Top US General Defends Deployment of Troops to Border as Legal

Saul Bowman
November 8, 2018

"We are providing enabling capability".

From a military standpoint, he said, he asked a number of questions.

On Thursday, Trump claimed the military is putting up thousands of tents to hold migrants, but officials said there are no plans as of now to build tents. He said they would not be taking part in law enforcement activities like crowd control. The remark was short-lived as the next day Trump walked it back, saying that those who attack the United States military will simply be arrested in accordance with USA law. NORTHCOM told Business Insider that some troops are offering planning assistance while others are constructing temporary housing facilities for the military, building barriers to deter vehicles and pedestrians, and going through training.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Robert Manning told reporters more than 4,800 troops were already deployed near the border as of Monday in support of Operation Faithful Patriot, including 1,100 troops in California, 1,100 in Arizona and 2,600 in Texas.

By voicing its opposition, the Pentagon helped ensure that its mission was tailored to only providing support to USA government personnel on the border, US officials said.

The initial DHS request was not accepted early on by the Pentagon and was not forwarded up the chain of command for approval. The president thanked the Army Corps of Engineers for their help, without giving details of their activities or specifying whether any tents have yet been erected on military bases to accommodate migrants apprehended after crossing the border. The Department of Homeland Security disputes that characterization, and the story has been updated with DHS comment.

"There is no plan for DoD personnel to interact with migrants or protesters", he said, as reported by Military Times.

The Pentagon has yet to determine the cost of the operation, nor has it identified the account where the funding would come from.

Manning also clarified that Military Police (MP's) will be the only active duty forces to be armed during the operation.

With the mission now set to take place November 5 through December 15, for a total of 41 days, the cost of deploying 8,000 troops and air support ranges from approximately $42 million to $55 million, according to the CSBA estimate.

"The costs are being determined by our Comptroller and when we are in a position to provide them, we will do that", said Manning.

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