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Despite Tweet, Trump Hasn't Ordered US Troops To Build His Border Wall Yet
President Trump has raised the possibility of U.S. troops building a wall on the U.S./Mexico border, but there are no plans at the moment for service members to do so, according to the Pentagon.
- Before meeting with senior Democratic leaders on Tuesday, the president tweeted: “If the Democrats do not give us the votes to secure our Country, the Military will build the remaining sections of the Wall. They know how important it is!”
- Active-duty U.S. troops have been stringing concertina wire and building temporary barricades along the southwestern border since late October to help civil authorities prevent Central American asylum seekers from crossing into the United States. Defense Secretary James Mattis recently extended their mission through Jan. 31, 2019.
- The president gave no indications on Tuesday about when he might order troops to build sections of the wall, how many service members might be involved, how much the construction project would cost, and how it would be paid for.
- The White House did not respond to requests for comment from Task & Purpose.
- As of Tuesday, the Defense Department has not been tasked with building a border wall, said Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
- “To date, there is no plan to build sections of the wall,” Davis said in an email. “However, Congress has provided options under Title 10 U.S. Code that could permit the Department of Defense to fund border barrier projects, such as in support of counter drug operations or national emergencies.”
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
Editor's Note: A version of this article originally appeared on the blog of Angry Staff Officer
This morning, the Virginia state capitol in Richmond saw dozens of armed men gathering to demonstrate their support for the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution – the right to bear arms. These men were not merely bearing arms, however; they were fully accoutered in the trappings of what one would call a paramilitary group: helmets, vests, ammunition pouches, camouflage clothing, and other "tactical" necessities, the majority of which are neither tactical nor necessary. Their weapons, too, are bedecked with all sorts of accessories, and are also in the paramilitary lane. Rather than carry rifles or shotguns that one would use for hunting, they instead carry semi-automatic "military grade" weapons, to merely prove that they can.
This is not an uncommon sight in America. Nor has it ever been. Armed groups of angry men have a long and uncomfortable history in the United States. On very rare occasions, these irregulars have done some good against corrupt, power-hungry, and abusive county governments. For the most part, however, they bode no good.
A memo circulating over the weekend warning of a "possible imminent attack" against U.S. soldiers in Germany was investigated by Army officials, who found there to not be a serious threat after all.
Comedian Jon Stewart has joined forces with veterans groups to make sure service members who have been sickened by toxins from burn pits get the medical care they need, according to the Military Officers Association of America.
"Quite frankly, this is not just about burn pits — it's about the way we go to war as a country," Stewart said during his Jan. 17 visit to Washington, D.C. "We always have money to make war. We need to always have money to take care of what happens to people who are selfless enough, patriotic enough, to wage those wars on our behalf."
The Navy plans on naming its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after World War II hero Doris 'Dorie' Miller, an African-American sailor recognized for his heroism during the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor — and not everybody is happy about it.
Editor's note: A version of this article first appeared in 2018
Three. That's how many times Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn C. Cashe entered the burning carcass of his Bradley Fighting Vehicle after it struck an improvised explosive device in the Iraqi province of Salahuddin on Oct. 17, 2005. Cashe, a 35-year-old Gulf War vet on his second combat deployment to Iraq since the 2003 invasion, had been in the gun turret when the IED went off below the vehicle, immediately killing the squad's translator and rupturing the fuel cell. By the time the Bradley rolled to a stop, it was fully engulfed in flames. The crackle of incoming gunfire followed. It was a complex ambush.