A week before the midterm elections, U.S. President Donald Trump declared that the migrant caravan consisting mostly of women and children and making its way up to the U.S.-Mexico border was a grave threat to the people of the United States and decided to deploy almost 6,000 troops to the country’s southern border.
The move created plenty of controversy, but seems to have been nothing more than a political stunt ahead of the elections for fear that the Democrats would flip the House. This theory appears to have been confirmed by the fact that on Monday it was announced that the troops are being sent home, despite the migrant caravan not even having reached the border yet.
And now, the incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, D-Washington, has slammed the entire operation for being “racially motivated” ahead of the midterms, according to Military Times.
“The reports that President Trump is planning to withdraw some of the troops he sent to the border two weeks ago indicate just how empty, demagogic, and racially motivated this political stunt was. It appears to be an admission that there was no justification for the mission in the first place. It was not a respectful use of our military to take service members away from their duties and send them to the border as politicized props, and President Trump should not have done it.”
Incoming House Armed Services Committee chair @RepAdamSmith says Trump border withdrawal reports show “just how empty, demagogic, and racially motivated this political stunt was...they should all be returned to their regular duties.” pic.twitter.com/71K7A7KoRo— Kevin Baron (@DefenseBaron) November 20, 2018
General James Mattis, the United States Secretary of Defense, has repeatedly denied that the deployment had anything to do with politics and political motivations, saying earlier in the month, “We don’t do stunts in this department, thank you,” when asked by reporters about the suspicious timing of the reaction.
When Mattis visited the border last week, he also insisted that the deployment would serve as a good training exercise for the troops involved.
Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Rob Manning also stated that some 5,800 men and women deployed at the border would be leaving that particular post and be back home by December 15 at the latest.
After it was reported that the troops were being removed from the border less than two weeks after the elections and without a migrant caravan in sight, the Department of Defense clarified that the troops weren’t necessarily being sent home, but could be reassigned to other missions instead. He stated that the troops have spent their time there securing the border, particularly in Texas.