Trump's Pentagon Quietly Made A Change To The Stated Mission It's Had For Two Decades

Code Red News
DoD

For at least two decades, the Department of Defense has explicitly defined its mission on its website as providing "the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country." But earlier this year, it quietly changed that statement, perhaps suggesting a more ominous approach to national security.


The Pentagon's official website now defines its mission this way: "The mission of the Department of Defense is to provide a lethal Joint Force to defend the security of our country and sustain American influence abroad."

The new mission statement — featured at the bottom of every page on the site — removes the words "to deter war" while adding that it is the Pentagon's job to "sustain American influence" overseas. But strangely, the about page still carries the old mission statement, though it says it has not been updated since Jan. 27, 2017.

None

This seems a significant change for the department under President Donald Trump, although the Pentagon appears to have made it quietly and with little fuss. The Pentagon's official website, currently at defense.gov and previously at defenselink.mil, has maintained its mission to "provide the military forces needed to deter war" under Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton, according to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.

The change happened sometime between Jan. 2 and Jan. 3 of this year.

None

So what is going on here?

I emailed Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White about this, asking her why the mission changed and who would have approved it. I also asked what the reasoning was behind the decision to remove "deter war" and add "sustain American influence abroad." She did not respond to my questions by press time.

The Defense Department's website on Dec. 12, 1998.The Wayback Machine

The Defense Department's website on Jan. 1, 2018.The Wayback Machine

Still, this seemingly-new mission isn't outlined in the summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy like it is on DoD's website. The document does, however, use some of the old and new language together (emphasis added):

"The Department of Defense’s enduring mission is to provide combat-credible military forces needed to deter war and protect the security of our nation. Should deterrence fail, the Joint Force is prepared to win. Reinforcing America’s traditional tools of diplomacy, the Department provides military options to ensure the President and our diplomats negotiate from a position of strength," reads the introduction.

It says later: "A more lethal, resilient, and rapidly innovating Joint Force, combined with a robust constellation of allies and partners, will sustain American influence and ensure favorable balances of power that safeguard the free and open international order. Collectively, our force posture, alliance and partnership architecture, and Department modernization will provide the capabilities and agility required to prevail in conflict and preserve peace through strength."

Although at least seven previous defense secretaries served under the website's old mission statement, it appears that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has in this instance made a lasting mark on his office. Besides overseeing this seemingly subtle word change, Mattis wrote an all-hands memorandum in Oct. 2017 stating, "we are a Department of war" — a choice of words harkening back to the DoD's name prior to 1949.

A Marine wanted for killing his mother's boyfriend reportedly escaped police by hiding inside an RV they'd spent hours searching before towing it to a parking lot, where he escaped under the cover of darkness.

It wasn't until more than two weeks later authorities finally caught up to Michael Brown at his mom's home, which was the scene of the crime.

Brown stuffed himself into a tight spot in his camper during an hours-long search of the vehicle on Nov. 10, according to NBC affiliate WSLS in Virginia. A day earlier, cops said Brown fatally shot his mother's boyfriend, Rodney Brown. The AWOL Marine remained on the lam until Nov. 27, where he was finally apprehended without incident.

Read More Show Less

No motive is yet known for last week's Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard shooting tragedy, which appears to have been a random act of violence in which the sailor who fatally shot two civilian workers and himself did not know them and did not plan his actions ahead of time, shipyard commander Capt. Greg Burton said in an "All Hands" message sent out Friday.

Machinist's Mate Auxiliary Fireman Gabriel Antonio Romero of San Antonio, an armed watch-stander on the attack submarine USS Columbia, shot three civilian workers Dec. 4 and then turned a gun on himself while the sub rested in dry dock 2 for a major overhaul, the Navy said.

"The investigation continues, but there is currently no known motive and no information to indicate the sailor knew any of the victims," Burton said.

Read More Show Less
A projectile is fired during North Korea's missile tests in this undated picture released by North Korea's Central News Agency (KCNA) on November 28, 2019. (KCNA via Reuters)

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea said it had successfully conducted another test at a satellite launch site, the latest in a string of developments aimed at "restraining and overpowering the nuclear threat of the U.S.", state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.

The test was conducted on Friday at the Sohae satellite launch site, KCNA said, citing a spokesman for North Korea's Academy of Defence Science, without specifying what sort of testing occurred.

Read More Show Less

Since the Washington Post first published the "Afghanistan papers," I have been reminded of a scene from "Apocalypse Now Redux" in which Army Col. Walter Kurtz reads to the soldier assigned to kill him two Time magazine articles showing how the American people had been lied to about Vietnam by both the Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon administrations.

In one of the articles, a British counterinsurgency expert tells Nixon that "things felt much better and smelled much better" during his visit to Vietnam.

"How do they smell to you, soldier?" Kurtz asks.

Read More Show Less
Erik Prince arrives for the New York Young Republican Club Gala at The Yale Club of New York City in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., November 7, 2019. (REUTERS/Jeenah Moon)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Erik Prince, the controversial private security executive and prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump, made a secret visit to Venezuela last month and met Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, one of socialist leader Nicolas Maduro's closest and most outspoken allies, according to five sources familiar with the matter.

Read More Show Less