US troops at the Mexican border

The Pentagon announced that around 4,800 troops have been deployed at the Mexican border ahead of the arrival of the migrant caravan.

Background

Thousands of migrants have got as far as Mexico after the caravan which set out from Honduras has travelled north and grown in size. The caravan's progress towards the US southern border has become the subject of intense speculation and discussion on social media. Those crossing claim to be escaping drug-related violence at home and that they want to build a new life in America.

Analysis

The Pentagon announced that it is going to deploy nearly 5000 US troops to the Mexican border as thousands of Central American migrants walk towards the US in a caravan.

General Terrence O'Shaughnessy said Operation Faithful Patriot would focus on Texas, Arizona and California.

President Trump had earlier put pressure on the Mexican authorities to stop the migrant caravan, which he has called "an invasion". He has also said that he will use the military to completely close the US-Mexico border if necessary, to stop the migrants crossing into the US. As a result, now some 1,100 troops are in California, another 1,100 in Arizona and 2,600 in Texas.

Col. Bob Manning, a Defense Department spokesman said more than 7,000 active duty troops were expected to “soon” be supporting the Department of Homeland Security. Some 2,100 National Guard reservists have already been active in the area for several months, so the arrival of the latest troops will bring the total U.S. military presence to 9,000.

Assessment

Our assessment is that this action of deployment of troops towards the border was crucial as it was timed right on the eve of the mid-term polls in the US.