Trump: US Could Send 15,000 Troops to Mexico Border

Mattis denies that deployment is a 'political stunt'

Continuing to talk up the “invasion” of the US border by a caravan of migrants, President Trump said he is likely to continue to increase the number of military personnel deployed to the southern border. After Wednesday’s talk of 7,000 troops, Trump said he was willing to go up to 15,000.

Despite virtually all other accounts saying they are majority women and children, President Trump described the Caravan as “very tough fighters,” claiming they had viciously defeated the Mexican military along Mexico’s own border.

Trump did not say how many of the troops would be from the military and how many would be National Guard. As with the Pentagon before him, he is vague about what this massive military force will actually do.

With Trump heavily politicizing the immigration issue ahead of next week’s midterms, however, there is a lot of talk about him using military deployments as a political tool. Defense Secretary James Mattis denied that this was the case, saying that “we don’t do stunts in this department.”

Yet with assurances the Posse Comitatus Act will be complied with, there is a limit to what the military can do at the border. Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen said no decision had been made “yet” to have troops shooting migrants, though it was clear this was meant to indicate such a decision could come later.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.