U.S. Northern Commander Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy is tackling his mission to use the military to harden the southern border with gusto. “We know border security is national security,” he told reporters at a news conference yesterday, in which he announced that 800 soldiers from Fort Campbell, Ky., are already en route to Texas. By week’s end they will be joined by thousands more, not just in Texas, but also in Arizona and California. “By the end of this week, we will deploy over 5,200 soldiers to the southwest border. That is just the start of this operation. We’ll continue to adjust the numbers and inform you of those,” O’Shaughnessy said.
THE MISSION: The active-duty troops have two main objectives: Reinforce infrastructure, such as security barriers at 26 designated ports of entry, and help seal gaps in the border between the crossing points where immigrants may try to cross illegally. But the responsibility for border security will remain with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “Our first level of effort with CBP will be to harden the points of entry and address key gaps in areas around the points of entry,” O’Shaughnessy said. CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan disputed the idea that the deployment of thousands of troops was a political ploy in advance of the midterms elections. “No, this is a law enforcement operation from CBP’s perspective and we partner with DOD all the time to help secure our border,” McAleenan said.
There is still much speculation as to what will actually happen when the caravan reaches the border.
All we can hope for now is peace through preparation.
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