James Mattis

Scoop: Inside Trump's naval blockade obsession

Illustration of a map with Battle Ship game toy pieces placed near Venezuela.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump has suggested to national security officials that the U.S. should station Navy ships along the Venezuelan coastline to prevent goods from coming in and out of the country, according to 5 current and former officials who have either directly heard the president discuss the idea or have been briefed on Trump's private comments.

Driving the news: Trump has been raising the idea of a naval blockade periodically for at least a year and a half, and as recently as several weeks ago, these officials said. They added that to their knowledge the Pentagon hasn't taken this extreme idea seriously, in part because senior officials believe it's impractical, has no legal basis and would suck resources from a Navy that is already stretched to counter China and Iran.

First female Infantry Division commander will serve in U.S. military

Brig. Gen. Laura Yeager, a former Black Hawk helicopter pilot who served in Iraq, will become the first woman to command a U.S. Army Infantry Division later this month, ABC reports.

The backdrop: Last year, then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said "the jury is still out" on whether a 2015 U.S. military policy allowing women to serve in traditionally all-male combat roles was been successful, since too few women had participated.