Trump says up to 15,000 troops could go to the border

President Donald Trump claimed that up to 15,000 US troops could be sent to the border to deal with the grou...

Posted: Nov 1, 2018 7:33 AM
Updated: Nov 1, 2018 7:33 AM

President Donald Trump claimed that up to 15,000 US troops could be sent to the border to deal with the group of approximately 3,500 migrants heading toward the US through Mexico.

The migrants, who are more than 800 miles away from the US, are weeks away from arriving at the border, where many reportedly plan to follow legal procedures and seek asylum.

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"As far as the caravan is concerned our military is out, we have about 5,000-8 (thousand), we'll go up to anywhere between 10 (thousand) and 15,000 military personnel on top of border patrol, ICE and everybody else on the border," Trump told reporters Wednesday.

The Pentagon has already announced 5,200 active duty troops are being sent to the border and has identified an additional 2,000 that could go. There are currently 2,100 National Guardsmen on duty at the border and an additional 2,000 could be called upon to go if needed.

Shortly after Trump spoke, the Pentagon released a statement saying "The number of troops deployed will change each day as military forces flow into the operating area, but the initial estimate is that the DOD will have more than 7,000 troops supporting DHS across California, Arizona and Texas."

Senior military officers have defended the deployment on national security grounds. The mission -- dubbed Operation Faithful Patriot -- will "provide a range of assistance, including planning, engineering, transportation, logistics and medical support to the US Customs and Border Protection," according to the Pentagon.

But Trump has painted a different picture with his rhetoric, casting the deployment as a necessary intervention to stop potentially dangerous individuals from entering the country.

"Trump is painting a word picture for his political base of troops arrayed along the border to hurl back invaders, when what he is really sending are mechanics, construction workers, planners, supply clerks and pilots who will be planning, building, supplying, flying and repairing," said CNN military analyst John Kirby.

Trump doubled down on the threat posed by the migrants earlier Wednesday and said he'd be sending "many more" troops to the border.

"Our military is being mobilized at the Southern Border," the President tweeted. "Many more troops coming. We will NOT let these Caravans, which are also made up of some very bad thugs and gang members, into the U.S. Our Border is sacred, must come in legally. TURN AROUND!"

Later, Trump added that he is thinking "very seriously" and "immediately" of stopping aid to countries where people in the group of migrants are coming from.

"Nobody's coming in. We're not allowing people to come in," Trump said. "If you look at what happened in Mexico two days ago with the roughness of these people in the second caravan that's been forming, and also frankly in the first caravan, and now they have one forming in El Salvador. ... We are thinking very seriously, immediately stopping aid to those countries because frankly, they're doing nothing for the American people."

"Immigration is a very, very big and very dangerous -- a really dangerous topic and we're not gonna allow people to come into our country that don't have the well being of our country in mind," he added before insisting that he is not "fear mongering."

Yet Trump's announcement Wednesday that "up to 15,000" troops will be sent to the border has only fueled scrutiny from critics who have condemned the deployment as a political stunt by a President eager to fire up his political base just days away from the midterm elections.

Many have pointed out that Trump's latest figure exceeds the number of US troops currently serving in Afghanistan, which stands at approximately 14,000.

Defense Secretary James Mattis pushed back against that assertion by critics Wednesday, telling reporters, "We don't do stunts."

While the sheer size of the deployment has made headlines, Kirby cautioned that troop numbers are "mission specific" and should not be used to compare the US military's presence in different parts of the world.

"It's not about the footprint. It's about the mission. And sometimes enabling missions — especially if that's all you're going to do — require a significant footprint," he said, pointing out that US troops deployed to the border will serve as "enablers" rather than "trigger-pullers."

Another concern that has been raised is the unknown cost to taxpayers, given that much smaller deployments of National Guard to the border have cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Congressional sources told CNN on Wednesday that relevant lawmakers have not yet received cost data from the Pentagon. Pentagon spokesperson Christopher Sherwood told CNN Tuesday that details related to the final price tag are still being worked out.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 471092

Reported Deaths: 9165
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison32160471
Hinds30628574
DeSoto29693344
Jackson23098335
Rankin21062357
Lee14515218
Madison13993264
Jones13112218
Forrest12926231
Lauderdale11301294
Lowndes10206171
Lamar10017125
Pearl River8616208
Lafayette8052136
Hancock7172111
Washington6816146
Oktibbeha6799117
Neshoba6377201
Monroe6343158
Warren6310159
Pontotoc607692
Panola6056123
Bolivar5991143
Marshall5948116
Union562385
Pike5450133
Lincoln5217129
Alcorn516288
George456466
Scott450392
Leflore4392140
Prentiss435275
Itawamba433295
Tippah432480
Simpson4251110
Copiah424784
Wayne422363
Tate4202100
Adams4184110
Yazoo412486
Sunflower4077104
Covington406591
Marion4016100
Leake390485
Coahoma387098
Newton361674
Grenada3511100
Stone343757
Tishomingo323788
Attala319685
Jasper309562
Winston299191
Clay286172
Chickasaw280564
Clarke275587
Calhoun258539
Holmes258585
Smith242246
Yalobusha216447
Tallahatchie214949
Walthall204657
Lawrence203231
Greene202645
Perry195753
Webster191642
Amite191451
Noxubee174438
Montgomery169453
Jefferson Davis164341
Carroll159437
Tunica147634
Benton138232
Kemper136939
Claiborne125534
Choctaw124424
Humphreys123037
Franklin114327
Quitman101425
Wilkinson98435
Jefferson86332
Sharkey61720
Issaquena1916
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 761865

Reported Deaths: 12856
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1087131712
Mobile696141168
Madison47959565
Baldwin35517431
Shelby34948283
Tuscaloosa32719498
Montgomery32358648
Lee21708200
Calhoun19823367
Morgan19140308
Etowah18450414
Marshall17138255
Houston15970340
St. Clair14803270
Limestone13986179
Elmore13893240
Cullman13892229
Lauderdale12986264
Talladega12235203
DeKalb11788220
Walker10110304
Autauga9416120
Blount9329149
Jackson9026132
Coffee8598153
Colbert8257160
Dale8204143
Escambia639399
Tallapoosa6315165
Covington6265153
Chilton6188128
Russell588353
Franklin560093
Chambers5182127
Dallas4595174
Marion4540114
Clarke447871
Pike441488
Geneva419499
Winston402682
Lawrence4018101
Bibb392976
Barbour335567
Marengo318878
Monroe308244
Butler307679
Pickens297366
Henry290752
Randolph290055
Hale284081
Cherokee277249
Fayette269769
Washington242244
Crenshaw229463
Clay220261
Macon212554
Cleburne207346
Lamar185538
Conecuh175237
Lowndes168156
Coosa161531
Wilcox153533
Bullock146242
Perry133132
Sumter122735
Greene118241
Choctaw71925
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