While most of the media has turned their attention to domestic terrorism, the growing tensions south of our nation’s border continue to escalate. President Trump, last week, promised he would mobilize troops to protect our borders, and now reports suggest Secretary of Defense James Mattis is poised to sign orders to deploy troops.
The deployment could send 800 troops to the border of Mexico, and may be signed as early as Thursday. The aim is to prevent the caravan of migrants from Central America from crossing over into the United States.
….In addition to stopping all payments to these countries, which seem to have almost no control over their population, I must, in the strongest of terms, ask Mexico to stop this onslaught – and if unable to do so I will call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER!..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 18, 2018
Where the troops will be stationed remains unclear. Their mission will be to assist US Border Patrol agents. The troops may come from the ranks of the National Guard or they may be active duty US Army.
“The troops will not engage in lethal operations to stop the migrants,” CNN reports. “Instead they are expected to provide fencing, wall materials and other technical support at several key points along the border where it is believed the migrants may try to cross.”
While the additional manpower will be one component of the operations, these troops will also bring with them the logistical support of the US military. This includes food, tents, and medical care as well as the obvious defensive capabilities of the troops.
Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council is right when he says on @foxandfriends that the Democrat inspired laws make it tough for us to stop people at the Border. MUST BE CHANDED, but I am bringing out the military for this National Emergency. They will be stopped!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2018
“I am bringing out the military for this National Emergency,” President Trump tweeted Thursday.
If orders are signed this week, troops could be in position as early as next week.
The caravan itself continues to swell in size. Conservative estimates are suggesting there are as many as 7,000 headed north. As most are walking, the pace is understandably slow.
“This deployment is separate from an ongoing National Guard effort along the border to support border authorities with technical assistance,” CNN adds for clarification. “That mission has approximately 4,000 personnel authorized but only 2,100 are currently in place according to the Pentagon.”
Just how many soldiers will end up on the border remains uncertain. The border is long and porous, though the size of the caravan itself will make its ultimate destination easy to predict.