EL PASO, Texas – Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday after a visit to the US-Mexico border that the government needed a more comprehensive and effective approach to border control. He suggested that the Pentagon could contribute its expertise in surveillance and surveillance.
"How can we treat the symptoms and stay at the root of the problem," Shanahan said in an interview when he flew back to Washington.
In view of the military's efforts to curb drug smuggling and other illegal activities, as the Pentagon redirects billions of dollars to the frontier of President Donald Trump
Shanahan said he did not voluntarily encourage the Pentagon to take over part of the border control that is the responsibility of the Department of Homeland Security. However, he said that his visit led to the question of whether there should be a "comprehensive redesign" of the type of border control by the federal government.
Shanahan said the Pentagon is ready to continue supporting the DHS, but wants to see longer "
" I do not just want to add resources and fix the problem, "he said.
The Pentagon, for example Shanahan said that this would clear the border patrol of other important aspects of their mission, saying it was a function which, thanks to decades of US military experience in ground-based reconnaissance and air reconnaissance and surveillance around the world, can be further developed.
In addition to talks with Border Patrol agents and other leaders during his visit, Shanahan flew in a V-22 Osprey. Airplane dozens of miles west of El Paso along, including two areas where the DHS vorha t to replace vehicle barriers with 1
Shanahan and the Joint Chiefs Chairman, General Joseph Dunford, visited a border site called Monument Site 3, where there is an 18-meter-long boundary wall on a huge landfill. They also got a look at the border surveillance vehicles used for surveillance. Vehicle surveillance cameras can see up to eight miles away.
During the visit, Shanahan attempted to fire some Border Patrol weapons, including one that fired plastic bullets.
The two border inspection posts further west are on a list of high-priority projects submitted by the DHS to Shanahan on Friday for its demands for money for road construction, replacement of vehicle barriers and rundown pedestrian fences, and the installation of To support lighting. Pedestrian fences include detection systems that could alert border guards if someone tries to damage or break the fence. The money would come from the drug-ban programs of the Pentagon.
One project proposed by the DHS called "El Paso Project 1" includes sections of the border west of El Paso in the districts of Luna and Dona Ana, New Mexico. This is one of the areas that the DHS refers to as a known drug trafficking corridor for Mexican cartels.
These projects are separate from those likely to be paid by Shanahan through the redirection of funds that Congress has earmarked for military construction. This could be up to $ 3.6 billion, though Shanahan has not yet decided that the diversion is justified. His visit on Saturday should help him decide if he should approve such issues.
The DHS still has to provide the details that Shanahan deems necessary before making his decision on the redesignation of military construction funds. He said he would probably provide the $ 3.6 billion the White House expects, plus $ 2.5 billion from the drug-ban program. Trump authorized the use of these military assets when he declared the national emergency for building a wall.
The construction of the wall was to be commissioned by the Army Corps of Engineers, whose commander lieutenant general Todd Semonite accompanied Shanahan Saturday. The corps has built 203 miles (203 kilometers) of border wall over the past two years – mainly replacement barriers, Semonite told reporters.
Democrats in Congress are trying to block Trump's emergency declaration to stop the diversion of the Pentagon's funds for its border wall. The House is scheduled to vote on Tuesday for a resolution to block Trump.
Around 2,900 active troops and about 2,100 National Guard troops support the customs and border patrols. The total of 5,000 is expected to rise to 6,000 by March 1 as the Pentagon provides additional support.
The Active Frontier Mission began on October 30, 2018, when Trump claimed that caravans of Central American migrants faced an urgent threat to national security. Critics rejected his use of the military on the border as a political gimmick on the eve of the congressional elections. The mission in active service has been extended since 30 September.
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