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HASC Dems Press To Resume Korea Wargames; Trump Tweets Vs. Intel Community

Posted by Colin Clark on


US-South Korean exercise, 2016

WASHINGTON: A baker’s dozen of defense House Democrats have asked the Trump Administration to resume military exercises with South Korea, telling the acting Defense Secretary that the suspension “may be undermining readiness for little benefit.”

Led by Rep. Rick Larsen, a senior member of the HASC subcommittees on both strategic forces and intelligence & emerging threats, they say in the letter to Acting Secretary Patrick Shanahan that the timing of bilateral exercises should be “dictated by national security interests, not the whims of the Pyongyang regime.”

When President Trump suspended the exercises by the US and South Korea, he repeated the arguments of Kim Il Sung that they were “war games” that were “very provocative.” In his own inimitable style, he added in a June 17 tweet that the exercises were “VERY EXPENSIVE.”

The Democrats issued their letter one day after CIA Director Gina Haspel told the Senate Intelligence Committee that North Korea remains “committed to developing a long-range nuclear-armed missile that would pose a direct threat to the United States.” That assessment reflects the consensus of the Intelligence Community, which presented its annual global threats estimate to the Senate yesterday.

President Trump told the Intelligence Community in this tweet that there was a “big difference” in relations between North Korea and the US now, with “progress being made.”

The Democrats counter that exercises with South Korea are “complementary to joint efforts to pressure North Korea.”

These HASC Democrats signed the letter to Shanahan: Elaine Luria, Katie Hill, Susan Davis, Ruben Gallego, Gilbert Ray Cisneros, Filemon Vela, Andy Kim, Jason Crow, John Garamendi, Seth Moulton (who served four tours in Iraq with the Marines), William Keating and Salud Carbajal.

In what seems to be the consistent pattern whenever news coverage says someone disagrees with the president, Trump unleashed a Twitter shower (I don’t think this one rises to the level of a storm). After the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and others testified before the Senate that Iran was not pursuing the development of nuclear weapons, the president issued a morning tweet calling them “extremely passive and naive.”

As a service to the community, here is the full lineup for HASC subcommittees, as released this week and last by the two parties (remember the Oversight & Investigations subcommittee no longer exists, as new chairman Adam Smith intends to take a more personal role in those matters):

 

STRATEGIC FORCES
Democrats:
Rep. Jim Cooper, Chairman
Rep. Susan Davis
Rep. Rick Larsen
Rep. John Garamendi
Rep. Jackie Speier
Rep. Seth Moulton
Rep. Salud Carbajal
Rep. Ro Khanna
Rep. Bill Keating
Rep. Kendra Horn

Republicans:
Rep. Mike Turner, Ranking Member
Rep. Joe Wilson
Rep. Rob Bishop
Rep. Mike Rogers
Rep. Mo Brooks
Rep. Bradley Byrne
Rep. Scott DesJarlais
Rep. Liz Cheney

READINESS
Democrats:
Rep. John Garamendi, Chairman
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Rep. Andy Kim
Rep. Kendra Horn
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan
Rep. Jason Crow
Rep. Xochitl Torres Small
Rep. Elissa Slotkin
Rep. Veronica Escobar

Republicans:
Rep. Doug Lamborn, Ranking Member
Rep. Austin Scott
Rep. Joe Wilson
Rep. Rob Bishop
Rep. Mike Rogers
Rep. Mo Brooks
Rep. Elise Stefanik
Rep. Jack Bergman

SEAPOWER & PROJECTION FORCES
Democrats:
Rep. Joe Courtney, Chairman
Rep. Jim Langevin
Rep. Jim Cooper
Rep. Donald Norcross
Rep. Seth Moulton
Rep. Filemon Vela
Rep. Gil Cisneros
Rep. Mikie Sherrill
Rep. Katie Hill
Rep. Jared Golden
Rep. Elaine Luria

Republicans:
Rep. Rob Wittman, Ranking Member
Rep. Mike Conaway
Rep. Mike Gallagher
Rep. Jack Bergman
Rep. Michael Waltz
Rep. Vicky Hartzler
Rep. Paul Cook
Rep. Bradley Byrne
Rep. Trent Kelly

TACTICAL AIR & LAND FORCES
Democrats:
Rep. Donald Norcross, Chairman
Rep. Jim Langevin
Rep. Joe Courtney
Rep. Ruben Gallego
Rep. Salud Carbajal
Rep. Anthony Brown
Rep. Filemon Vela
Rep. Xochitl Torres Small
Rep. Mikie Sherrill
Rep. Katie Hill
Rep. Jared Golden

Republicans:
Rep. Vicky Hartzler, Ranking Member
Rep. Paul Cook
Rep. Matt Gaetz
Rep. Don Bacon
Rep. Jim Banks
Rep. Paul Mitchell
Rep. Mike Turner
Rep. Doug Lamborn
Rep. Rob Wittman

INTELLIGENCE, EMERGING THREATS & CAPABILITIES
Democrats:
Rep. Jim Langevin, Chairman
Rep. Rick Larsen
Rep. Jim Cooper
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
Rep. Anthony Brown
Rep. Ro Khanna
Rep. Bill Keating
Rep. Andy Kim
Rep. Chrissy Houlahan
Rep. Jason Crow
Rep. Elissa Slotkin
Rep. Lori Trahan
Republicans:
Rep. Elise Stefanik, Ranking Member
Rep. Sam Graves
Rep. Ralph Abraham
Rep. Mike Conaway
Rep. Austin Scott
Rep. Scott DesJarlais
Rep. Mike Gallagher
Rep. Michael Waltz
Rep. Don Bacon
Rep. Jim Banks

MILITARY PERSONNEL
Democrats:
Rep. Jackie Speier, Chairwoman
Rep. Susan Davis
Rep. Ruben Gallego
Rep. Gil Cisneros
Rep. Veronica Escobar
Rep. Deb Haaland
Rep. Lori Trahan
Rep. Elaine Luria
Republicans:
Rep. Trent Kelly, Ranking Member
Rep. Ralph Abraham
Rep. Liz Cheney
Rep. Paul Mitchell
Rep. Jack Bergman
Rep. Matt Gaetz

What do you think?