Tagged: head

0

Homeland Security Promises to Prosecute 100 Percent of Illegal Immigration Cases

In a major policy shift, the Homeland Security and Justice departments are promising to prosecute everyone suspected of illegally entering the United States. The new approach will separate thousands of children from their parents when they are arrested, which critics called inhumane.

“We need legality and integrity in our immigration system. That’s why the Department of Homeland Security is now referring 100 percent of illegal Southwest border crossings to the Department of Justice for prosecution,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a news conference in San Diego on Monday.

“If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple. If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law,” Sessions said as a protester with a bullhorn interrupted his remarks.

Politico reported Monday[1] that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen signed a memo on Friday directing the department to refer all suspected border crossers to the Justice Department for prosecution under a federal statute that prohibits illegal entry. Illegally entering the country has typically been treated as a civil matter in which the immigrant is subject to deportation. The new policy means all cases will be treated as a criminal matter in which immigrants face prison.

Border Patrol agents were told of the new policy over the weekend, said a federal law enforcement official who asked not to be identified because he or she wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

“At muster they just said, ‘We are now prosecuting everyone, 100 percent.’ Then there were a few cheers and someone shouted, ‘Thank you, Trump.’ They followed up with family unit situations and said that if a unit was apprehended that the parent with the most criminal history would be prosecuted,” the official said.

One of the biggest changes in the 100 percent prosecution policy will be the separation of families accused of illegally crossing the border together. Children, who cannot be held in criminal detention, will be placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services while their parents are in custody. Previously, families caught entering the country illegally were most often quickly released together to await civil deportation hearings.

The 100 percent prosecution policy “is yet another solution in search of a problem,” said Jeremy McKinney, national secretary of the American Immigration Lawyers Association[2]. ”Illegal entries are at forty-year lows and net migration with Mexico remains at or below zero. There exists an annual, spring/summer uptick in unlawful entries. But the numbers are not unusual and the (federal immigration enforcement) infrastructure is there to enforce our country’s immigration laws. Devoting our finite resources to achieve misdemeanor convictions, especially when it results in the separation of mothers from their children, is, at best, bad public policy, and, at worst, unlawful selective prosecution.”

The Department of Homeland Security said it used a tough prosecution approach against parents in the Border Patrol’s El Paso sector between July and November 2017, after the West Texas and New Mexico border region saw a surge in families and unaccompanied children. Homeland Security said illegal crossings by family units dropped by 64 percent after the aggressive prosecution began, then began to rise again after the program was “paused.”

Andre Segura, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said that is a simplistic analysis. “Crossings can vary depending on a number of factors, what’s going on in home countries—there are a lot of different factors,” he said.

The Washington Post, which first reported[3] the plans to arrest parents who bring their children into the country illegally, said jailing parents would deter others from attempting to unlawfully enter the United States.

Sessions reinforced that message at his San Diego news conference. “I have to say our goal is to have the whole world know that this border is not open. Don’t come unlawfully. Don’t put yourself or your family through such a stressful thing,” Sessions said.

The ACLU’s Segura said immigration policy requires multiple approaches. “Immigration policies should not be set based on deterrence alone. If this is, in fact, deterring people from fleeing violence and coming here for refuge, that is an enormous problem.”

Thomas Homan, the outgoing head of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, also spoke at the San Diego news conference and said police separate families all the time when making arrests.

“Every law enforcement agency in this country separates parents with children when they’re arrested for a crime. We are a law enforcement agency. We are enforcing the criminal laws,” Homan said. “So I want to make this perfectly clear. There is no new policy. This has always been the policy. Now, you will see more prosecutions because of the attorney general’s commitment to zero tolerance.”

Entering the United States without permission and proper documents has long been a misdemeanor, but previous policies allowed many of those apprehended to go through the administrative deportation process rather than face criminal charges.

The new policy applies to people who enter the country without permission, such as coming in at an area other than a port of entry. It would not apply to people who surrender at ports of entry to seek asylum.

