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The Global War On Terror Will Finally Get Its Own Monument In DC
The military campaign against international terrorism launched in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks may be far from over, but the fallen U.S. service members of the America's Global War on Terror are already receiving a physical tribute to their sacrifice.
On Aug. 3, the Senate unanimously passed the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Act, paving the way for the establishment of the National Global War on Terrorism Memorial in Washington, D.C. The legislation now heads to the White House to receive President Donald Trump’s signature.
First introduced in the House in February 2017, the legislation will authorize the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation to immediately quarterback the design, fundraising, and construction of the monument on federal land, where it will honor the sacrifices of post-9/11 service members alongside those from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Ever since he established the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation to campaign for a physical tribute to GWOT service members and veterans, Army veteran Andrew Brennan has faced one major legislative obstacle: The Commemorative Works Act of 1986 requires that the federal government only erect national war memorials 10 years after the end of conflicts — a difficult proposition for an anti-terror campaign that has only expanded in size and scope since 2001, and shows no signs of slowing down.
The legislation passed by the House and Senate, H.R. 873, included an exemption from the Commemorative Works Acts, a recognition of the unusual nature of the service and sacrifice of 3 million fighting men and women who deployed as part of the nation’s longest war.
“This memorial will be wholly dedicated to our 7,000 brothers and sisters who deployed with us, but did not return and their survivors. It is dedicated to the 1 million wounded warriors who are reclaiming their lives back here at home. It is for the soldiers, airmen, sailors, and Marines who struggle in their transition from combat deployments,” Brennan said in a statement. “We’re looking forward to building a sacred place of healing and remembrance for our GWOT veterans, a place for families to gather together to honor their loved ones, and for future generations of Americans to learn about a war they will likely grow up alongside of.”
The new memorial doesn’t just include those service members who deployed to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan. The Senate bill defines the “Global War on Terrorism” as “any contingency operation conducted by the Armed Forces in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, or other terrorist attack.”
Under this broad definition, this emcompasses basically every military operation justified by the broad 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIS in Syria; a handful of incursions in Libya; foreign military training, advising, assisting in the Philippines and Georgia; secure detention operations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; counter-terrorism and combat operations in Djibouti, Yemen, Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, and elsewhere in the Horn of Africa; and the special operations forces deployed in 80 countries around the world.
“I could not be more proud that we are one step closer to securing our post 9/11 veterans’ rightful place in our nation’s capital,” House bill sponsor Rep. Mike Gallagher, a Republican from Wisconsin and a Marine veteran, told Task & Purpose, “My hope is that this memorial will serve as a way to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and as a call to action for us, the living. I look forward to the president signing this bill into law as soon as possible so that the Global War on Terrorism Memorial will one day stand alongside others as an enduring reminder of the cost of liberty.”
For the legislation’s sponsors in Congress, the whole purpose of the bill is not just to memorialize the sacrifices on foreign battlefields, but to ensure that that U.S. military personnel who work behind the scenes and in the shadows to beat back the rising tide of international terror — like U.S. Special Operations Command forces on the front lines in dozens of countries — do not go forgotten.
"Passage of this bill is an important first step in ensuring that the men and women who willingly gave their lives in the War on Terror are afforded a place on the national mall where their loved ones can pay respects and honor their sacrifice,” Rep. Seth Moulton, a Democrat from Massachusetts and Marine vet who co-sponsored the House bill with Gallagher, said in a statement on July 28. “For me, like so many of my colleagues, this is personal.”
Former Marine Commandant tells Trump that pardoning troops accused of war crimes 'relinquishes the moral high ground'
Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."
"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.
The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.
"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.
"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."
After a year and a half since the Army took delivery on the first of its souped-up new version of the M1 Abrams main battle tank, the Pentagon's Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio is ramping up to deliver the service's first full brigade of upgraded warhorses to bring the pain downrange.
On Tuesday, two political veterans groups, one on the left, the other on the right, announced a new lobbying campaign aimed at ending America's 'forever wars.'
In a video tied to the announcement, Dan Caldwell, the senior adviser to Concerned Veterans for America, a conservative veterans' group, and Jon Soltz, the chairman of VoteVets, a liberal vets group which aims to get former service members into office, laid out their plan for a lobbying campaign aimed at changing policy on how the United States wages war.