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NORTHCOM chief sees no military threat at the US-Mexico border
The head of U.S. Northern Command told lawmakers on Tuesday that he sees no military threat from foreign nationals crossing into the United States through the southern border, casting doubt on President Donal Trump's claims to a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border.
"A secure border does reduce threats to the homeland [but] … it is not a military threat," Air Force Gen. Terrence O'Shaughnessy told the Senate Armed Services committee. "But that's slightly different than the answer of whether military should be responding to the situation."
Trump's Feb. 15 declaration of a national emergency at the U.S.-Mexico border was ostensibly designed to bypass Congress in order to fund the construction of a border wall in response to migrant caravans approaching from the south.
O'Shaughnessy begged to differ.
"I do see that any barrier in place to secure our nation does have some ramifications to our ability to defend against a military threat as well," he told lawmakers, "[but] right now, there's not a specific military force from the south that we are trying to take action against."
O'Shaughnessy's comments echo the rationale offered in military planning documents, obtained and published by Newsweek in November, regarding the 7,000-strong migrant caravan that precipitated Operation Faithful Patriot in 2018.
The documents, prepared by U.S. Army North, stated that "based on historic trends, it is assessed that only a small percentage of the migrants will likely reach the border," and that those 20% who succeeded would do so with "no terrorist infiltration.'
Indeed, the Army documents stated that the nearly 200 armed militia members operating along the southwestern border "under the guise of citizen patrols" constituted a more imminent threat than the caravan stemming from the reported theft of National Guard equipment.
When it came to pointed questions regarding the legitimacy of Trump's national emergency declaration, O'Shaughnessy demurred, stating that he "did not recommend either way" on the matter during "multiple conversations" with Trump on the matter, per The Washington Examiner.
"You're saying in effect that there's a national emergency because the president has said there's a national emergency," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
"No, sir, what I'm saying is from my perspective I get my orders from the secretary of defense and the president, and those orders are very clear to me," responded O'Shaughnessy.
WATCH NEXT: U.S.-Mexico Border Wall Time-Lapse
This 400-pound feral hog is one of more than 1,200 that have invaded a Texas Air Force base since 2016
At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.
A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Verizon committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace. Verizon is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn More.
Verizon values leadership, motivation, self-discipline, and hard work — all characteristics that veterans bring to the table. Sometimes, however, veterans struggle with the transition back into the civilian workplace. They may need guidance on interview skills and resume writing, for example.
By participating in the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program and developing internal programs to help veterans find their place, Verizon continues its support of the military community and produces exceptional leaders.
CAIRO (Reuters) - Islamic State's media network on Monday issued an audio message purporting to come from its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi saying operations were taking place daily and urging freedom for women jailed in Iraq and Syria over their alleged links to the group.
"Daily operations are underway on different fronts," he said in the 30-minute tape published by the Al Furqan network, in what would be his first message since April. He cited several regions such as Mali and the Levant but gave no dates.