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Trump to send thousands of troops to border as Mexico spat heats up

Agence France-Presse / 08:07 AM April 06, 2018 United States President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he would send thousands of National Guard troops to the southern border, amid a widening spat with his Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto. Trump said the National Guard deployment would range from 2,000 to 4,000 troops, and he would “probably” keep many personnel on the border until his wall is built – spelling out a lengthy mission.

And Mexican President Peña Nieto said Trump’s “threatening attitudes and a lack of respect” were unjustified.


The decision to send National Guard forces to the border on an open-ended deployment also raised questions about who will fund the mission.

The Pentagon could not say where the money would come from, and Trump admitted the White House was still “looking at” costs.

If 4,000 troops were deployed, that would be about double what the US currently has in Syria and about half as many as the number of US troops in Iraq.

The National Guard has previously been deployed to help patrol the southern border, including in 2010 under former President Barack Obama, and from 2006-2008 under then President George W. Bush. Both deployments were limited to around a year.

In a sign of the Pentagon’s unpreparedness for Trump’s initial border directive, which came on Tuesday, just hours before the commander-in-chief announced the size of the troop deployment, military officials said they had no idea how many Guardsmen would go to the border, whether they will be armed, when they will deploy, and how long they will be there.

‘Negative rhetoric’

Meanwhile, the caravan in Mexico, which numbered more than 1,000 Hondurans, Salvadorans, and Nicaraguans, began breaking up after the activists organizing it said it had abandoned its goal of reaching the US border and would end its activities with a rally in Mexico City.



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