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Thread: Obama to slash National Guard force on U.S.-Mexico Border

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    Default Obama to slash National Guard force on U.S.-Mexico Border

    Just in time for the 2012 election...
    Obama to slash National Guard force on U.S.-Mexico border



    Citing budget cuts, the Obama administration early next year will cut the number of National Guard troops patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border by at least half, according to a congressman who was briefed on the plan.

    The
    National Guard said an announcement will be made by the White House “in the near future,” but Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who has learned of the plans, said slashing the deployment in half is the minimum number, and he said it will mean reshuffling the remaining troops along the nearly 2,000-mile border.

    In California, that will mean going from 264 guard troops down to just 14, he said.

    Mr. Hunter said the pending cuts are another reason Congress and President Obama should revisit the automatic defense spending reductions that kicked in with the failure last month of the deficit supercommittee.

    “What’s apparent now is that a decision not to continue their deployment, even though it might be in the national interest to do so, would be based entirely on budget constraints on the Defense Department,” Mr. Hunter said.

    Mr. Obama deployed 1,200 guard troops to the border in June 2010 in an effort to bolster the U.S. Border Patrol and try to prevent the growing drug violence in Mexico from spilling into the U.S.

    He charged the guard with aiding in intelligence gathering and other backup duties, though troops have not been actually enforcing immigration laws.

    The troops were scheduled to be drawn down this June, but Mr. Obama extended their deployment, saying there was still work to be done.

    The troops were meant to be a bridge to beef up support staffing while the Border Patrol hired more agents under a bill Congress passed early in his term.

    A Homeland Security Department official said they have made progress in hiring and training new agents.

    There were supposed to be nearly 21,500 agents in the Border Patrol as of Oct. 1, which represents an increase of 1,300 since Mr. Obama took control of the budgeting process in 2009.

    Homeland Security officials say the boost in resources at the border has made the region safer. They pointed to the latest figures that showed illegal immigrants apprehended along the Southwest border fell to 327,577 in fiscal year 2011, down from 447,731 in 2010 and from 1.6 million in 2000, which was the peak year. Homeland security officials say fewer apprehensions means fewer people are trying to cross.

    Sending guard troops to the border is a recurring strategy for administrations seeking an instant boost in security.

    President George W. Bush deployed 6,000 guard troops in 2006 to counter criticism he wasn’t taking border security seriously. As with Mr. Obama, Mr. Bush said the agents were meant to be a bridge until the Border Patrol could hire more agents.

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    Default Re: Obama to slash National Guard force on U.S.-Mexico Border

    Right.

    Next he'll remove the border patrol.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Obama to slash National Guard force on U.S.-Mexico Border

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    Right.

    Next he'll remove the border patrol.
    Fixed it for you...

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    Default Re: Obama to slash National Guard force on U.S.-Mexico Border

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post
    Fixed it for you...
    You may be on to something...Obama Quietly Erasing Borders

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    Default Re: Obama to slash National Guard force on U.S.-Mexico Border

    True....
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Obama to slash National Guard force on U.S.-Mexico Border

    National Guard withdrawing 900 troops from U.S.-Mexico border


    U.S. Army National Guardsman Pfc. Philip Moore, 28, rests during a "down time" shift near the border fence with Mexico in Nogales, Ariz. (John Moore / Getty Images / June 22, 2011)


    By Brian Bennett April 18, 2012, 10:29 a.m.

    WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon began flying military helicopters and surveillance planes over the U.S. border with Mexico last month as part of an effort to withdraw all but 300 of the National Guard ground troops who have helped patrol the rugged border since mid-2010.

    The 19-month deployment of 1,200 National Guard troops on the southwest border has hurt recruiting efforts and threatened to strain diplomatic relations with Mexico, Brian J. Lepore, a director at the U.S. Government and Accountability Office, told a House homeland security subcommittee hearing Tuesday.

    About 12 Blackhawk helicopters and several fixed-wing manned surveillance planes began flying regular patrols over the Rio Grande in Texas for a mission called “Operation River Watch II” in March. The 300 troops will fly the aircraft, or analyze intelligence about smuggling routes in command centers miles from the border.

    The Obama administration deployed the National Guard to build access roads for border patrols and to help spot smugglers. The extra manpower was intended to bridge the gap while U.S. Customs and Border Patrol hired an additional 1,200 agents.

    In the first year, the National Guard troops helped apprehend 17,887 illegal immigrants and seize 56,342 pounds of marijuana, which was 5.9% of all apprehensions and 2.6% of marijuana seizures during that time, officials said.

    National Guard troops could man watchtowers and stare at closed-circuit television screens of the fence line but were prohibited from making arrests, and officials said morale suffered. The National Guard leadership became concerned that the mission, if extended, could hurt recruitment, according to a GAO report titled “Observations on Costs, Benefits, and Challenges of a Department of Defense Role in Helping to Secure the Southwest Land Border.”

    Further use of National Guard troops “could create a perception of a militarized U.S. border with Mexico,” State Department officials told the GAO. The Obama administration has worked with Mexico to strengthen civilian law enforcement agencies to combat drug cartels responsible for thousands of killings.

    “We need to have a long-term vision and whole-of-government approach to securing the southwest border that will replace the ad hoc application of resources that has, to date, epitomized our approach to border security,” Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.), who chairs the subcommittee on border and maritime security, said in a statement.

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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: Obama to slash National Guard force on U.S.-Mexico Border

    So this was just another token Obama effort to project the appearance of security. Now he's gonna swing the door wide open. Why wouldn't he wait until after the election? Maybe the Latino vote will react in a manner positive to this decision.

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