Pentagon says using thousands of U.S. troops to shore up the border against the migrant caravan will cost $210MILLION in mission Democrats are calling a ‘charade’

Wednesday, November 21, 2018
By Paul Martin

Pentagon report to Congress estimates it will cost $210million for mission along southern border
There are about 5,900 active-duty soldiers helping Customs and Border Protection along southern frontier with Mexico
This is in addition to 2,100 National Guard troops who have been deployed for a separate border mission since April
The mission is expected to be completed by December 15, though it will cost more if troops are told to stay longer

21 November 2018

Using thousands of military troops to help secure the Southwest border will cost an estimated $210million under current plans, the Pentagon told Congress on Tuesday, even as questions arose about the scope and duration of the controversial mission.

The total includes $72million for approximately 5,900 active-duty troops providing support to Customs and Border Protection, plus $138million so far for 2,100 National Guard troops who have been performing a separate border mission since April, according to a report sent to Congress on Tuesday but not released by the Pentagon.

A copy of the report was obtained by The Associated Press.

After the AP published its story the Pentagon released a statement confirming the active-duty portion of the deployments is estimated at $72million.

It did not mention the $138million in National Guard costs.

The total would grow beyond the current combined estimate of $210million if the active-duty mission is extended beyond the current completion date of Dec. 15.

Officials said an extension appeared likely but had not yet been agreed upon.

The Pentagon also was working on a potential adjustment to the mission that would give the active-duty troops who are operating in Texas, Arizona and California the authority to defend Customs and Border Protection personnel if necessary.

The troops, who include military police, are currently authorized to defend themselves.

About 2,800 of the active-duty troops are in South Texas, far from the main migrant caravan in Tijuana, Mexico, south of California.

The movement of the Central American migrants into Mexico in October was the stated reason that President Donald Trump ordered the military to provide support for Customs and Border Protection.

Trump, who called the migrant caravan an ‘invasion,’ has been accused by critics, including some retired military officers, of using the military deployment as a political tool in the run-up to the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, said Tuesday the Pentagon’s cost report shows the mission was a ‘charade.’

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