Donald Trump’s Military At Southern Border Can Use Lethal Force For Civil Disturbances, Says Report

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks as Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Army Gen. Mark Milley looks on after getting a briefing from senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room at the White House on October 7, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

A new report by Ken Klippenstein for TYT Investigates covers Pentagon documents that reveal that Donald Trump‘s administration has authorized certain military personnel at the southern border with “lethal capability” in the face of “civil disturbance” at ports of entry, although the latter term is not defined. In particular, they may use such powers to protect soldiers in riot control formation and use “deadly force” to protect other border security personal, as well as to protect property.

The documents are marked For Official Use Only and dated February 2019. The report comes not long after reports that the U.S. military can shoot at moving vehicles, a broader permission for lethal force that Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, suggested is both “incredibly dangerous” and “perilously closer” to violating the “spirit” and even the “letter” of the Posse Comitatus Act. Per Encyclopedia.com, the act limits the U.S. military from aiding civil officials “enforcing the law or suppressing civil disorder” unless ordered directly by the president.

TYT Investigates reports that the current range of nonlethal weapons available to commanders provides more opportunity along the force continuum, as opposed to in the past, where the spectrum of force possible to quell riots was limited.

“The Operations Order obtained by TYT describes at least three cases in which lethal force may be authorized at the border: to protect personnel engaged in civil disturbance operations, barbed wire installation operations, and mobile surveillance camera operations,” the report reads.

In addition, the report claims that other sections outline the authorization of lethal force when protecting “property deemed inherently dangerous.”

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This is not the first time the Trump administration’s approach to the U.S. military has caused alarm. As The Inquisitr reported, the White House appears to be attempting to pursue a new nuclear weapons policy. While the traditional procedure for nukes is as a deterrence, Trump’s administration is reportedly trying to move toward using them as attack weapons in warfare.

The new policy was revealed in an official Pentagon report titled Nuclear Operations that was posted online by the Defense Department and subsequently deleted within one week. Regardless, the 60-page document is available at FAS.org and, according to Dr. Patricia Lewis, research director for international security at the British think tank Chatham House, contains a particularly “disturbing” passage. The passage in question suggests a shift from the Obama-era approach to nuclear weapons for defense to a strategy that would allow Trump to use them offensively in the field of combat.