The US has sent an additional 3,750 troops to the southwest border of Mexico, in order to provide additional support to the existing customs and border agents for the next three months.
The main reason for this is US President Donald Trump’s push to stop illegal immigrants invading the US through large caravans.
This deployment raises the total number of active duty forces at the border close to 4,350, according to the US Department of Defence.
Their roles whilst deployed are to install 150 miles of concertina wire, set up a large new system of mobile surveillance and monitoring of the border area, and support those already manning the security border. An announcement on Sunday reveals that the mobile surveillance exercise will be in play until 30 September this year.
A waste of time and resources?
According to RAW, the move for additional servicemen and women was approved by the Pentagon in October before the midterm congressional elections. Since then, the decision has been embraced by President Trump’s supporters, including fellow Republicans in Congress.
The US President said as part of a tweet on 31 January:
‘We have stopped the previous Caravans, and we will stop these also. With a Wall it would be soooo much easier and less expensive. Being Built!’
But critics have ridiculed the move as nothing more than a political ploy by the White House as Trump still seeks billions to build his beloved dream of a wall.
Adam Smith, Democratic Representative and Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said at a hearing on Tuesday;
‘What impact does it have to readiness to send several thousand troops down to the Southern border?
‘It interrupts their training. It interrupts their dwell time’.
But Vice Admiral Michael M Gilday, the director of operations for the Joint staff, finds it hard to believe that the deployment will cause as much of a disruption as speculated, and stresses that troops will be rotated every six to eight weeks to minimise impact on their valuable time and energy should their services be needed elsewhere.
A last-stitch effort to secure the wall?
The US previously sent close to 6,000 troops to the southwest border ahead of the midterms but withdrew the forces only weeks later.
Perhaps the recent shipment of manpower will deliver the results Trump needs to push forward with the building of the wall. Perhaps within the next 90 days the opposers will feel the difference and applaud Trump’s persistence to protect the border which has been weak for so many years.
We have 90 days to find out.
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