Pentagon Extends Deployment of 400 Troops to Southern U.S. Border Amid Ongoing Border Challenges

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has given the green light for the deployment of up to 400 troops to the southern U.S. border, extending their presence until September 30, according to a report by NBC News.

Earlier in May, Austin had authorized the deployment of 1,500 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border for a 90-day mission aimed at supporting the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

This extension marks the second time that the initial troop deployment’s mission has been prolonged. The original deployment was set to conclude on August 8, prompting the Department of Defense (DOD) to send 1,100 troops back home and retain 400 others for an extended period until Thursday.

Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Devin T. Robinson revealed the extension in a statement, stating, “On August 24, 2023, the Secretary of Defense approved an extension of up to 400 personnel providing support to Customs and Border Protection on the Southwest border through September 30, 2023,” as reported by NBC News on Friday.

The decision to extend the deployment comes despite recommendations from some military officials within the Biden administration to send the troops back home, as noted by the news outlet.

In response to the extension, a spokesman from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expressed appreciation, saying, “DHS appreciates the extension of 400 DOD personnel who are providing support at the southwest border. The support personnel are critical so that CBP agents and officers can get out in the field to securely, safely, and humanely manage the southwest border.”

These troops were initially dispatched in anticipation of the lifting of Title 42, a COVID pandemic policy that allowed authorities to deny entry to migrants on health grounds.

The situation at the southern border has escalated significantly since President Joe Biden assumed office in January 2021. In December 2020, during the final month of former President Donald Trump’s term, there were 73,994 encounters at the southern border. However, from February 2021 through July, U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics indicate that an average of 145,000 migrants have been encountered at the border.

In a separate report, CNN disclosed on Tuesday that the FBI is investigating a potential terrorist trafficking operation at the southern border. This operation reportedly involves Uzbek nationals seeking asylum through a smuggling network associated with ISIS.

Richard Shaw
Richard Shaw
Richard Shaw is a seasoned conservative news journalist based in New Orleans, Louisiana. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, Richard is known for his insightful reporting on national and international affairs, as well as his in-depth analysis of political and cultural issues.

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