A recording of the call is available here.
Earlier today veterans and national security experts gathered on a press call to call on the Trump administration to bring our troops home from their deployment at the border.
Below are quotes from today’s speakers
Retired Major General, Peter S. Cooke: I don’t think that it should be news to anyone that we’ve had a mental health problem in the military. To add more burden to an impoverished force structure by keeping thousands of our troops on the border is, I think, extremely unwise. It adds to the preexisting issues facing the military in recruitment, and means that we struggle to keep up with the already huge demands on our armed forces. Someone needs to speak out. Every soldier out there is willing to do what they are told to do, and will follow the commander in chief, but someone has to speak out for their welfare.
Ned Price, Director of Policy and Communications at National Security Action and former Special Assistant to President Obama on the National Security Council staff: “When it comes to this deployment, there’s one metric that clearly shows the motivations, and that’s the president’s Twitter account. Since election day, the president has gone nearly silent on the caravan. It is clear that the deployment was needlessly done to score political points. Migrants at the border can be processed orderly and safely as asylum seekers – it’s what we’ve always done. These caravans do not pose the risks that the president claims they lppmdo. The president’s actions are more shameful when you consider his disrespect toward our troops. Additionally, the cost is incredibly high; it could cost hundreds of millions and will certainly separate troops from families. In addition, these actions are also damaging to America’s reputation. Our troops deserve better, as does our country.”
Bishop Garrison, Interim Executive Director for Truman National Security Project: “This border deployment was never about national security. Instead, it was a political stunt by the president, who insisted on pushing an over-hyped threat before an election he feared. Unfortunately for our men and women in uniform, they face the consequences as they are now stuck at the border in wholly unnecessary support roles. Our military has threats to counter and prepare for around the world; many of them have been on multiple deployments through 17 years of war. It is time to end this wasteful, unnecessary deployment and stop pretending that desperate people seeking asylum are any sort of a threat to our nation.”