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."
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.
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."
New York City has seen dark times, but in the spring and early summer of 1776 the outlook was especially grim. The Revolutionary War was in its early, chaotic days, the British fleet sailed en masse toward the city, and in a desperate defensive measure, General George Washington ordered thousands of his Continental troops into lower Manhattan. Almost a third of the city's citizens fled, and Washington's filthy, untrained and undisciplined soldiers quartered themselves in the elegant houses left behind. They were hungry, cold and scared, and they numbed their fear with drink, gambling and prostitutes. They were about to face the greatest military force in the world, outgunned and outmanned, fighting for a country that hadn't been created yet.
In hindsight, America's victory against the British seems like one of history's inevitabilities, but in the beginning it was anything but. And had a small group of pro-British conspirators had their way, the Glorious Cause might have lost its essential leader — George Washington — to imprisonment, execution or assassination.
Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., left, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., center, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, are disagreeing with President Donald Trump's sudden decision to pull all 2,000 U.S. troops out of Syria, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2018. (Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite)
Sen. Lindsey Graham essentially laid the deaths of the unknown number of U.S. soldiers killed in a suicide bombing in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday at the feet of President Donald Trump during a hearing on Capitol Hill, Bloomberg News reports.
Soldiers, family and community gathered in Morehead City to render honors and witness the transfer and memorial of U.S. Army Sgt James Slape Nov. 9-11, 2018. Slape will hold a temporary resting place in Morehead City before ultimately moving to Arlington Cemetery. Slape supported Operations Resolute Support and Freedom Sentinel in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt Leticia Samuels, North Carolina National Guard)
An ISIS suicide bomber killed and wounded an unknown number of American soldiers in Manbij, Syria, on Wednesday.
The Pentagon believes that the Marine Corps' new CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopter — which at, $144 million apiece, costs more than the notoriously expensive F-35A Lightning II joint strike fighter, is "the most powerful helicopter the United States has ever fielded."
Unfortunately, the pricey helo may not see action downrange anytime soon due to a growing list of worrying technical problems.