Even More Troops Are Headed to the Border for No Good Reason

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The New York Times reported last week that up to 2,000 active duty service members were being deployed to the southern border for another political stunt, but the actual number is 3,750 according to the Pentagon.

Moreover, CNN reports that these troops will be asked to do exactly the same thing the last wave of troops was asked to do back in November -- deploy barbed wire.

(CNN)The Pentagon announced Sunday approximately 3,750 additional U.S. forces will deploy to the southwest border to provide additional support to Customs and Border Protection.

That support includes a mobile surveillance capability through the end of September 2019 as well as placing 150 miles of concertina wire between ports of entry. The Defense Department said the total active duty forces supporting CBP at the border will be approximately 4,350.

These additional units are being deployed for 90 days.

Service members who were shipped to the border back in November of 2018 were ordered to remove the wire they deployed before they were sent home in December.

Will this new wave of service members be asked to remove the wire they deploy before they return home in 90 days?

I believe House Democrats should hold hearings on these deployments and even consider cutting off funding for them in the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that must be passed later this year. We're pissing away hundreds of millions of dollars on politically-motivated deployments while damaging the environment and our international standing at the same time.

  • muselet

    This actually makes a weird sort of sense. Bear with me.

    Think of Donald Trump not as an flailing amateur politician with a difficult-to-understand obsession with the Mexican border. Think of Donald Trump as a television personality possessed of a certain industry-standard cunning.

    Politically, deploying servicemembers to the border to string concertina wire which will be removed after three months is absurd. Trump’s hard-core fans will love it, but it’s a loser with everyone else.

    In television, November and May are sweeps months, in which networks resort to shameless stunts to gain a few fractions of a percent of viewers (and thus get to charge more per minute for advertising). Nothing is as important as a good showing during sweeps.

    The first military deployment to the southern border—Operation Political Stunt—began during November sweeps; this second deployment—Operation Reelection Campaign—will end during May sweeps. Coincidence?

    Yes, probably. It could be that Trump is just a flailing amateur politician who has a difficult-to-understand obsession about the Mexican border.


    • I don’t doubt that Trumpov is trying to up his poll numbers with this border stunt (in fact, he’s pretty much admitted it), but I’m not so sure he’s organized enough to plan it for “sweeps”.