Criminal prosecutions for violating immigration laws spiked during President Obama’s first term, reaching nearly 100,000 in fiscal year 2013, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University[4]. Such prosecutions declined in Obama’s second term and in President Trump’s first year in office, with fewer than 60,000 prosecutions in fiscal year 2016.

Sessions last week announced that the Justice Department was assigning 35 additional U.S. attorneys to the Southwest to handle additional immigration cases. That includes eight new prosecutors for the Southern District of Texas, which has the highest number of immigrant apprehensions along the border, and six in the Western District of Texas.

During his news conference, Sessions once again pointed to an increase in undocumented immigrant apprehensions in recent months. He said the number of apprehensions on the Southwest border tripled in April compared to the same month a year ago. However, Customs and Border Protection statistics show that the number of apprehensions over the past twelve months is 23 percent below the prior twelve-month period. Apprehension levels are less than half the levels of a decade ago.

0

Homeland Security Promises to Prosecute 100 Percent of Illegal Immigration Cases

In a major policy shift, the Homeland Security and Justice departments are promising to prosecute everyone suspected of illegally entering the United States. The new approach will separate thousands of children from their parents when they are arrested, which critics called inhumane.

“We need legality and integrity in our immigration system. That’s why the Department of Homeland Security is now referring 100 percent of illegal Southwest border crossings to the Department of Justice for prosecution,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a news conference in San Diego on Monday.

“If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple. If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law,” Sessions said as a protester with a bullhorn interrupted his remarks.

Politico reported Monday[1] that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen signed a memo on Friday directing the department to refer all suspected border crossers to the Justice Department for prosecution under a federal statute that prohibits illegal entry. Illegally entering the country has typically been treated as a civil matter in which the immigrant is subject to deportation. The new policy means all cases will be treated as a criminal matter in which immigrants face prison.

Border Patrol agents were told of the new policy over the weekend, said a federal law enforcement official who asked not to be identified because he or she wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

“At muster they just said, ‘We are now prosecuting everyone, 100 percent.’ Then there were a few cheers and someone shouted, ‘Thank you, Trump.’ They followed up with family unit situations and said that if a unit was apprehended that the parent with the most criminal history would be prosecuted,” the official said.

One of the biggest changes in the 100 percent prosecution policy will be the separation of families accused of illegally crossing the border together. Children, who cannot be held in criminal detention, will be placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services while their parents are in custody. Previously, families caught entering the country illegally were most often quickly released together to await civil deportation hearings.

The 100 percent prosecution policy “is yet another solution in search of a problem,” said Jeremy McKinney, national secretary of the American Immigration Lawyers Association[2]. ”Illegal entries are at forty-year lows and net migration with Mexico remains at or below zero. There exists an annual, spring/summer uptick in unlawful entries. But the numbers are not unusual and the (federal immigration enforcement) infrastructure is there to enforce our country’s immigration laws. Devoting our finite resources to achieve misdemeanor convictions, especially when it results in the separation of mothers from their children, is, at best, bad public policy, and, at worst, unlawful selective prosecution.”

The Department of Homeland Security said it used a tough prosecution approach against parents in the Border Patrol’s El Paso sector between July and November 2017, after the West Texas and New Mexico border region saw a surge in families and unaccompanied children. Homeland Security said illegal crossings by family units dropped by 64 percent after the aggressive prosecution began, then began to rise again after the program was “paused.”

Andre Segura, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said that is a simplistic analysis. “Crossings can vary depending on a number of factors, what’s going on in home countries—there are a lot of different factors,” he said.

The Washington Post, which first reported[3] the plans to arrest parents who bring their children into the country illegally, said jailing parents would deter others from attempting to unlawfully enter the United States.

Sessions reinforced that message at his San Diego news conference. “I have to say our goal is to have the whole world know that this border is not open. Don’t come unlawfully. Don’t put yourself or your family through such a stressful thing,” Sessions said.

