by Countable | 3.20.17
On Friday, President Donald Trump visited the Pentagon for a ceremony honoring Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. There he signed an executive order curtailing refugee admissions while stronger vetting systems are put in place, and a presidential memorandum assessing the readiness of the U.S. military to counter the Islamic State and other potential threats. We’ve broken down both of them for you below:
The executive order on refugee admissions — entitled "Protection of the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the U.S." — looks to slow down and improve the vetting process for refugees through the following actions:
The presidential memorandum on military readiness — entitled "The Rebuilding of the U.S. Armed Forces" — calls for a review of military readiness and the development of a national security strategy that looks to modernize aspects of the U.S. military. It directs the military to take the following actions:
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is to carry out a 30-day "readiness review" that examines needs for the war against the Islamic State and Islamic terrorism at large. The review will also include how military operations against “near-peer competitors” could be carried out. (The term “near-peer competitors” usually refers to China and Russia, though they aren’t named in the order.)
The Dept. of Defense (DOD) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) are to carry out a review that would craft a "military readiness emergency budget amendment" that’d increase defense spending for this fiscal year. Mattis would be able to change the DOD’s proposed budget for 2018 within 90 days.
Mattis is also tasked with developing a new national security strategy by January 2018 that is centered around a military buildup emphasizing: modernizing nuclear weapons, strengthening missile defense, addressing maintenance delays, and dealing with "shortfalls" in roles that need more personnel such as cyber warfare.
Tell your lawmakers what you think of Trump’s executive actions and whether they should support or oppose related legislation in Congress below:
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Freedom House - Flickr / Creative Commons)
Written by Countable