Pentagon sending 3,750 extra U.S. forces to border with Mexico

Vastavam web: The Pentagon is sending 3,750 additional U.S. forces to the southwest border with Mexico for three months to support border agents, the Department of Defense said on Sunday. The deployment will raise the total number of active-duty forces supporting Customs and Border Protection agents there to about 4,350, it said. The Pentagon disclosed the official figure days after a Democratic lawmaker said about 3,500 extra troops would be deployed.

Trump’s demand that money for the wall be included in spending legislation prompted an impasse with Democrats that led to a 35-day partial federal government shutdown that ended on Jan. 25. “I don’t take anything off the table,” he said in a CBS interview broadcast on Sunday. The Pentagon first approved the high-profile deployment of active-duty U.S. troops to the Mexico border in October, before the November congressional elections. The move was embraced by Trump’s supporters, including fellow Republicans in Congress.

The Pentagon says the U.S. military will operate mobile surveillance cameras in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, a mission scheduled to run through Sept. 30. Some of the additional troops will also string up 150 more miles (240 km) of concertina wire. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan approved the latest deployment on Jan. 11, according to the statement. But a figure was not disclosed until Thursday, when Democratic U.S. Representative Adam Smith, chairman of the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, said 3,500 additional troops were being sent.