Trump Celebrates 'Beautiful Barbed Wire' On U.S.-Mexico Border

Pauline Gross
November 7, 2018

Around 4,800 United States soldiers were deployed yesterday to the border with Mexico, the Pentagon announced, saying it could not give a price tag for the operation Democrats decry as political maneuvering from President Donald Trump. "I noticed all that lovely barbed wire going up today", President Donald Trump said at a campaign rally in Montana on Sunday.

Members of the US Border Patrol called the fencing "necessary preparations" as upwards of 4,000-8,000 migrants march north through Mexico". The soldiers are there as back up for Customs and Border Patrol agents.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford told reporters Monday that US troops deployed to the southern border are there to assist the Department of Homeland Security, and not "the actual mission of denying people entry to the United States". They're going to be very nice.

With the mission now set to take place November 5 through December 15, for a total of 41 days, the cost of deploying 8,000 troops and air support ranges from approximately $42 million to $55 million, according to the CSBA estimate.

Gen. Joseph Dunford restated the mission's intent in remarks at Duke University on Monday evening.

Pentagon officials declined a preliminary Trump administration request for the USA military to build facilities to house detained migrants as part of its new mission on the Mexican border, U.S. officials said. There is no plan for soldiers to come in contact with immigrants or to reinforce Department of Homeland Security as they're conducting their mission.

"We are providing enabling capabilities", he continued.

"Our military will not receive combat pay or hostile-fire pay as they are not deploying to a combat area, nor are they expected to be subject to hostile fire", he said, adding that they will be eligible for a separation allowance.

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On Friday night, Veracruz governor Miguel Ángel Yunes offered bus rides to the country's capital, however he quickly rescinded the offer, blaming maintenance work on Mexico City's water supply which he said left 7 million people without water over the weekend.

Trump changed his stance the following day. "I didn't say shoot". They do that with us, they're going to be arrested, there are going to be problems.

The defense officials described the force DHS requested as something that would only be used if CPB personnel were overwhelmed by the situation on the border.

"The [training] vignettes cover a range of scenarios that could occur", Manning told reporters Monday. However, he clarified that only military policemen would be armed along the border as they provide force protection to other military units. But the Pentagon rejected that request in late October in part because it felt active-duty troops don't have the legal authority to arrest individuals on USA soil.

Bush ordered Operation Jump Start, which lasted from 2006 to 2008, and deployed 6,000 National Guard troops to California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. But military officials emphasized that the temporary tents were only to house additional CBP personnel being sent to the border. One official says that DHS was informally discouraged from making the request by the defense department. The president thanked the Army Corps of Engineers for their help, without giving details of their activities or specifying whether any tents have yet been erected on military bases to accommodate migrants apprehended after crossing the border.

It also follows remarks last week by U.S. President Donald Trump, who said that any rocks thrown by asylum-seeking migrants at the U.S. military would be "considered a firearm".

Asked about the cost of the operation, Manning said it had yet to be determined by the Pentagon's financial services.

Other reports by GizPress

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