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Willing To Shut Government Over Wall Funding: Trump

The House Republicans have always wanted to secure the border, the House Republicans have been passing bills to secure our border.

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U.S. Border Patrol officers on horseback watch President Donald Trump (not pictured) review border wall prototypes in San Diego. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump says he would “totally be willing” to partially shut down the government next week if he does not get more funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border to thwart Central American migrants from entering the country.

The U.S. leader, who almost daily unleashes verbal attacks on migrants trying to cross into the United States, told the Politico news site he is insisting that $5 billion for wall construction be included in measures Congress needs to approve to keep several federal agencies open after their current spending authority expires December 7.

Opposition Democrats have said they will approve $1.6 billion for the wall, leaving the two sides far apart. Some Republicans are also opposed to Trump’s wall, which he vowed in his 2016 presidential campaign would be paid for by Mexico, although he now wants U.S. taxpayers to foot the bill.

 

Trump, Government
President Donald Trump listens to a question as he speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. VOA

“I am firm,” Trump said of his $5 billion demand.

“I don’t do anything … just for political gain,” Trump said. “But I will tell you, politically speaking, that issue is a total winner. People look at the border, they look at the rush to the police, they look at the rock throwers and really hurting three people, three very brave border patrol folks. I think that it’s a tremendous issue, but much more importantly, is really needed. So, we have to have border security.”

Trump was referencing a Sunday confrontation at the border in which migrants hurled rocks at U.S. Border Patrol officers, with agents repelling the crowd with blasts of tear gas. Rodney Scott, the chief Border Patrol agent in San Diego, California, just north of the Mexican border, said agents were not seriously injured.

“Their shields and their bulletproof vests actually protected them from the rocks,” he said. “We did have a few vehicles that were damaged, some windows and quite a few dents, but none of the agents were seriously injured.”

Donald Trump, democrats, government
U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledges supporters as he arrives for a campaign rally at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. VOA

Even as Trump voiced his determination to win congressional approval for the $5 billion in initial funding for a wall estimated to cost more than $20 billion, he told The Washington Post in a separate interview that he could find other ways to build the wall or add more security along the border.

“I think that’s been shown better than ever in the last short period of two weeks that we need a wall,” Trump told the newspaper. “I see the Democrats are going to want to do something, because they understand, too. Those pictures are very bad for the Democrats. We’re not having a wall because of the Democrats. We need Democrat votes to have a wall.”

“Now, if we don’t get it, will I get it done another way? I might get it done another way,” he declared. “There are other potential ways that I can do it. You saw what we did with the military, just coming in with the barbed wire and the fencing, and various other things.”

Trump, Government
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin returns to Capitol Hill following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House. VOA

House Speaker Paul Ryan, leader of the current majority Republican bloc in the House of Representatives, told reporters Wednesday that after the nationwide congressional elections in early November, “hopefully … Democrats realize that a secure border should not be a Republican thing, it shouldn’t be a Democrat thing, it’s just good for the country. To actually secure our border. The House is there. We hope the Senate comes with us.”

Also Read: USA Finally Votes On Tuesday To Render Decision On Trump

He added, “Turn on the TV, you can see we have a problem at the border. So, we want to secure our border. The House Republicans have always wanted to secure the border, the House Republicans have been passing bills to secure our border, and I’d like to think that Democrats would also want to join us in securing the border, especially after the election.” (VOA)

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Government to Appoint Chief of Defence Staff to Consolidate Defence Might of Country

The decisions on issues of war and peace deserved to be taken through an arrangement that brought the voice of the defence chiefs directly

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Government, Defence, Staff
A helpful factor in the implementation of the CDS idea is the successful working of the Chiefs of Staff Committee over years with a rotational chairmanship that produced a tradition of consensual thinking on defence and security -- I saw this during my association with COSC. Pixabay

The announcement by the Prime Minister from the ramparts of the Red Fort on August 15 that the government had decided to appoint a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to consolidate the defence might of the country, is in tune with the Modi regime’s consistent effort to build India as a world power that would play a meaningful role in both economic development and security at the global level.

