Migrants traveling with a caravan hoping to reach the US border, wait for a bus in La Concha, Mexico, Wednesday,…
WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Jim Mattis defended the use of active troops on the US-Mexico border, saying that in some way it provides good education for war. He claimed that it is analogous to a 1916 deployment to counteract the Mexican Revolutionary Gen Francisco “Pancho” Villa.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday to visit American troops along the southern Texas coast, Mattis said to give an estimate of how much the mission will cost. He said the costly information he has received so far is “not somewhere near the right.” He added that he believes that “very quickly we will know the real cost. So we will keep you updated when the actual costs come in.”
In his most extensive comments on the quickly arranged border mission, Mattis considered that it fits a historical pattern dating early in the 20th century. He noted that President Woodrow Wilson took advantage of tens of thousands of national guards and active troops to the border in 1916 in response to a Mexican military attack in the United States
“It was a hundred years ago and the threat was then the Pancho Villa troops – revolutionary raiding across the border to the United States, “he said. He noted that for some time later, national security forces were used in the limits prescribed by President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama, but not on the basis of a mid-term election.
Pentagon chief said that within a week to 10 days The 5,800 troops currently exposed to the border mission will have completed all data originally requested by Customs and Border Protection, but further information is being prepared between the Pentagon and the Hometown Department. Mattis did not say how soon the mission could end. Current placements are scheduled to go to December 15th, but it may change.
In addition to the 5,800 active troops in the border area, approximately 2100 national security forces have provided border support since April.
Critics have questioned the wisdom of using the military at the border where there is no noticeable security risk, although President Donald Trump has said that a caravan of Central American immigrants traveling north through Mexico constitutes an “invasion.” Since the election, Trump said little about the matter, and no border threat has yet to be realized.
Ask if he thinks there is a security threat at the border that motivates the use of the active military, Mattis says that he defends Judge Kirstjen Nielsen’s judgment, who joined him at the border on Wednesday.
Nielsen and Mattis spoke with leading US commanders and took up rank-and-file troops. Mattis told the troops that their task is to “back up” customs and border protection. “Right now, it’s our role and that’s all we have,” he said.
“The eyes of the world at the moment – absolutely all Americans – are on you,” Mattis told the soldiers and added that they were involved in a “non-traditional” mission. “We are here because of the number of illegal people who say they will illegally try to cross our country,” he said, apparently referring to the thousands of immigrants who move north through Mexico.
A soldier asked Mattis what are Short and long-term plans for the military mission.
Mattis said the short-term goal is to get enough wire and other obstacles in place along the border as requested by customs and border protection. The long-term goal, he says, is “something to be determined”.
“When you’re in something like that, Mattis says,” It’s dynamic, it’s unpredictable. We have to see. “ In an interview with journalists traveling with him to Texas, Matti’s criticism of the deployment made just before November 6th in my election, the military chose to prepare for battle. He said military officers told him that deployment has been “very good training” because it involves a repetition for such logistical requirements as aircraft loading – it must meet during the war.
“In terms of preparedness, in fact, I think so far, that Improve our deployment preparedness, “he said.
Mattis said that the mission, which does not include the exercise of law enforcement duties, was reviewed by the Law Department and considered a legal commitment.” Obviously, a moral and ethical mission is to support our border patrols, ” he said.
AP radio correspondent Sagar Meghani contributed to this report.