The ACLU’s Segura said immigration policy requires multiple approaches. “Immigration policies should not be set based on deterrence alone. If this is, in fact, deterring people from fleeing violence and coming here for refuge, that is an enormous problem.”

Thomas Homan, the outgoing head of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, also spoke at the San Diego news conference and said police separate families all the time when making arrests.

“Every law enforcement agency in this country separates parents with children when they’re arrested for a crime. We are a law enforcement agency. We are enforcing the criminal laws,” Homan said. “So I want to make this perfectly clear. There is no new policy. This has always been the policy. Now, you will see more prosecutions because of the attorney general’s commitment to zero tolerance.”

Entering the United States without permission and proper documents has long been a misdemeanor, but previous policies allowed many of those apprehended to go through the administrative deportation process rather than face criminal charges.

The new policy applies to people who enter the country without permission, such as coming in at an area other than a port of entry. It would not apply to people who surrender at ports of entry to seek asylum.

Criminal prosecutions for violating immigration laws spiked during President Obama’s first term, reaching nearly 100,000 in fiscal year 2013, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University[4]. Such prosecutions declined in Obama’s second term and in President Trump’s first year in office, with fewer than 60,000 prosecutions in fiscal year 2016.

Sessions last week announced that the Justice Department was assigning 35 additional U.S. attorneys to the Southwest to handle additional immigration cases. That includes eight new prosecutors for the Southern District of Texas, which has the highest number of immigrant apprehensions along the border, and six in the Western District of Texas.

During his news conference, Sessions once again pointed to an increase in undocumented immigrant apprehensions in recent months. He said the number of apprehensions on the Southwest border tripled in April compared to the same month a year ago. However, Customs and Border Protection statistics show that the number of apprehensions over the past twelve months is 23 percent below the prior twelve-month period. Apprehension levels are less than half the levels of a decade ago.

0

Homeland Security Promises to Prosecute 100 Percent of Illegal Immigration Cases

In a major policy shift, the Homeland Security and Justice departments are promising to prosecute everyone suspected of illegally entering the United States. The new approach will separate thousands of children from their parents when they are arrested, which critics called inhumane.

“We need legality and integrity in our immigration system. That’s why the Department of Homeland Security is now referring 100 percent of illegal Southwest border crossings to the Department of Justice for prosecution,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a news conference in San Diego on Monday.

“If you cross this border unlawfully, then we will prosecute you. It’s that simple. If you smuggle illegal aliens across our border, then we will prosecute you. If you are smuggling a child, then we will prosecute you and that child may be separated from you as required by law,” Sessions said as a protester with a bullhorn interrupted his remarks.

Politico reported Monday[1] that Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen signed a memo on Friday directing the department to refer all suspected border crossers to the Justice Department for prosecution under a federal statute that prohibits illegal entry. Illegally entering the country has typically been treated as a civil matter in which the immigrant is subject to deportation. The new policy means all cases will be treated as a criminal matter in which immigrants face prison.

Border Patrol agents were told of the new policy over the weekend, said a federal law enforcement official who asked not to be identified because he or she wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

“At muster they just said, ‘We are now prosecuting everyone, 100 percent.’ Then there were a few cheers and someone shouted, ‘Thank you, Trump.’ They followed up with family unit situations and said that if a unit was apprehended that the parent with the most criminal history would be prosecuted,” the official said.

One of the biggest changes in the 100 percent prosecution policy will be the separation of families accused of illegally crossing the border together. Children, who cannot be held in criminal detention, will be placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services while their parents are in custody. Previously, families caught entering the country illegally were most often quickly released together to await civil deportation hearings.

