The crisis at the Mexican border may have indefinitely changed U.S. policy as Secretary of Defense Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis extended troop deployment.
“I think that it’s very clear that support (for) the border police — or Border Patrol is necessary right now,” Secretary Mattis reportedly said.
Following the riots by caravan migrants who attacked U.S. Border Patrol agents in an attempt illegally gain entrance, the Department of Homeland Security submitted a request to the Pentagon for a continued military presence.
“The president has made it clear that border security is a top administration priority,” DHS spokeswoman Katie Waldman reportedly said. “DHS has reached out for assistance from partners across the federal government to defend our sovereignty, protect our frontline men and women, and secure our border. We appreciate all of the support we have received to date.”
That request asks for a reduction of the 5,600 soldiers currently in place to approximately 4,000. The lower ground forces request is based upon measured success at repelling the 10,000-strong mostly male horde. Border agents were forced to deploy tear gas and fire rubber bullets as criminal migrants charged them throwing rocks and broken bottles. Caravan organizers have been arrested in Mexico for violence and criminal activity. News reports claim they tried to force women and children to the front of the mob as human shields.
“Do it by plane, do it by bus, do it any way you want, but they are NOT coming into the U.S.A.,” Pres. Trump tweeted. “We will close the Border permanently if need be.”
Mexican authorities have arrested and deported hundreds of migrants and upwards of 600 felons have reportedly been identified hiding within the ranks. Among the criminal histories of these illegals are charges of rape, murder, and gang affiliation. The recent DHS request provides tactical military support for frontlines law enforcement official who remain at risk.
“Today, DHS submitted a request for assistance to the Department of Defense to extend its support through January 31, 2019,” Pentagon spokesman Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis said. “This request refines support to ensure it remains aligned with the current threat, the nature of the mission, and (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol) operational requirements.”
The president has empowered U.S. forces to use force — deadly force if necessary — should the migrants attack law enforcement or use violence to penetrate the border. Many of the Central Americans are lingering in Tijuana awaiting asylum claims to be processed. It is widely known that they forfeited the option to gain U.S. refugee status by turning down earlier asylum offers from the Mexican government.
But the crisis at the border has inextricably altered the way American sovereignty is defended from foreign incursions. During both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, troops were called up to protect the border. Migrants massed in groups in the hundreds. But the lure of sanctuary cities and American welfare benefits has acted as a magnet for low-income Central Americans. Coyotes are amassing hordes in the thousands designed to overwhelm border agents. Pres. Donald J. Trump has indicated that troops will remain in place “as long as necessary” and the first extension of 45 days is unlikely to be the last.
“We have a tremendous military force on the southern border, we have large numbers of people trying to get into our country,” Pres. Trump said. “They built great fencing, they built a very powerful fence. The fence is fully manned, nobody gets through.”
The president had already called for more than 2,000 National Guardsmen to support the border efforts before adding 5,600 military regulars. All told, upwards of 8,000 support personnel are in place, and the modest reduction requested by DHS still leaves a large tactical force in place.
The ability of migrants to mass and try to storm the border again remains an ongoing threat. That danger will require a capable ongoing ground force with the skills and agility to withstand further attacks. The current military presence is digging in through January 2019. However, until Congress approves the necessary funding to build a wall and enhance border security, American soldiers could remain in place indefinitely.
~ Conservative Zone