Military Times Interviews William C. Banks About Troops at the US Border

The 5,239 Troops Headed to the Border is Just the Beginning

(Military Times | Oct. 30, 2018) The number of troops who will deploy to the U.S.-Mexico border will rise beyond the 5,239 personnel already on orders and expected to be in place within days, U.S. Northern Command chief Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy said Tuesday.

O’Shaughnessy did not have a cost estimate for the rapidly-growing — and without recent precedent — mission of dispatching thousands of active-duty forces to Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California to counter a caravan of an estimated 3,500 migrants traveling from Central America.

“There will be an additional force, over and above the 5,239,” O’Shaughnessy said. “The magnitude of that difference, I don’t have an answer to right now” …

Even though smaller numbers of active-duty forces have supported drug interdiction efforts on the border, they have not been the go-to to address immigration influxes, and certainly not in an order of this magnitude, border security experts said.

Responding to immigration influxes has typically been the purview of the National Guard, such as Operation Jump Start from 2006-2008 under former President George W. Bush, said William Banks, author of “Soldiers on the Home Front: The Domestic Role of the American Military” and Founding Director of the Institute for National Security and Counter-terrorism at Syracuse University’s College of Law …

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