It addresses the logical requirement of bringing defence forces and the nuclear, cyber and space domains under one umbrella of strategic planning, takes forward the concept of integrated combat on land, air and sea in today’s world — which, for India, is extremely important considering the hostile Sino-Pak military alliance against us — and makes way for a new level of coordination that would achieve speedy, cost effective and futuristic defence acquisitions, manpower development and strategic deployment.

A helpful factor in the implementation of the CDS idea is the successful working of the Chiefs of Staff Committee over years with a rotational chairmanship that produced a tradition of consensual thinking on defence and security — I saw this during my association with COSC as JIC Chairman. The decisions on issues of war and peace deserved to be taken through an arrangement that brought the voice of the defence chiefs directly to the political executive governing the sovereign nation. The Prime Minister has in his rule constantly worked for elimination of red tape, speedy decision-making and coordinated execution of projects and schemes that had been announced.

Taking into account the security challenges for India, it is easy to envisage the role of the Army as the pivot of our defence responses with the air force rendering it tactical support and the navy ensuring a strategic backing in the event of a war-like conflict developing outside of our shores. CDS will steer the Strategic Command while using the combined wisdom of our defence chiefs in handling the various theatres of war. The new step will prove extremely rewarding in terms of the rapid consolidation of our defence potential that it will ensure the old world prejudices earlier voiced by bureaucracy do not hold any more.

Government, Defence, Staff
It addresses the logical requirement of bringing defence forces and the nuclear, cyber and space domains under one umbrella of strategic planning, takes forward the concept of integrated combat on land, air and sea. Pixabay

Post Cold War, the world has transited to an era of proxy wars, cross-border conflicts and insurgencies instigated by assertion of sub national identity. Terrorism is the new instrument of proxy war as the covert offensives are replacing open warfare. National governments are having to fight the adversaries on their own soil — this is bringing in the Army to take on cross-border terrorists operating at the behest of the external enemy. India is the prime example of a country facing a proxy war unleashed by the hostile neighbour — Pakistan — through the heavily armed Mujahideen infiltrated from across the border specially in Kashmir.

For combating this Kashmir Jehad, India has had to induct the Army which, in turn, had to specially train the troops to take on the terrorists on our home ground. The army is attuned to facing a visible enemy and using the maximum force. The rise of terrorism was a challenge for it for the reason that the terrorists could spring from their hideouts existing in the midst of the civilian population and yet the army had to put them down with restraint as the counter-terror operation had to ensure minimal collateral damage.

CDS will have on his hands the work of preparing India for dealing with an external enemy, strategising for proxy wars and raising special forces to take on terrorists on our own soil. An attack like 26/11 — there are Intelligence reports about a further terror offensive from the sea — would need involvement of Navy and Coast Guard just as further surgical strikes across our borders to destroy the base camps of terrorists needed joint planning of army and air force for readying paratroopers.

Mountain warfare, of which Kargil proved to be the first testing ground, is now a part of India’s strategic planning resting on the use of both the army and air force. Defence of Indian Ocean and security of the Indo-Pacific maritime region are new elements in the charter of India’s CDS. Coordination between civilian Intelligence agencies and the chief of Defence Intelligence would achieve greater perfection under the CDS. The structural and operational consolidation for maximising India’s defence and security potential is therefore not coming a day too soon.

Also Read- Lack of Infrastructure Deterring Tourists from Visiting Several Significant Historical Monuments in Agra

Multiple writings on the proposed CDS from defence experts have focused on three imperatives of the new experiment in the Indian context — first, whether CDS will be the boss of the defence forces with five stars, secondly, will the new chief be totally impartial in dealing with the army, air force and navy and, lastly, if on issues of war the CDS will have his way with the political leadership? The answer is that even with four stars, CDS will be the principal interlocutor with the national government on all issues of defence development and organisation, that the chiefs of staff experiment had worked for long years creating a grid of understanding amongst the three services and that CDS would be like an elevated Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Both Defence Planning Committee and the National Security Council provide the CDS with an interface with the Prime Minister. And finally, in regard to decision-making in a war-like situation, the vital thing is that the input from CDS is fully weighed in even though the decision would lay with the political executive exercising the sovereign power of the democratic nation. On the whole, there is a case for early implementation of the CDS idea to strengthen our defence. (IANS)