Commander at Mexico Border May ‘Start Reassigning’ U.S. Troops

The commander of the nearly 5,800 U.S. troops stationed at the border with Mexico said he may start sending some elsewhere as the number of soldiers there has likely peaked, Reuters reports. When asked if he thought troop levels had reached their limit, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan said “I do. We might increase by a hundred here or there, but probably not.” President Trump initially ordered as many as 7,000 troops to the border. He indicated he might start relocating forces—which are only assigned to support Customs and Border Patrol personnel with tasks like constructing barriers, and will not interact directly with migrants. The mission has been authorized through Dec. 15, and Buchanan told Reuters that he sees no reason for an extension. He also indicated he’ll start making these decisions “as early as next week”: “At some point in time, I’m not going to keep troops here just to keep them here,” he said. “When the work is done, we’re going to start downsizing some capability.” A group of Central American migrants reached the border at Tijuana this week, with the majority of a reported “caravan” still more than 1,000 miles from the U.S.