The 100 percent prosecution policy “is yet another solution in search of a problem,” said Jeremy McKinney, national secretary of the American Immigration Lawyers Association[2]. ”Illegal entries are at forty-year lows and net migration with Mexico remains at or below zero. There exists an annual, spring/summer uptick in unlawful entries. But the numbers are not unusual and the (federal immigration enforcement) infrastructure is there to enforce our country’s immigration laws. Devoting our finite resources to achieve misdemeanor convictions, especially when it results in the separation of mothers from their children, is, at best, bad public policy, and, at worst, unlawful selective prosecution.”

The Department of Homeland Security said it used a tough prosecution approach against parents in the Border Patrol’s El Paso sector between July and November 2017, after the West Texas and New Mexico border region saw a surge in families and unaccompanied children. Homeland Security said illegal crossings by family units dropped by 64 percent after the aggressive prosecution began, then began to rise again after the program was “paused.”

Andre Segura, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said that is a simplistic analysis. “Crossings can vary depending on a number of factors, what’s going on in home countries—there are a lot of different factors,” he said.

The Washington Post, which first reported[3] the plans to arrest parents who bring their children into the country illegally, said jailing parents would deter others from attempting to unlawfully enter the United States.

Sessions reinforced that message at his San Diego news conference. “I have to say our goal is to have the whole world know that this border is not open. Don’t come unlawfully. Don’t put yourself or your family through such a stressful thing,” Sessions said.

The ACLU’s Segura said immigration policy requires multiple approaches. “Immigration policies should not be set based on deterrence alone. If this is, in fact, deterring people from fleeing violence and coming here for refuge, that is an enormous problem.”

Thomas Homan, the outgoing head of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, also spoke at the San Diego news conference and said police separate families all the time when making arrests.

“Every law enforcement agency in this country separates parents with children when they’re arrested for a crime. We are a law enforcement agency. We are enforcing the criminal laws,” Homan said. “So I want to make this perfectly clear. There is no new policy. This has always been the policy. Now, you will see more prosecutions because of the attorney general’s commitment to zero tolerance.”

Entering the United States without permission and proper documents has long been a misdemeanor, but previous policies allowed many of those apprehended to go through the administrative deportation process rather than face criminal charges.

The new policy applies to people who enter the country without permission, such as coming in at an area other than a port of entry. It would not apply to people who surrender at ports of entry to seek asylum.

Criminal prosecutions for violating immigration laws spiked during President Obama’s first term, reaching nearly 100,000 in fiscal year 2013, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University[4]. Such prosecutions declined in Obama’s second term and in President Trump’s first year in office, with fewer than 60,000 prosecutions in fiscal year 2016.

Sessions last week announced that the Justice Department was assigning 35 additional U.S. attorneys to the Southwest to handle additional immigration cases. That includes eight new prosecutors for the Southern District of Texas, which has the highest number of immigrant apprehensions along the border, and six in the Western District of Texas.

During his news conference, Sessions once again pointed to an increase in undocumented immigrant apprehensions in recent months. He said the number of apprehensions on the Southwest border tripled in April compared to the same month a year ago. However, Customs and Border Protection statistics show that the number of apprehensions over the past twelve months is 23 percent below the prior twelve-month period. Apprehension levels are less than half the levels of a decade ago.

0

Army Wants Armed Ground Robot Prototype by 2019

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.

BAE’s Armed Robotic Combat Vehicle (ARCV), originally developed for the Future Combat Systems (FCS) program

WASHINGTON: After 20 years of cancelled programs, the Army[1] now wants prototypes of all-new robotic[2] and “optionally manned” combat vehicles by 2019 so soldiers can begin field-testing them in 2020. Compared to current vehicles, they’ll be lighter, smaller[3] and optimized for urban combat, said Brig. Gen. David Lesperance[4], head of the armor school at Fort Benning, Ga. and the hand-picked head of the service’s Cross-Functional Team[5] on future ground vehicles.

Army photo

Brig. Gen. David Lesperance

Both established defense contractors and non-traditional companies are currently working on concepts, he told me and two other reporters this afternoon, and there’ll be intense experimentation, modeling, and simulation in the next “six to 12 months.”

Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley[6] created the Cross Functional Teams last fall to advance his Big Six modernization priorities. What’s called Next-Generation Combat Vehicle (NGCV) is No. 2, second only to long-range artillery and missiles[7]. Until this week, however, the CFTs have kept quiet. But Gen. Milley promised the Army would seek “radical,” ten-fold improvements[8] in technology on a tight timeline. Lesperance’s proposal would definitely deliver on that promise — if it works.

Army slide showing the elements of the (later canceled) Future Combat System

Risk Factors

The problem is the post-Cold War Army’s track record[9] on new armored fighting vehicles is unblemished by success. (The successful Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle[10] is essentially a modified Bradley, not an all new design). While continually upgrading and modernizing[11] the 1980s-vintage M1 Abrams tank and the M2 Bradley, the Pentagon has cancelled the M8 Armored Gun System (1997[12]), the Crusader howitzer (2002[13]), the Future Combat Systems (2009[14]), and the Ground Combat Vehicle (2013[15]). FCS in particular is the dead elephant in the room, because it was the Army’s last attempt at this kind of technological great leap forward, specifically including both manned and robotic vehicles.

Army photo

Gen. Mark Milley

Milley has said specifically his Big Six modernization program won’t repeat the mistakes of FCS, and there are grounds for hope. First, technology is just better. The private sector has made dramatic advances in computing power, artificial intelligenc and ground robots since FCS was cancelled in 2009, when the iPhone was in its infancy and self-driving cars were a fantasy.

The Army, for its part, is taking care to prototype the new technology before it commits to an acquisition program, unlike FCS. It has also abandoned the cumbersome mega-program approach of FCS, which was a single contract for eight manned vehicles, multiple ground robots and drones, and a mobile network to link them all. The Cross Functional Teams, by contrast, are loosely coupled. Lesperance’s combat vehicle team holds weekly video conferences with the others, and it’s working closely with the CFTs for the soldiers[16] who’ll ride in it, the network[17] that’ll connect it, and the simulators everyone will train in. But they are separate efforts that won’t all collapse with the failure of the weakest link.

Mark Esper

Only this week are the CFTs beginning to talk to selected press. They’re opening up in anticipation of the AUSA conference in Huntsville, Ala. March 26th-28, where the Army will formally unveil the org chart for its new Futures Command[18], to which the CFTs will belong, along with other Army entities as yet unspecified.

“Futures Command is a critical component (of modernization), but we are impatient and speed is critical, which is why we have these Cross Functional Teams stood up now,” Army Secretary Mark Esper[19] told the House defense appropriations subcommittee this morning. They’re called cross-functional because each CFT combines combat veterans, military futurists, scientists, technologists, and acquisition professionals — disciplines historically scattered around the Army — in order to short-circuit the bureaucracy and accelerate modernization. The goal, Esper told Congress, is to cut the time to field a new weapon system from 10-15 years down to five to eight.

BAE Systems image

BAE’s design for the cancelled Ground Combat Vehicle

Robots & Humans

Brig. Gen. Lesperance — whose name means “hope” in French — understandably declined to commit himself to a fielding date today. But he wants what he calls “experimental prototypes” in “shakedown testing” in 2019, followed by full-up field tests with an operational combat unit in 2020. (That’s two years ahead of the original Next Generation Ground Vehicle timeline[20], which didn’t even include robotics). The Army will take the troops’ feedback and refine the design, tentatively aiming for a second round of field tests in 2022 and a third in 2024. Only then will the Army decide whether the vehicles are ready to produce.

M2 Bradley in Iraq

Lesperance also declined to discuss the vehicles’ weight, armament, or power plant, saying those all remain to be decided. He’s still waiting for the industry concepts to come back and he doesn’t want to prejudge them or cramp their creativity, he said. He wouldn’t even say whether the Next-Generation Combat Vehicle would replace the M1 Abrams heavy tank or the M2 Bradley troop carrier, two very different roles. (Historically the Army’s prioritized replacing the Bradley[21], which has been upgraded so many times its electrical system and drivetrain are at their limits).

