Trump authorizes Pentagon to ready reserves for cartel fight

Trump authorizes Pentagon to ready reserves for cartel fight
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump retweets personal attacks on Clinton, Pelosi, Abrams Biden swipes at Trump: 'Presidency is about a lot more than tweeting from your golf cart' GOP sues California over Newsom's vote-by-mail order MORE on Thursday announced he has issued an executive order authorizing the Department of Defense to activate select reserves of the armed forces as part of a counternarcotics operation. 

Trump sent a letter to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump retweets personal attacks on Clinton, Pelosi, Abrams Biden swipes at Trump: 'Presidency is about a lot more than tweeting from your golf cart' Federal aid to state and local governments should rely on real numbers MORE (D-Calif.) alerting her that he has instructed Defense Secretary Mark EsperMark EsperBirx: 'I'm very concerned when people go out and don't maintain social distancing' Roundup: Everything you need to know about COVID-19 today 125 lawmakers urge Trump administration to support National Guard troops amid pandemic MORE to provide up to 200 additional personnel for the operation.

The reserves are to be used for no longer than a year for the operation, which was previously announced last month. 

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“Effective today, pursuant to section 12304 of title 10, United States Code, I am authorizing the Secretary of Defense to order units and individual members of the Selected Reserve to active duty to augment active component forces for the effective conduct of ‘Enhanced Department of Defense Counternarcotic Operation in the Western Hemisphere,’” he wrote.  

“This authority is necessary to ensure the Department of Defense can properly conduct operations required to meet our evolving security challenges.”

Trump said the United States will be working with 22 partner nations to in an attempt to stop cartels in the Caribbean. 

“As governments and nations focus on the coronavirus, there’s a growing threat that cartels, criminals, terrorists, and other malign actors will try to exploit the situation for their own gain. And we must not let that happen,” he said. 

“We will never let that happen. Today, the United States is launching enhanced counter-narcotics operations in the Western Hemisphere to protect the American people from the deadly scourge of illegal narcotics. We must not let the drug cartels exploit the pandemic to threaten American lives,” he said.