The ploy didn't help Republicans win in the midterm elections.
The Pentagon has acknowledged that, despite Trump's fearmongering about the refugee caravan traveling from Central America, the mission given to soldiers at the border is effectively over, and they will soon return home on schedule.
Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the Army commander of the mission, told Reuters the "number of U.S. troops at the border with Mexico may have peaked at about 5,800." They were initially expecting more than 7,000 troops, according to Reuters.
The original order authorized by Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis put troops at the border in support of U.S. Customs and Border (CBP) until Dec. 15. Buchanan told Reuters, "It is a hard date. And we have no indications that CBP is going to need us to do our work for longer than that."
The acknowledgement is effectively an admission that Trump's heated rhetoric and lies, amplified by fellow Republicans and outlets like Fox News, was a big fake out. The deployment never reached the 15,000 Trump ranted to reporters about in late October, for example.
But the heated rhetoric was right in line with the desperate move Trump and Republicans adopted facing massive defeat in the midterms, attempting to characterize refugees seeking help from America as a dangerous group of criminals hoping to hurt innocent people.
Mike Pence even said that since the Honduran refugees were not from Mexico, they must be Middle Eastern and secretly terrorists.
Tax cuts couldn't save the Republican majority, so they turned to racism, lies, and xenophobia, with an assist from the mainstream media.
What that became in the real world was a nonsensical deployment of military to the border. When the troops got there, their mission consisted of putting up concertina wire and shoveling horse manure. Thousands of soldiers will be away from their families at Thanksgiving as a result.
And Republicans ended up losing the House anyway.
The vast majority of refugees are still hundreds of miles away from the border and are not a threat to American security requiring a military response anyway.
The Pentagon's statement that the troops are unlikely to be needed after Dec. 15 confirms that the deployment was, as many said, a pre-election stunt.
American soldiers and their families were disgustingly used as pawns in the Republican Party's cynical game, and tax dollars were wasted just to please Trump.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.