What Lesperance would say, however, was eye-opening enough. Over and over, he emphasized the new combat vehicles must be “optimized for fighting in dense urban terrain,” in contrast to current vehicles optimized for open-field blitzkrieg across Europe. Fighting in narrow streets, in turn, requires smaller vehicles than the massive M1, as does the need to deploy rapidly by air and to keep operating despite frequent disruptions to supply lines[22].

One way to reduce the weight is to take out the humans — not because people weigh a lot, but because the armor to protect them does. A robotic vehicle can be smaller, lighter, cheaper, and expendable, scouting ahead of the human force and springing traps like roadside bombs, landmines, and ambushes. It would be armed, Lesperance said, but a human soldier would always be “in the loop” and make any decision to use lethal force[23]. Initially, the Robotic Combat Vehicle will probably require close human supervision, he said, but as artificial intelligence improves, he envisions the robots acting more and more autonomously.

Army photo

Army M1 Abrams tank with a trial installation of the Israeli-made Trophy Active Protection System (APS)

The Next Generation Combat Vehicle itself, by contrast, will be “optionally manned.” It’ll have the space, seats, and above all the protection to carry human troops, but it’ll also have enough artificial intelligence to navigate the battlefield without them. Depending on the tactical situation, commanders may decide to send in the vehicles unmanned, with few human crew, or with a passenger compartment full of infantry ready to jump out and assault.

Lesperance doesn’t know yet how many soldiers the NGCV troop carrier should fit, a hotly contested question. The tracked M2 Bradley can manage a fire team of four or five, the larger but more lightly armed eight-wheel-drive Stryker[24] can carry a full squad of nine. Trying to combine better-than-Bradley protection with a Stryker-sized passenger compartment drove the cancelled Ground Combat Vehicle[25] north of 60 tons, so the Army is now studying trade-offs among passenger capacity, protection, size, weight, and cost.

The robotic[26] and optionally-manned[27] machines are intended to complement each other, Lesperance said, but they’re “not inextricably linked.” In other words, one program might be delayed or even cancelled without dooming the other. Given the stakes and risks, that’s probably prudent.

References

  1. ^ Army (breakingdefense.com)
  2. ^ robotic (breakingdefense.com)
  3. ^ lighter, smaller (breakingdefense.com)
  4. ^ Brig. Gen. David Lesperance (www.benning.army.mil)
  5. ^ Cross-Functional Team (breakingdefense.com)
  6. ^ Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley (breakingdefense.com)
  7. ^ long-range artillery and missiles (breakingdefense.com)
  8. ^ “radical,” ten-fold improvements (breakingdefense.com)
  9. ^ track record (breakingdefense.com)
  10. ^ Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (breakingdefense.com)
  11. ^ upgrading and modernizing (breakingdefense.com)
  12. ^ 1997 (olive-drab.com)
  13. ^ 2002 (edition.cnn.com)
  14. ^ 2009 (breakingdefense.com)
  15. ^ 2013 (breakingdefense.com)
  16. ^ soldiers (breakingdefense.com)
  17. ^ network (breakingdefense.com)
  18. ^ Futures Command (breakingdefense.com)
  19. ^ Army Secretary Mark Esper (breakingdefense.com)
  20. ^ original Next Generation Ground Vehicle timeline (breakingdefense.com)
  21. ^ replacing the Bradley (breakingdefense.com)
  22. ^ frequent disruptions to supply lines (breakingdefense.com)
  23. ^ decision to use lethal force (breakingdefense.com)
  24. ^ Stryker (breakingdefense.com)
  25. ^ Ground Combat Vehicle (breakingdefense.com)
  26. ^ robotic (breakingdefense.com)
  27. ^ optionally-manned (breakingdefense.com)
0

Trump Cites US Military Support to Put Trade Pressure on Seoul

President Donald Trump hinted the administration might roll back military support for South Korea, putting new pressure on the Asian country as it resumes talks with the U.S. to overhaul their trade deal and seeks tariff exemptions.

