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About 1,000 Marines from Camp Pendleton, California, will join the roughly 7,000 active-duty troops being deployed to the southern border, but it is unclear if any of those forces will be armed, defense officials told Task & Purpose on Friday.
“Forces with assigned weapons may deploy with weapons stored; the commander of U.S. Northern Command will make decisions on arming,” said NORTHCOM spokesman Mike Kucharek.
Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy, head of NORTHCOM, has the authority to decide whether active-duty troops who are assigned with protecting classified information, guarding stored weapons, or serving in a force protection role, Kucharek explained to Task & Purpose.
As of Friday afternoon, O’Shaughnessy had not delegated to commanders the authority to arm those troops, Kucharek said.
All of the troops being dispatched to the U.S./Mexico border are tasked with helping civil authorities stop a caravan of Central American asylum seekers from crossing into the United States. NORTHCOM is expected to announce within 24 hours which new active-duty units will be part of the mission, including the Marine Air-Ground Task Force from Camp Pendleton, defense officials said. Breitbart's Kristina Wong first reported about the Marines’ deployment on Friday.
When President Bill Clinton sent Marines to the U.S./Mexico border in 1997 as part of an anti-narcotics operation, a corporal accidentally shot and killed an 18-year-old American goat herder, whom the Marine thought was firing at one of his comrades.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump told reporters that U.S. troops should treat any migrants who throw rocks at them as armed gunmen.
“They want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back,” Trump told reporters at the White House. ”I told them: Consider it a rifle. When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I said: Consider it a rifle.”
The comment was criticized by some former military leaders, including retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. But on Friday, Trump argued that he never said U.S. troops should shoot migrants.
“We’re going to arrest those people quickly and for a long period of time,” the president said.
The FBI is treating the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, as a terrorist attack, several media outlets reported on Sunday.
"We work with the presumption that this was an act of terrorism," USA Today quoted FBI Agent Rachel Rojas as saying at a news conference.
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."
"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.
The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.
The Pentagon’s troop deployment denials means nothing when the White House screams ‘fake news’ all the time
The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.
We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."
"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"