President Donald Trump on Thursday sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi informing her that he signed an executive order intended to help prevent the use or distribution of illegal narcotics, by activating a select reserve of the Armed Forces.
“Dear Madam Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:) 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.’ This authority is necessary to ensure the Department of Defense can properly conduct operations required to meet our evolving security challenges,” Trump said in his letter to Pelosi.
The executive order would order a select reserve of the Armed Forces to Active Duty, in order to help with the “Enhanced Department of Defense Counternarcotic Operation in the Western Hemisphere,” the order reads. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: White House Officials Counter Pelosi’s Claim That Trump’s WHO Cuts Are ‘Illegal’)
“The Secretary of Defense is directed to order to active duty for not more than 365 consecutive days, any units, and any individual members not assigned to a unit organized to serve as a unit, of the Selected Reserve under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Defense, not to exceed 200 Selected Reservists at any one time, as he considers necessary,” the order continues. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: New Trump Budget Includes First Ever Chapter Defining Government Waste, Targets Programs To Eliminate Entirely)
The Daily Caller contacted the Department of Defense in regards to the executive order and received this response from lieutenant colonel Chris Mitchell, a Department of Defense Spokesman.
“In that executive order, the President authorized Secretary Esper to activate units and individual members in the Selected Reserve to support the Enhanced Department of Defense Counternarcotic Operation in the Western Hemisphere. In response, Secretary Esper will activate an Air National Guard unit in support. The unit will provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support to the operation,” Mitchell said in his statement to the Daily Caller.
“The authorization is capped at 200 personnel,” Mitchell added.
“The President has made clear that he is committed to stopping the flow of illicit drugs into the United States,” an administration official told the Daily Caller when asked about the executive order.
In an April 1 coronavirus task force meeting, Trump said: “In this time of need, I know that every American will do their patriotic duty and help us to achieve a total victory. 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. 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,” Trump said on April 1.