“We have a very big trade deficit with them, and we protect them,” Trump said Wednesday, according to an audio recording of a speech he delivered to donors in Missouri, which was obtained by the Washington Post. “We lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military. We have right now 32,000 soldiers on the border between North and South Korea. Let’s see what happens.”

Negotiators from the U.S. and South Korea are meeting Thursday in Washington for the third round of discussions to revise their trade accord, known as Korus. Trump has threatened to kill the deal if they can’t agree on ways to reduce the U.S. trade deficit with South Korea. The U.S. goods trade gap
narrowed
[1] to $23 billion last year to the smallest since 2013.

Relations between the two allies have been difficult since Trump came to power. South Korea has said it’ll use all “possible means” to respond to the new U.S. steel tariffs of 25 percent. The third-largest steel exporter to the U.S. is asking for an exemption, which the U.S. says it may offer to nations that trade fairly and are military allies.

Trump’s linkage of trade talks to military support on the Korean peninsula comes as he prepares to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, a historic encounter brokered by the South Koreans.

Security Threats

“This threat raises concern for South Korea on both the security and the economic side of the relationship,” said Troy Stangarone, senior director of congressional affairs and trade at the Korea Economic Institute of America in Washington. “I’m not sure that this actually helps achieve U.S. objectives, because no government can ultimately be seen as negotiating with a gun to its head.”

The threat “in the end creates policy confusion and uncertainty,” as it tells North Korea there are divisions to exploit between the U.S. and South Korea, Stangarone said.

At the first round of Korus trade talks in January, the U.S. presented proposals to improve auto exports and lift trade barriers, while Korea raised issues with the investor-state dispute settlement clause and trade remedies, according to the negotiators.

The U.S. has complained about a rule that limits the sale of American cars that don’t meet Korean safety standards.

The U.S. negotiating team is led by Michael Beeman, assistant U.S. trade representative for Japan, Korea and APEC. The Korean team is led by deputy trade minister Yoo Myung-hee.

References

  1. ^ Link to Trade News (www.census.gov)
0

Some soldiers may not be able to handle new pace of training, Guard chief says

The head of the National Guard Bureau says he believes the increased training days with the Army National Guard 4.0[1] initiative are sustainable but predicts some soldiers might need to make changes.

Gen. Joseph Lengyel, speaking Monday at an Association of the United States Army forum, said the 4.0 initiative focuses on certain units that need to deploy faster[2].

These high-priority units[3] include heavy armored brigade combat teams and Stryker brigade combat teams.

“We are changing the operational deployment tempo and the training tempo of the Army National Guard,” Lengyel said.

Beginning this year, four brigades — instead of two — will train at combat training centers each year, according to bureau spokesman Lt. Col. Wes Parmer. By fiscal 2019, seven brigades will participate in war-fighter staff exercises and exportable CTC rotations every year.

For example, the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Brigade Combat Team will complete a rotation at Fort Irwin’s National Training Center this spring. The soldiers will deploy overseas later this summer in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission, Parmer told Army Times via email.

Although many Guardsmen will stick to the traditional commitment of 39 training days a year, Lengyel said that’s not the case for all Guard soldiers.

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The number of days a unit trains depends on where it falls within the sustainable readiness model, Parmer said.

The sustainable readiness model for certain units has 39 days in the first year, 48 days in the second year, 60 days in the third year and 51 days in the fourth year, Lengyel said.

Select high-priority units have already transitioned to this four-year collective training cycle, Parmer said.

Lengyel said this training model should be sustainable for most Guardsmen, but he anticipates some soldiers will have to make changes.

