A recent report in Politico cited Pentagon sources to say that thousands more troops are being deployed to the southern border of the United States.
According to Politico’s report, “several thousand” more troops will be headed to the border between the United States and Mexico, following a request from the Department of Homeland Security according to Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan’s statement Tuesday.
Currently, the military is checking into units that would meet the requests made by Homeland Security in order to ascertain which units and how many will be deployed, according to Shanahan’s spokesperson.
“Most recently DHS has asked us to support them in additional concertina wire and then expanded surveillance capability, and we’ve responded with, you know, here’s how many people it would take” to meet the request, Shanahan told reporters at the Pentagon today according to Politico.
When asked by the reporters how many troops will be needed to require the DHS request, Shanahan said that it would require “several thousand, and I’ll kind of leave it at that number.”
According to the same report, the military is “currently sourcing the units involved and there will be an increase of a few thousand troops,” Shanahan’s spokesman, Lt. Col. Joe Buccino, added in a statement. “We will provide more clarity on the numbers when we have it.”
It’s estimated that about 2,300 active-duty troops are deployed to the southwest border of the United States at this time. That number, however, is down from about 5,900 who were deployed there in November of 2018.
The mission at the southern border was extended to Sept. 30 this month, according to Politico.
“About 3,600 active-duty troops returned to their home stations late last year after placing barriers such as concertina wire,” Politico reported.
“It wasn’t clear whether any of the additional troops could be from the National Guard. Besides the active-duty contingent, about 2,200 National Guard personnel are on the border.”
Currently, all military personnel at the southern border are in “a support role” to the civilian authorities there, as Shanahan stressed during Wednesday’s statement saying “It’s not about undertaking a law enforcement position.”