Defense

Pentagon estimates border troop deployment to cost $72M

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The Pentagon estimates that the deployment of roughly 5,900 troops to the U.S.-Mexico border will cost $72 million, according to a Department of Defense (DOD) spokesman.

The total cost of the operation “has yet to be determined and will depend on the total size, duration, and scope of the DoD support to [the Department of Homeland Security],” Col. Rob Manning said in a statement late Tuesday, adding that the current cost estimate “to deploy, operate, sustain, and redeploy forces is approximately $72 million.”

{mosads}The estimate is based on the “current phased force laydown of approximately 5,900″ active-duty service members staying at the southern border through Dec. 15, he said.

Manning added that the estimate “includes only those DoD forces and support requested and approved” as of Nov. 19.

Democratic lawmakers in the past week have upped the pressure on the Trump administration to provide answers on the troop deployment, which was ordered by President Trump shortly before the midterm elections in November as a caravan of Central American migrants moved northward through Mexico.

Democrats and former uniformed leaders have accused the president of injecting partisan politics into the armed forces and not showing enough support for troops serving in combat.

A group of Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday sent a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis calling for a briefing and written justification from the military for the deployment.

The signatories, which included likely Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), also urged Mattis to otherwise “curb the unprecedented escalation of DOD involvement in immigration enforcement.”

Tags Bernie Sanders Central American migrant caravan Cory Booker deployment cost Donald Trump James Mattis Military personnel United States Department of Defense

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