The Department of Defense has not yet determined how many additional U.S. service members it will send to secure the Southwest border with Mexico, a defense official told Task & Purpose on Saturday.
- In a Saturday tweet, DoD spokesman Dana White declared media reports that the Pentagon planned on deploying “800 or 1000” additional troops to back up the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's Operation Guardian Support mission — numbers previously floated by U.S. government officials — as “inaccurate.”
.@DeptofDefense is in support of @DHSgov request to provide support to the @CBP. #SecDef Mattis’ signed order did not specify the number of troops that will support this mission. Media reports of 800 or 1000 troops deploying are inaccurate.
— Jonathan Hoffman (@ChiefPentSpox) October 27, 2018
- When reached for comment by Task & Purpose, a Pentagon official stated that the DoD was still working out the details of the new deployment and would have “a better idea” of new troops levels within the coming days.
- “We don’t have a specific number,” the official said. “At this point would advise straying from any number.”
- The fresh assistance for civilian law enforcement, officially confirmed by the Pentagon on Friday, came after President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that he was “bringing out the military” to secure the Southwestern border from a caravan of Central American immigrants currently headed for the United States.
Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council is right when he says on @foxandfriends that the Democrat inspired laws make it tough for us to stop people at the Border. MUST BE CHANDED, but I am bringing out the military for this National Emergency. They will be stopped!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 25, 2018
- The ambiguity here is unsurprising: According to Friday report from The Daily Beast, National Security Adviser John Bolton has spearheaded the push while explicitly avoiding input from White House Chief of Staff John Kelly or Secretary of Defense James Mattis — namely because the latter “has slow-rolled responding in the past.”