“We’re in cycle one of this … the trick for us is to see how are we going to be able to do this in cycle two and three and beyond,” he said. “Is this sustainable? We tend to think it is, but I predict there will be some changes.”

Some soldiers’ civilian lives might not be able to tolerate the increased training, he said.

These soldiers might have to cross train to do another job that doesn’t require so many training days away from their civilian jobs and lives.

“Some of these people will be able to adapt, and they’ll do it,” he said. “As we recruit new people into the bottom of the organization, they won’t know any different, and it will be the new way the Army National Guard works.”

Lengyel said one way for Guard units to be ready faster is to increase the number of full-time support personnel.

About 16 percent of the Army National Guard is full time, and adding to that would help the Guard maintain equipment better and get more training down, he said.

“The only reason you have full-time people in the Army National Guard is to train part-time folks,” Lengyel said. “Without the full-time force there to do it, we’re not going to be able to maintain that.”

References

  1. ^ Army National Guard 4.0 (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ deploy faster (www.armytimes.com)
  3. ^ high-priority units (www.armytimes.com)
  4. ^ 3-star: More training days for the Guard as the Army struggles with readiness (www.armytimes.com)
0

Some soldiers may not be able to handle new pace of training, Guard chief says

The head of the National Guard Bureau says he believes the increased training days with the Army National Guard 4.0[1] initiative are sustainable but predicts some soldiers might need to make changes.

Gen. Joseph Lengyel, speaking Monday at an Association of the United States Army forum, said the 4.0 initiative focuses on certain units that need to deploy faster[2].

These high-priority units[3] include heavy armored brigade combat teams and Stryker brigade combat teams.

“We are changing the operational deployment tempo and the training tempo of the Army National Guard,” Lengyel said.

Beginning this year, four brigades — instead of two — will train at combat training centers each year, according to bureau spokesman Lt. Col. Wes Parmer. By fiscal 2019, seven brigades will participate in war-fighter staff exercises and exportable CTC rotations every year.

For example, the Tennessee National Guard’s 278th Armored Brigade Combat Team will complete a rotation at Fort Irwin’s National Training Center this spring. The soldiers will deploy overseas later this summer in support of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence mission, Parmer told Army Times via email.

Although many Guardsmen will stick to the traditional commitment of 39 training days a year, Lengyel said that’s not the case for all Guard soldiers.

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The number of days a unit trains depends on where it falls within the sustainable readiness model, Parmer said.

The sustainable readiness model for certain units has 39 days in the first year, 48 days in the second year, 60 days in the third year and 51 days in the fourth year, Lengyel said.

Select high-priority units have already transitioned to this four-year collective training cycle, Parmer said.

Lengyel said this training model should be sustainable for most Guardsmen, but he anticipates some soldiers will have to make changes.

“We’re in cycle one of this … the trick for us is to see how are we going to be able to do this in cycle two and three and beyond,” he said. “Is this sustainable? We tend to think it is, but I predict there will be some changes.”

Some soldiers’ civilian lives might not be able to tolerate the increased training, he said.

These soldiers might have to cross train to do another job that doesn’t require so many training days away from their civilian jobs and lives.

“Some of these people will be able to adapt, and they’ll do it,” he said. “As we recruit new people into the bottom of the organization, they won’t know any different, and it will be the new way the Army National Guard works.”

Lengyel said one way for Guard units to be ready faster is to increase the number of full-time support personnel.

About 16 percent of the Army National Guard is full time, and adding to that would help the Guard maintain equipment better and get more training down, he said.

“The only reason you have full-time people in the Army National Guard is to train part-time folks,” Lengyel said. “Without the full-time force there to do it, we’re not going to be able to maintain that.”

References

  1. ^ Army National Guard 4.0 (www.armytimes.com)
  2. ^ deploy faster (www.armytimes.com)
  3. ^ high-priority units (www.armytimes.com)
  4. ^ 3-star: More training days for the Guard as the Army struggles with readiness (www.armytimes.com)