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Author: TriSec    Date: 11/20/2018 10:41:36

Good Morning.

Yeah, so remember that deployment of US Troops to the southern border in order to defend us against an imminent invasion of asylum seekers?

That's all done now.

The Pentagon is planning to begin a drawdown of troops at the southern border as soon as this week, the Army commander overseeing the mission told Politico on Monday.

Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan told the news outlet that the 5,800 active-duty troops sent to assist Customs and Border Protection at the U.S.-Mexico border should be home by Christmas.

"Our end date right now is 15 December, and I've got no indications from anybody that we'll go beyond that," said Buchanan, who is overseeing the mission from Texas.

Buchanan said engineer and logistics troops, which make up the largest parts of the deployment, will begin returning home soon.

According to Politico's report, some troops will begin leaving the area before the so-called migrant caravan arrives at the border.

The news of the troops' return comes as critics call President Trump's request to send thousands of troops to the border a "political stunt."

Trump before Election Day stoked fears over an approaching group of Central American migrants heading towards the southern border, which he referred to as an "invasion." He requested the deployment of thousands of troops to the border in a support mission just before Nov. 6.

Some lawmakers have accused Trump of wasting resources and manpower on the mission, as reports have emerged that the troops are restless and underutilized.

Figures from other sources indicate that up to $200m was possibly spent on what is little more than an elaborate campaign stunt.

The total price of President Trump’s military deployment to the border, including the cost of National Guard forces that have been there since April, could climb well above $200 million by the end of 2018 and grow significantly if the deployments continue into next year, according to analyst estimates and Pentagon figures.

The deployment of as many as 15,000 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border — potentially equal in size to the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan — occurs as the budgetary largesse the military has enjoyed since Trump took office looks set to come to an end.

Although the costs of the border deployments will be a tiny slice of a $716 billion annual defense budget, they arrive as the Trump administration is calling on the Pentagon to cut unnecessary expenditures. The White House recently ordered the Pentagon to slash next year’s budget for the military by about $33 billion in response to the largest increase in the federal deficit in six years.

Veterans and Democratic lawmakers have complained that Trump is wasting military dollars in a politically motivated stunt ahead of Tuesday’s midterm elections, at a time when the Pentagon budget is under pressure.

“Instead of working in a bipartisan manner to make comprehensive, common-sense, and humane reforms to our immigration system, the President continues to turn to politically-motivated fear mongering and uses [Department of Defense] resources and personnel as a means to drive his troubling anti-immigration agenda,” more than 100 House Democrats wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Nov. 1.

Retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the deployment as “wasteful” in a message on Twitter and said Marines and soldiers were already overstretched.

If you didn't see Saturday's blog, you might want to scroll past the guinea pigs on the front page and take a look. The ongoing "Camp" fire has reached 150,000 acres and is about 65% contained. I wouldn't know how deploying active-duty troops to fight a fire would fall under the Posse Commitatus act, but it seems to me like it might be a better use of military resources in the United States.

Firefighting officials tackling the Camp Fire blaze in Butte County, Northern California, said in an alert on Sunday that the flames were now 65 percent contained.

The devastation in the region has been vast, with homes and businesses being burned to the ground and at least 77 people losing their lives, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). About 150,000 acres have now been left scorched.

More than 10,300 single residences and 410 businesses have been destroyed. Thousands of firefighters are deployed at the scene of the fire, where 14,500 structures are still at risk. The blaze started November 8, reportedly sparked by a vegetation fire at Camp Creek Road.

“Firefighters made good progress throughout the day to strengthen and improve containment lines,” Cal Fire said in its Sunday update, the most recent advisory.

“Crews have continued to work in steep and rugged terrain to implement direct and indirect control lines which will aid in stopping the fire’s forward progress," the advisory continued.

“Firefighters and utility cooperators worked within the fire’s interior to patrol for heat and remove hazards. Multiple California Urban Search & Rescue (US&R) Task Forces and US&R Human Remains Detection Canine Search Teams have arrived to assist Butte County Sheriff with the search for, and recovery of, victims missing in the areas affected by the Camp Fire.”

But how about that President, eh? One of President Obama's former photographers has started ripping on Mr. Trump, and he's come up with a pretty good nickname. Maybe we too should start calling him "Minus"?

Former White House photographer Pete Souza blasted President Donald Trump on Monday for criticizing retired Adm. William H. McRaven, who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011.

“Frankly, it would have been nicer if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that,” Trump told Fox News’ Chris Wallace in an interview that aired Sunday. “Everybody in Pakistan knew he was there.”

Trump also accused McRaven of being a “Hillary Clinton fan” and “Obama backer.”

Souza, who regularly slams Trump by sharing throwback snaps he took during his time covering former President Barack Obama’s administration, posted an old image of Obama and McRaven in response.

Souza, who released a Trump-trolling photo book in October, rarely uses Trump’s name in his posts. Instead, he calls the president “46 minus 1” or simply “Minus.”

Souza also shared this photograph of “when the Presidency was a bit calmer”:



12 comments (Latest Comment: 11/20/2018 21:33:37 by livingonli)
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