The following is a statement from Ryan Alexander, president, Taxpayers for Common Sense on the deployment of active duty military personnel to the southwest border:
The Departments of Defense and Homeland Security are eking out details of this week’s deployment of more than 5200 active duty military personnel to the southwest border. This is in addition to the roughly 2100 National Guard troops already there.
Here’s what we know. Military assets will include:
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers units
- Three Combat Engineering Battalions
- Military planning teams
- Three medium-lift helicopter Companies
- Military Police units
- Strategic airlift
- Three C-130s
- One C-17
- Deployable medical units
- Logistical support
- Command posts
- 150 miles of concertina wire
As of Monday, 800 soldiers from Fort Campbell, Kentucky and Fort Knox, Kentucky were on their way. By the end of this week, all 5200 personnel are expected to be at the southwest border.
But there’s a lot we don’t know. We don’t know how much this will cost because the Department of Defense hasn’t given a public estimate. We also don’t know how long these troops will be there. We don’t know the scope of their mission.
This leaves us with more questions still. What motivated the mix of assets and capabilities listed by the Department of Defense? What are the immediate construction needs? Is this deployment an attempt to use Pentagon assets to build border barriers in Texas, Arizona, and California?
Congress should demand a full cost estimate and exercise their Constitutional prerogative of oversight.
Just because the Pentagon is flush with money doesn’t mean the administration can raid those coffers for purposes the Congress has not prioritized.
–Ryan Alexander, President