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Ex-Pentagon spokesman unloads on Trump for using troops ‘as political pawns’

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With the 2018 midterms now in the home stretch, President Donald Trump is trying to fire up his voters by terrorizing them and describing the caravan of Honduran refugees that has been gradually making its way north as an “invasion.” Trump, determined to show his base that only Republicans can protect them, has sent U.S. troops to the U.S./Mexico border. But not everyone with a military background thinks this is a good idea—and former Defense Department spokesman/advisor David Lapan, a retired Marine colonel, has described the deployment as “unnecessary and inappropriate” in a new commentary for the Task & Purpose website.

Lapan, in his article, offers a variety of reasons why he is opposed to sending troops to the U.S./Mexico border—and at the top of the list is the fact that border security should be left to law enforcement.

“The border security mission is a law enforcement one, and active duty military forces are prohibited by law from conducting domestic law enforcement activities,” Lapan asserts. “The troops being dispatched to the border are in a support role only.”

Second, Lapan does not consider the caravan (which originated in Pedro San Sula, Honduras and is presently in southern Mexico) an “invasion.”

“This caravan of poor migrants and refugees is not a national security threat to the United States,” Lapan explains in his article. “Its size—at this point—may be a bit different than what we have seen recently, but it is not unusual. Large groups of migrants travel north to the U.S. every year. This is not an ‘invasion.’”

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Third, Lapan believes that sending troops to the U.S./Mexico border takes them away from other parts of the world where they are badly needed (such as Afghanistan and Syria). According to Lapan, Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ “focus on lethality and combat readiness won’t be served by this deployment.”

Lapan observes, “Secretary Mattis has rightfully recognized that after 17 years of mostly counterterrorism operations, our military needs to refocus and prepare for the next war or contingency, not the last one. That means training for full-spectrum operations, something none of the thousands of troops deployed to the border will be doing. This ill-advised deployment takes them away from their homes, their families, their regular duties and their training for future contingencies.”

Lapan emphasizes that although the U.S. military still boasts “the finest fighting force the world has seen,” it doesn’t have an infinite number of troops—and sending them to the border is a waste of their skills.

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Lapan concludes that U.S. troops “shouldn’t be (mis)used as an adjunct immigration enforcement force, or as political pawns. They won’t ask for a break, but they certainly deserve one.”

Task & Purpose, founded in 2014, focuses on military-related topics.


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House holds Bill Barr and Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt of Congress

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The House has officially voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress.

Both men refused to abide by a subpoena from the House for documents so they that could investigate actions by both departments.

The last person to be held in contempt of Congress was Bill Barr when he was held in civil contempt, but this was a criminal charge.

In the case of Ross, he is accused of lying under oath to Congress and they requested documents to prove it. Ross refused to provide the information necessary.

Ross has called the contempt charge "political theater" and of no real substance. If that was true, he shouldn't be afraid to provide the documents. Still, he refused.

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Trump’s ‘craziness’ will drive Mexico to find other sources of soybeans — permanently hurting US farmers: Ex-diplomat

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President Donald Trump believes he has worked out a killer trade deal with Mexico and Canada -- but one former Mexican diplomat tells Storm Lake Times columnist Art Cullen that the damage done to the relationship between the countries will have lasting ramifications for years to come.

Jorge Guajardo, who served for six years as Mexico's ambassador to China, recently explained to Cullen that Trump's erratic behavior has shown his country that it must look for other major trading partners so it doesn't run the risk of getting burned by the United States again.

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Yale psychiatrist: Trump using racism as a coping mechanism as his mental state rapidly deteriorates

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump continued to attack the young congresswomen of color nicknamed "The Squad," after he was criticized for saying the women should go back to their own countries, even though all four are U.S. citizens. Now, he's doubling down.

On Twitter Wednesday he called the women "left-wing cranks." He added that they were free to leave if they don't like America.

Raw Story spoke with Dr. Bandy X. Lee about the President's racist tirades against Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-IL).

Lee is a forensic psychiatrist and an expert on violence at Yale School of Medicine. She helped launch a public health approach to global violence prevention as a consultant to the World Health Organization and other United Nations bodies since 2002. She is author of the textbook, “Violence: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Causes, Consequences, and Cures,” president of the World Mental Health Coalition, and editor of the New York Times bestseller, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.”

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