Brace yourselves: Secretary of Defense James Mattis and his death stare are headed to the southwest border on Wednesday.

  • Mattis will arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border on Nov. 14 to “receive an update from his forces,” as Fox News reports.
  • Thousands of U.S. troops began arriving at the border earlier this month as part of the since-unnamed Operation Faithful Patriot to provide support to U.S. Customs and Border Patrol personnel.
  • Prohibited by U.S. law from participating in actual immigration enforcement activities, U.S. military personnel are effectively performing grunt work as part of the deployment: unspooling concertina, repairing infrastructure, and shoveling shit, among other things.
  • When asked by Military Times’ Tara Copp about the cost of the deployment, Mattis replied:  “We’ll update you on costs as they become known. Obviously the units executing the border mission have got to report them right up here. We are capturing the costs.”

With no danger pay, minimal electricity, and the prospect of Thanksgiving and Christmas spent away from home, we have but one guess as to what Mattis’ “update from his forces” might look like:

 

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