Troops wrapping up at the border should be home by Christmas

Matt Saintsing
November 20, 2018 - 4:45 pm

Photo Courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection


Thousands of active duty troops deployed to the Southwest border to thwart a migrant caravan from entering the United States will be on their way home before Christmas. 

"Our end date right now is 15 December, and I’ve got no indications from anybody that we’ll go beyond that,” Army Lt. Gen Jeffrey Buchanan, commander of U.S. Army North and head honcho for the border operation, tells Politico

About 5,800 active-duty troops hightailed to the border with Mexico just before the midterm elections as a migrant caravan from Central America slowly approached the United States, presumably to seek asylum. 

The American military personnel to return home include engineering and logistics units, according to Politico. 

But on Tuesday, U.S. Army North pushed back on the report saying: “no specific timeline for redeployment has been determined.” 

Buchanan tells the website the soldiers were sent to aid Customs and Border Protection (CBP), but critics of the deployment blasted the move in the first place. 

Norman Ornstein, a researcher at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute tweeted, “Troops at border starting to withdraw. Proving again that this was a blatant misuse of our military and tax dollars for partisan political purposes by Trump.” 

Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), the incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee called the deployment racially charged and suggested the operation was politically motivated. 

“The reports that President Trump is planning to withdraw some of the troops he sent to the border two weeks ago indicate just how empty, demagogic and racially motivates this political stunt was,” said Adam. 

“It was not a respectful use of our military to take service members away from their duties and send them to the border as politicized props, and President Trump should not have done it.” 

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has defended the deployment, telling reporters earlier this month “we don’t do stunts in this department,” after a reporter asked about the proximity the operation had to the midterms. 

This week, the initial migrants from the caravan arrived near the U.S. border near Tijuana, Mexico, while most of the deployed troops are securing locations in Texas. 

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