US to deploy more troops to the Mexico border
Another 3.500 active-duty troops will deploy to the US-Mexico border, House Armed Services Chairman Adam Smith revealed Thursday in a news release blasting Pentagon officials’ unwillingness to discuss openly in Congress the military’s involvement along the southern border.
NEARLY 6.000 TROOPS
“This was at best an error in judgment, and at worst flat-out dishonesty,” Smith said, adding he had spoken with acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan about it. Shanahan told reporters the same day as the hearing that thousands of more troops were headed to the border but the 3,500 figure was only disclosed on Thursday. There are currently about 2,350 troops involved in the border mission.
The Pentagon says the US military will operate mobile surveillance cameras in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, a mission that is scheduled to run through Sept. 30. Some of the additional troops will also string up 150 more miles of concertina wire by March 31.
The Pentagon first approved the high-profile deployment of active-duty US troops to the Mexico border in October, ahead of US midterm congressional elections. It was embraced by Trump’s supporters, including Republicans in Congress.
However, critics have assailed the deployment as a political stunt and scoffed at Trump’s comparisons of caravans of Central American migrants, including women and children, to an “invasion.”