Migrants traveling with a caravan in the hope of the US border are waiting for a bus in La Concha, Mexico, Wednesday, November 14, 2018. Buses and trucks transport some migrants in the state of Sinaloa along the Gulf of California and further north into the border state of Sonora. The majority of the main caravan appeared to be about 1,100 miles from the border, but moved hundreds of miles per day. (AP Photo / Marco Ugarte) The Associated Press
BY ROBERT BURNS, AP National Security Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) – Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has defended US-Mexican border on Wednesday's deployment of active task forces , who says that she offers a good war education in a way. He argued that it was analogous to a deployment of 1916 against the Mexican Revolutionary Gen. Francisco "Pancho" villa.
While talking with reporters on his way to US troops at the border in South Texas, Mattis dismissed an estimate of how much the mission cost. He said the cost he has received so far is "not nearly true". He added that he believes "very quickly we know the actual costs, so we'll keep you up to date as the actual costs occur."
The Pentagon chief said that within a week to 10 days, the 5,800 troops are present. Used for the border mission, all tasks originally required by Customs and Border Protection are being dealt with, although additional tasks are currently being developed between the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security , Mattis did not say how soon the whole mission could end; The current stakes are expected to last until the 15th of December, but that could change.
In addition to the 5,800 active troops in the border area, around 2,100 National Guard soldiers have been supporting the border since April.
questioned the wisdom of the military at the border, where there is no apparent security threat, although President Donald Trump said a caravan of Central American migrants traveling north through Mexico represents an "invasion." Since the election Trump said little about the matter, and so far no border threat has occurred.
Asked if he thinks there is a security threat at the border justifying the use of the active military, Mattis said he refuses. The judgment of Kirstjen Nielsen, Minister of Homeland Security, who on Wednesday at the Border came.
Nielsen and Mattis talked to high-ranking US commanders and spoke to simple troops. Mattis told the troops that their mission was to "secure" customs and border patrols. "At the moment, that's our role, and that's all we do," he said. "The eyes of the world – certainly all Americans – are focused on you," Mattis told the soldiers, adding that they are part of a "non-traditional" mission. "We are here for the number of illegals who say they will try illegally to cross our country," he said, evidently referring to the several thousand migrants heading north through Mexico. A soldier asked Mattis what the short and long term plans for the military mission were.
Mattis said the short-term goal is to create a sufficient number of wire and other barriers along the border, as required by customs and border guards. The longer-term goal is "to be determined."
"If you're in something like that," Mattis said, "it's dynamic, it's unpredictable, we have to see." In an interview with reporters who traveled to Texas with him, Mattis voiced criticism that the operation was in readiness to fight just before the November 6 midterm elections. He said that military officials had told him that the mission was "very well trained" because it was a repetition of logistical requirements – such as aircraft loading – that must be met in wartime.
"In terms of readiness, I believe it is, in my view, so far that we have improved our preparedness for operations," he said.
Mattis said the mission, which does not include law enforcement duties, was reviewed by Justice Department lawyers and considered a legal obligation. "It is obviously a moral and ethical mission to support our border police," he said.
With the argument that the military was often deployed on the border between the US and Mexico, Mattis said it was consistent with missions that lasted into the past early 20th century. He noted that in 1916 President Woodrow Wilson had stationed tens of thousands of National Guard and active troops on the border in response to Mexican military attacks on the United States.
"That was over a century ago, and the threat was the troops of Pancho Villa – revolutionary raid across the border to the United States," he said.
Sagar Meghani, AP Radio correspondent, contributed to this report.
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