5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • New U.S. troops to arrive in Afghanistan 'pretty quickly' after Trump speech

  • Trump expected to address border security, immigration at Phoenix rally

  • Bodies of several missing sailors found after USS John S. McCain collision

  • Trump accuses Pakistan of being a safe haven for terrorist organizations

  • Paul Ryan criticizes Trump's Charlottesville comments in town hall

The U.S.'s top general in the Middle East announced Tuesday that more American troops will be deployed to Afghanistan "pretty quickly," just one day after President Trump's speech outlining his military strategy for the country. "What's most important for us now is to get some capabilities in to have an impact on the current fighting season," said Gen. Joseph Votel. In Monday's speech, Trump said the U.S. is "not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists." He added that his initial instinct in Afghanistan was to pull all troops out, but he instead listened to advisers and came up with a new strategy; he will never reveal the number of troops on the ground, announce upcoming military actions, or set a timetable for withdrawal.

Source: The Associated Press, The Week

President Trump is holding a campaign-style rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday night, where he is expected to focus on immigration, border security, and national unity. Trump will reportedly meet with border patrol officers ahead of the event. The rally comes amid a push within the White House for Trump to "strike an ambitious deal with Congress that offers [children of immigrants shielded by the DREAM Act] protection in exchange for legislation that pays for a border wall and more detention facilities, curbs legal immigration, and implements E-verify," McClatchy writes. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton (D) asked Trump last week to postpone the rally, especially if he plans to pardon Joe Arpaio, the former Maricopa County sheriff convicted of criminal contempt.

Source: McClatchy DC, The New York Times

The remains of several missing U.S. Navy sailors were discovered Tuesday after the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and a tanker collided early Monday in the waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Divers found the bodies of "some" of the missing 10 sailors in a compartment that had sealed to stop the ship from flooding after it was heavily damaged, said the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Admiral Scott Swift. This is the second crash in the Pacific involving a ship from the Navy's 7th Fleet in two months, following June's collision between the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship, which killed seven sailors.

Source: The Washington Post, CNN

While discussing his strategy for the war in Afghanistan, President Trump on Monday had sharp words for Pakistan, saying the United States could "no longer be silent about Pakistan's safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond." The country has "much to gain" by working with the U.S. in Afghanistan, and "much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists." The United States has been paying Pakistan "hundreds of millions" at the same time they are housing "the very terrorists we are fighting," and that "has to change immediately," Trump added. Because both Pakistan and India have nuclear arms, their "tense relations threaten to spiral into conflict," Trump said, and it is in everyone's best interests to come together to fight "agents of chaos, violence, and terror."

Source: The Week

At a CNN town hall forum Monday night, House Speaker Paul Ryan faced some pointed questions from the home-district audience in Racine, Wisconsin. The town hall, Ryan's first at home in two years, directly followed President Trump's speech on the Afghanistan War, and Ryan praised that address, saying he especially appreciated that Trump did not set any deadlines for ending the war. But he also criticized Trump for his comments after the Charlottesville melee, saying Trump "messed up" when he expressed "at the very least moral ambiguity when we need extreme moral clarity." Ryan also predicted that passing tax cuts will be easier for Republicans than health-care reform, and sparred with a nun over his anti-poverty policies.

Source: CNN, Axios
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