General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, the head of US Northcom, announced on Tuesday that just over 1,000 of the troops announced for deployment to the US-Mexico border have already arrived. He revealed that the number of troops ultimately sent is expected to be more than the 6,000 announced over the past two days, but declined to speculate how much more.
While Gen. O’Shaughnessy endorsed the operation as “national security,” and likened it to other domestic military operations, he declined to offer any new information on what, exactly, they would be doing.
Moreover, the general was very uncertain about the costs of such a substantial military operation, admitting that the US military still has “no firm idea” what the operation will cost. Other officials say they will still have to figure out a way to pay for it.
Obviously the final cost is going to depend on how big of a military operation this becomes, and how long it lasts. There is no appropriation by Congress to pay for this operation at this point, but Pentagon officials are suggesting they’ll be taking it from other national security programs.