‘It shouldn’t come as a surprise…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Thousands of American troops will make their way to the southern border over the next few months to reinforce border security, according to a document drafted by the Defense Department and approved by President Donald Trump.
U.S. Army North, the unit currently assisting the Department of Homeland Security at the border, drafted the deployment orders shortly after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned.
The document, obtained by Newsweek, says that between 9,000 to 10,000 troops will head to the border to assist Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers.
A Pentagon spokesperson told Newsweek that the U.S. military expects to send a “brigade minus,” or about 3,000 additional forces to join the units already at the border.
Three Defense Department sources confirmed to Newsweek that the document is not a draft, and that the southern border can expect thousands of additional troops soon.
About 2,800 active duty forces are currently at the border, according to U.S. Army North.
Shanahan told reporters Friday that the Pentagon hasn’t received a formal request for assistance, but, “It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we would provide more support to the border.”
“Our support is very elastic, and given the deterioration there at the border, you would expect that we would provide more support,” Shanahan said.
According to the deployment orders, the additional forces would help U.S. Border Patrol officials with “planning, intelligence analysis, detection and monitoring and other support in order to enhance security along the international border.”
The orders also ensured that troops would be expected to “apply the appropriate law enforcement response to secure the southwest border.”
The president expanded the authority of troops at the border last year, allowing U.S. service members to perform “military protective activities,” which includes a “show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary), crowd control, temporary detention, and cursory search,” according to a White House memo obtained by Newsweek.