Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.
Veterans are calling out Trump’s unprecedented decision to send armed troops to the Mexico border just days before the midterm elections, denouncing the move as a political stunt.
“Donald Trump thinks unarmed people who are fleeing horrors and are still 1,000 miles away are a national security threat a week before election day?” says Will Fischer, a former Marine now with the advocacy group VoteVets.
“I don’t think so. It’s a political ploy to blow upon the embers of racism and nativism, and he is using the military again as a political prop to advance his own agenda.”
Trump has ordered 5,200 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. At the moment, the U.S. has the same amount of troops stationed in Iraq, and less in Syria, where 2,000 are stationed, according to Stars and Stripes.
“As somebody that deployed and said goodbye to my wife and kids multiple times, you want to be confident about the mission,” a former, unnamed military official tells CNN. “Sending military troops to the border to defend against unarmed civilians is just nonsense.”
Adds Kelly Magsamen, a National Security Council official under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama: “This is a craven political stunt by President Trump ahead of the US midterms, and a cynical capitulation by a secretary of defense who has prided himself on improving the readiness, focus and lethality of the US armed forces.
Meanwhile on Twitter, veterans were expressing their shock and frustration that U.S. troops were being deployed to make life miserable for unarmed refugees searching for a better life in America.
“I have no words for my anger over this,” wrote one.
Trump’s transparently political move is unprecedented in modern American history.
“The activation of such a large contingent of active-duty forces at the border — as opposed to National Guard troops — has no modern precedent and appeared to be the largest of its kind in a century during peacetime,” the Washington Post reports.
What will the troops do once they arrive at the border? Not much.
That’s because federal law restricts what the military can do on American soil with regards to law enforcement. So military personnel won’t be able to seize illegal drugs, detain migrants, or an in away directly stop people from crossing the border.
We’ve seen this charade before. In April, hyping a perilous southern threat, Trump sent the National Guard to the border, where Guardsmen were assigned to fix flat tires.
Trump is using U.S. troops as political ploys, and some veterans are furious about.
Published with permission of The American Independent.