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House Democrat Says 3,500 More Troops Are Heading To The US-Mexico Border
A top Democratic lawmaker was first to announce on Thursday that 3,500 additional U.S. troops are deploying to the southwestern border amid official silence from the Pentagon.
Rep. Adam Smith (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, is "deeply troubled" that defense officials did not mention the upcoming deployment while testifying on Tuesday, Smith said Thursday in a statement.
"The members of the committee would have been extremely interested in discussing what the 3,500 troops going to the border in response to [the Department of Homeland Security's] latest request will be doing there," Smith said in Thursday's statement.
"This is a violation of the executive branch's obligation to be transparent with Congress, which oversees, authorizes, and funds its operations. It also raises questions about whether the department thinks the policy of sending additional troops to the border is so unjustified that they cannot defend an increase in public."
The Defense Department has not yet announced the deployment because it is still determining which units will be sent to the border, a U.S. official told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
Currently, about 2,350 active-duty troops and a similar number of National Guardsmen are deployed to the U.S/Mexico border on a mission that is expected to last through September. They have been tasked with laying concertina wire and helping to support civil authorities, who are trying to prevent Central American asylum seekers from crossing into the United States.
President Trump tweeted earlier on Thursday that he was dispatching more troops to the border, "To stop the attempted Invasion of Illegals, through large Caravans, into our Country."
On Wednesday, Smith wrote a letter to Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan urging the Pentagon to be more forthcoming about deployments of active-duty troops to the border.
"Transparency from the department is essential in the execution of Congress' duty to exercise oversight," Smith wrote. "Yesterday, the Department was not transparent about the number of active-duty personnel needed for future support missions at the southern border. When given the opportunity to testify publicly about the mission at the southern border, the department baulked."
Shortly before Tuesday's hearing Shanahan told reporters at a Pentagon news briefing that "several thousand" more troops would be heading to the border, but he declined to say exactly how many.
"I'll leave it at that number," Shanahan said.
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The former Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs thinks that the VA needs to start researching medical marijuana. Not in a bit. Not soon. Right goddamn now.
US and Turkey agree on temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from northeast Syria
The United States and Turkey have agreed to a temporary cease fire to allow Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a safe zone that Turkey is establishing along its border with Syria, Vice President Mike Pence announced on Thursday.
They started the US war against ISIS. Now they have an important message for Trump on abandoning the Kurds
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.
Trump's recent decisions in northern Syria were ill-advised, strategically unsound, and morally shameful. In rapidly withdrawing U.S. presence and allowing a Turk offensive into Syria, we have left the Syrian Kurds behind, created a power vacuum for our adversaries to fill, and set the stage for the resurgence of ISIS.
After preliminary fitness test scores leaked in September, many have voiced concerns about how women would fare in the new Army Combat Fitness Test.
The scores — which accounted for 11 of the 63 battalions that the ACFT was tested on last year — showed an overall failure rate of 84% for women, and a 70% pass rate for men.
But Army leaders aren't concerned about this in the slightest.
More than 74 years after Marines raised the American flag on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, the Marine Corps has announced that one of men in the most famous picture of World War II had been misidentified.