Trump’s Pentagon chief scrapped his idea to send 250,000 troops to the border, reports say

General Mark Milley (R) and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at a House hearing on July 9, 2020.

General Mark Milley (R) and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at a House hearing on July 9, 2020.

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool / Getty Images

The Secretary of Defense of the former president Donald trump canceled a plan to send 250,000 Army soldiers to the U.S.-Mexico border in the spring of 2020, reported The New York Times.

The then Secretary of Defense Mark Esper he was enraged at the idea, because such a massive force would have required sending half the United States Army to the southwestern border of the country.

Stephen Miller, the hardline advisor of Donald trump upon immigration, had lobbied the Department of Homeland Security to develop a plan to reduce border crossings to zero throughout the 2,000-mile limit from the U.S. border with Mexico, and that agency later relayed the idea to the branch of the Defense Department responsible for North America, according to the Times.

It is not known who in the Trump Administration estimated that a quarter of a million soldiers would be needed to stop undocumented immigration.

The idea of ​​sending thousands of soldiers to the border was passed directly to the Northern Command of the Department of Defense, which is responsible for all military operations in the United States and on its borders, according to several former administration officials. Trump. Officials told The New York Times that the idea was never formally presented to Trump for approval, but was discussed in meetings at the White House, while other options for close the border to undocumented immigration.

Mark Esper declined to comment on this information. But people familiar with their conversations, who would discuss them only on condition of anonymity, said that Esper was enraged at Miller’s plan, which would have been the largest use of the military within the United States since the Civil War.

In addition, the national security officials of the Administration Trump They bypassed the high command of the Pentagon which was the office of Mark Esper, by bringing the idea directly to the military officers of the Northern Command. Wait He also believed that the deployment of so many troops to the border would undermine US military readiness around the world, sources told The New York Times.

After a brief but controversial confrontation with Miller in the Oval Office, Esper ended the consideration of sending army troops to the border at the Pentagon.

The obsession of Trump with the southern border it was already well known at that time. Around this very moment, Trump also pressured his top advisers to send forces to Mexico itself to hunt down drug cartels, just like American commandos have tracked down and killed terrorists in Afghanistan. or Pakistan.

Trump hesitated only after his advisers suggested that for most of the world, military raids inside Mexico could make it look like the United States was committing an act of war against one of its closest allies and its biggest trading partner.

In the end, not being able to carry out a vast deployment of the army on the border, the Trump administration used an obscure public health rule, which remains in effect to this day, Title 41, to deny asylum and effectively close entry to the United States from Mexico during the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, a new report revealed General Milley’s frustration that the White House, largely through Miller and his allies in the Department of Homeland Security, tried to pressure Pentagon leaders to deploy more troops to the southwestern border. A spokesman for General Milley told The New York Times that the general declined to comment.

It isper He also declined to comment on his role in crushing the plans. Trump to mobilize the military to prevent undocumented immigration. But Wait is also preparing to publish a book, in the already long list of books on and from inside the White House of Trump, which describes his confrontations with the former president.


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