Many fundamental questions stay unanswered a day after the Pentagon introduced an open-ended deployment of over 5,200 active-duty troops to the border, together with the fee and scope of the mission in addition to the Pentagon’s evaluation of any menace posed by arriving migrants.
U.S. President Donald Trump has hardened his stance on immigration forward of Nov. 6 congressional elections. He has drawn consideration to a caravan of migrants that’s trekking via Mexico towards the USA as he seeks to fireplace up assist for his Republican celebration.
Republican lawmakers and different Trump supporters have applauded the deployment. However critics say Trump is politicizing the army, deploying them as a stunt to drive Republican voters to the polls with none actual nationwide safety menace.
Normal Terrence O’Shaughnessy, the pinnacle of U.S. Northern Command, defended the operation at a briefing Tuesday. He echoed Trump administration issues concerning the caravan and in contrast the border assist mission to different home army missions, like hurricane aid.
“I firmly consider that border safety is nationwide safety,” O’Shaughnessy stated.
The U.S. army nonetheless had no agency thought of what the operation would value, he added. Pentagon officers have stated the Protection Division might want to discover a solution to pay for the operation, suggesting cash could must be taken from different nationwide safety applications.
O’Shaughnessy stated simply over 1,000 troops had already deployed to Texas as of Tuesday, the place they may perform duties like constructing limitations, erecting tents, and flying authorities personnel by helicopter to and from totally different areas alongside the border.
He stated the greater than 5,200 troops now slated to go to Texas, Arizona and California had been solely the beginning of a bigger deployment and that ultimately troops would go to New Mexico as nicely.
“What I can affirm is there will likely be further pressure over and above the 5,239. The magnitude of that distinction, I haven’t got the reply for now,” he stated.
The projected U.S. deployment is already roughly the identical measurement because the U.S. army contingent in Iraq.
Trump railed towards unlawful immigration to win the 2016 presidential election and has seized on the caravan of Central American migrants at marketing campaign rallies within the run-up to subsequent week’s vote.
Trump has characterised the migrants as an “invasion” and falsely said they harbor terrorists and are financed partly by Democrats.
O’Shaughnessy declined to touch upon intelligence concerning the caravan when requested whether or not there have been terrorists among the many migrants. He stated the caravans was “totally different” than these seen by the USA previously, including that they had been higher organized.
“We have seen violence popping out of the caravan,” O’Shaughnessy stated.
Kevin McAleenan, the U.S. commissioner of Customs and Border Safety, estimated Monday that the caravan was comprised of about 3,500 migrants.