraine.

“You guys said that Russia would overrun Ukraine in 36 days. You said that the Taliban would be kept at bay for months. You totally blew those calls,” Gaetz said. “And maybe we would be better at them if the National Defense University worked a little more on strategy and a little less on wokeism,” Gaetz asked, according to The Hill.

In that session in April, Austin countered the accusations, saying, “This is the most critical, the most combat-critical force in the world. It has been, and it will be so going forward.”

However, in his recent article, Gatz held up Austin’s explicit prioritization of race with the Howard University contract as evidence to the contrary.

“Take, for example, the claims made by both Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin that the military has not been captured by Leftism. If that is so, then what do you call a $90 million research and development contract awarded based on race other than “woke”?”

Gaetz blamed the Biden Administration as partially responsible for the trend but ended the article with a call to action to Republicans and promised to end the “nonsense” himself.

Republicans must put an end to this. Not only is the pursuit of “equity” immoral, but it’s most certainly no way to run a military. I’m determined to use the annual defense spending bill to uproot this sort of nonsense. Austin must prioritize winning wars, not winning applause from liberals.

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