President Trump on Thursday said he had given the Pentagon the green light to call up reserve units of the armed forces to prepare for a major offensive against the Mexican drug cartel.
"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,'" Trump wrote in the order.
Trump has long vowed to wage a significant fight against the cartel, which exerts near-total control over the drug trade south of the border and whose drug shipments and violent conflicts often spill over into the United States.
"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," Trump said. "And we must not let that happen."