13:47 GMT +321 November 2018
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    This is an aerial view of the five-sided Pentagon building, headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, in Arlington, Va., in 1975

    US Military Drops ‘Faithful Patriot’ as Border Operation Name

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    The operation involves deploying 7,000 US troops to boost National Guard forces at the US-Mexico border.

    The US Department of Defense has reportedly dropped the name it was using to refer to stationing additional troops along the US-Mexico border. The name of the operation was "Faithful Patriot."

    The deployment of troops was deemed necessary in view of a caravan of several thousand migrants approaching the US border. Travelling from Guatemala and Honduras, the migrants seek a better life on US soil, while the US government says the caravan will bring in more criminals and people of non-Central American nationalities.

    According to US Army Lt. Col. Jamie Davis, the Pentagon has ditched the name "Faithful Patriot" for "a couple of days" already, but he did not specify any reasons behind the decision.

    On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that US Defense Secretary James Mattis had made the decision and issued the order on Election Day, November 6.

    It is speculated that the border deployment is not actually an "operation," since "operations," in Pentagon jargon, are full-fledged combat missions.

    According to reports from earlier this week, the soldiers will not directly interact with the immigrants. Instead, they will assist US Border Patrol staff, filling gaps in physical barriers along the border — such as by laying barbed wire, The Hill reported.

    "There is no plan for US military forces to be involved in the actual mission of denying people entry to the United States," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said Monday, according to ABC News.

    "There is no plan for the soldiers to come in contact with immigrants or to reinforce the Department of Homeland Security as they are conducting their mission," he continued. "We are providing enabling capability."

    Last week, US President Donald Trump suggested the troops would open fire on migrants who initiated any violence, such as throwing rocks, but later walked back his remarks, saying perpetrators would be arrested instead.

    The migrant caravan of several thousand people is still several weeks from reaching the US-Mexico border.

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    Tags:
    migrant caravan, border, Pentagon, General James Mattis, General Joseph Dunford, Mexico, United States
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