News

National Security & Defense

Mattis Extends Troop Deployment at Southern Border until End of January

U.S. Marines assist with border operations near Otay Mesa, Calif., November 27, 2018. (Staff Sergeant Jesse Untalan/US Army)

Secretary of Defense James Mattis signed an order Tuesday ensuring that active-duty troops deployed to the southern border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents will remain there until at least the end of January.

The troops were initially scheduled to depart on December 15, but the Department of Homeland Security requested an extension last week due to the influx of Central American migrants arriving in Tijuana with the intent to eventually cross into the U.S.

There are roughly 5,600 troops currently stationed in Texas, California, and Arizona, where they are assisting CBP agents with various tasks including the construction of barriers and the transportation of agents by helicopter to remote areas where migrants are known to cross the border illegally. The Pentagon has not disclosed exactly how many troops will remain in the field after December 15 or exactly what roles they will fill.

While the majority of troops deployed to the border are unarmed, President Trump empowered the troops last week to employ the “use of force (including lethal force, where necessary)” when migrants use violence in attempting to breach the border.

Trump expanded the troops’ authority after a recent high-profile clash between a group of some 500 migrants who attempted to force their way into the country near the San Ysidro Port of Entry, on the border between Tijuana and San Diego. Some 6,000 migrants, many of whom are waiting while their asylum claims are processed, remain in Tijuana.

Critics of the troop presence at the border have cast the deployment as a transparent political move on the part of the Trump administration, which, they argue, sought to drum up anti-immigration sentiment ahead of the midterm elections.

The deployment has reportedly cost taxpayers $138 million thus far.

Most Popular

White House

The Damning Inspector General’s Report

It is hard to believe that the run-up to the presidential-election year has plumbed such a depth of farcical degradation. It must be that Trump’s influence has contributed to unserious responses, but he can’t be blamed for the unutterable nonsense of his opponents and the straight men of the political class ... Read More
White House

The Damning Inspector General’s Report

It is hard to believe that the run-up to the presidential-election year has plumbed such a depth of farcical degradation. It must be that Trump’s influence has contributed to unserious responses, but he can’t be blamed for the unutterable nonsense of his opponents and the straight men of the political class ... Read More
Elections

Diversity Panic Hits the Democratic Field

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a self-styled Irishman, and a ... Read More
Elections

Diversity Panic Hits the Democratic Field

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. An Asian guy, two black guys, three white women (one of whom spent much of her life claiming to be Native American), a Pacific Islander woman, a gay guy, a Hispanic guy, two elderly Caucasian Jews (one a billionaire, the other a socialist), a self-styled Irishman, and a ... Read More
World

Present at the Demolition

Economists at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund must feel pretty lucky these days. They work for just about the only institutions set up in the aftermath of World War II that aren't in the middle of an identity crisis. From Turtle Bay to Brussels, from Washington to Vienna, the decay of the economic ... Read More
World

Present at the Demolition

Economists at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund must feel pretty lucky these days. They work for just about the only institutions set up in the aftermath of World War II that aren't in the middle of an identity crisis. From Turtle Bay to Brussels, from Washington to Vienna, the decay of the economic ... Read More
World

Well . . . .

So much for my prophecies of doom. Britain's Conservatives won, and they won with a very healthy parliamentary majority, breaking through Labour’s “red wall” across the industrial (and post-industrial) Midlands and the North. The BBC: Leave-voting former mining towns like Workington, which was seen as ... Read More
World

Well . . . .

So much for my prophecies of doom. Britain's Conservatives won, and they won with a very healthy parliamentary majority, breaking through Labour’s “red wall” across the industrial (and post-industrial) Midlands and the North. The BBC: Leave-voting former mining towns like Workington, which was seen as ... Read More
White House

The Costs of Trivializing Impeachment

Resorting to a vague “abuse of power” theory, the House Judiciary Committee Friday morning referred two articles of impeachment to the full House on the inevitable party-line vote. The full House will impeach the president next week, perhaps Wednesday, also on the inevitable party-line vote. The scarlet ... Read More
White House

The Costs of Trivializing Impeachment

Resorting to a vague “abuse of power” theory, the House Judiciary Committee Friday morning referred two articles of impeachment to the full House on the inevitable party-line vote. The full House will impeach the president next week, perhaps Wednesday, also on the inevitable party-line vote. The scarlet ... Read More
World

The U.K. Elections Were the Real Second Referendum

In the end, it wasn’t close at all. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party met a fate to which it has been accustomed for most of the last half-century. Once again, the British roundly rejected socialism. Boris Johnson and his conservatives will form the next British government. This was no slight rejection. Labour ... Read More
World

The U.K. Elections Were the Real Second Referendum

In the end, it wasn’t close at all. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party met a fate to which it has been accustomed for most of the last half-century. Once again, the British roundly rejected socialism. Boris Johnson and his conservatives will form the next British government. This was no slight rejection. Labour ... Read More