The first coils of the razor-sharp fence were unwound in the vicinity of McAllen–Hidalgo–Reynosa International Bridge crossing in Texas on Friday, after the first units of American soldiers deployed at the border started reinforcing the frontier against any potential breaches.
|1,000s of troops & ‘beautiful’ razor wire: US border reinforced ahead of caravan approach
The same fortification effort will soon start across other parts of the state as well as in Arizona, and California. “We have enough concertina wire to cover up to 22 miles already deployed, already to the border. We have additional concertina wire that we can string with over 150 miles available,” the head of the Northern Command, Terrence O'Shaughnessy told reporters earlier this week.
The US commander-in-chief ordered over 5,200 soldiers to be deployed at the southern border by the end of the week to aid some 2,000 National Guardsmen already in place. By Saturday, more than 3,500 troops had been deployed, including about 1,000 Marines in California, the Pentagon said. Trump, however, said that the number might be increased to 15,000 active US personnel if the initial contingent is not enough.
While the US still has very little intel about the composition of the migrant caravans, one way or the other the White House plans to outmatch the number of potential illegals and, if not, suppress them with brutal force.
Currently, Washington has allocated roughly the same number of troops it has committed to fighting Islamic State in Syria (2,000) and Iraq (5,000). And if 15,000 troops are deployed to the border, they will outmatch the number of US forces currently fighting in Afghanistan (14,000 troops).
In addition to sheer numbers, the US forces will have drones, helicopters with night-vision capabilities, and fixed-wing aircraft at their disposal to ensure the success of the military operation. Donald Trump seems to be pleased with the deployment so far, noting the “beautiful” sight of barbed wire decorating the tranquil scenery of the Rio Grande’s crossing along the US-Mexico border.
“We have our military on the border,” Trump said in Montana, while campaigning for the Republicans in the state ahead of next week's midterm election. “And I noticed all that beautiful barbed wire going up today, the barbed wire used properly can be a beautiful sight.”
Currently, two groups of migrants, according to various estimates numbering up to 6,500 people, mainly families, are heading towards the US through Mexico. Meanwhile, a third caravan from El Salvador is reportedly being formed at the El Salvador-Mexico border. At the same time, according to military planning documents, the majority of the crowd might dissolve along their long journey to the US.