Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
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
The White House doctor still under investigation for doling out pills like a ‘candy man’ is now running for Congress
Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and retired Navy rear admiral who had a short run as the nominee for the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2018, now plans to run for a seat in Congress.
University of Phoenix to pay $191 million for lying to troops about its close ties with major companies
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The University of Phoenix, which is owned by Apollo Education Group, has agreed to pay $191 million to settle charges that it falsely advertised close ties with major U.S. companies that could lead to jobs for students, the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.
The University of Phoenix will pay $50 million to the FTC to return to consumers and cancel $141 million in student debt.
Some of the advertisements targeted military and Hispanic students, the FTC said.
As UCF research associate Shane Reynolds guides his avatar over a virtual minefield using his iPad, small beeps and whistles reveal the location of the scourge of the modern war zone: Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs. He must take his time to sweep every last inch of the playing field to make sure his character doesn't miss any of the often-deadly bombs.
Despite his slow pace, Reynolds makes a small misstep and with a kaboom! a bomb blows up his player, graphically scattering body parts.
The Navy has posthumously awarded aviator and aircrewman wings to three sailors killed in last week's shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola.
"The selfless acts of heroism displayed by these young Sailors the morning of Dec. 6 are nothing short of incredible," Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Daniel Dwyer said in a statement.