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The Pentagon will decide by May 10 which military construction projects will be sacrificed for the border wall
In just under a month, the Defense Department should have a list of which military construction projects can be delayed in order to transfer $3.6 billion to pay for the border wall, according to a Pentagon memo obtained by Task & Purpose.
"I request that you identify, by May 10, 2019, existing military construction projects of sufficient value to provide up to $3.6 billion in funding for my consideration," Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan wrote in an April 11 memo to Elaine McCusker, the Pentagon's comptroller.
"You are not to consider family housing, barracks, or dormitory projects; projects that have already been awarded; or projects that have fiscal year 2019 award dates."
The memo, which mentions that Shanahan has "not yet decided to undertake or authorize" border wall construction under the president's emergency declaration, directed McCusker to consult with the military service secretaries, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and other senior Pentagon officials to look at the "pool of unawarded military construction projects" and prioritize which ones could potentially be used.
"Your review should confirm that projects under consideration have award dates in fiscal year 2020 or later to minimize effects on readiness and to be consistent with the strategic approach in the National Defense Strategy," Shanahan wrote.
When President Donald Trump declared a national emergency on Feb. 15, he provided the legal authority under Section 2808 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code for the Pentagon to use the military construction money for other projects "that are necessary to support such use of the armed forces," Shananan wrote.
Although Shanahan has not yet decided whether to use the money for border barriers, the fact that he is asking the Pentagon's comptroller to come up with a list of projects that could be defunded indicates he is likely to decide the border wall is necessary to support the military.
"We're going through a filter to ensure that nothing impacts lethality and readiness on the part of our military construction budget, which is a budget that's substantially larger than $3.6 billion," a senior administration official told reporters on Feb. 15.
Still, the use of funds under Section 2808 is "likely to be vigorously litigated," according to a February report from the Congressional Research Service.
Lawmakers have repeatedly pressed Shanahan on what military construction projects are at risk of being redirected to wall construction following Trump's February declaration of a national emergency, which he said allowed him to take $3.6 billion from military construction projects and another $2.5 billion from counter narcotics funding to pay for the border wall.
Previously, the Pentagon provided Congress with a list of every single military construction project that has yet to be awarded a contract — including those that are exempt from being used to pay for the border wall. The confusing 21-page list amounted to upwards of $6.7 billion in projects around the country.
Separately, the Army has awarded nearly $1 billion in contracts for 57 miles of border barriers. That money comes from counter narcotics funds, of which a large part comes from unused Army personnel money.
You can read the memo below:
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'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.