SHOW OF FORCE: U.S. Northern Commander Air Force Gen. Terrence O’Shaughnessy is tackling his mission to use the military to harden the southern border with gusto. “We know border security is national security,” he told reporters at a news conference yesterday, in which he announced that 800 soldiers from Fort Campbell, Ky., are already en route to Texas. By week’s end they will be joined by thousands more, not just in Texas, but also in Arizona and California. “By the end of this week, we will deploy over 5,200 soldiers to the southwest border. That is just the start of this operation. We'll continue to adjust the numbers and inform you of those,” O'Shaughnessy said.

THE MISSION: The active-duty troops have two main objectives: Reinforce infrastructure, such as security barriers at 26 designated ports of entry, and help seal gaps in the border between the crossing points where immigrants may try to cross illegally. But the responsibility for border security will remain with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. “Our first level of effort with CBP will be to harden the points of entry and address key gaps in areas around the points of entry,” O'Shaughnessy said. CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan disputed the idea that the deployment of thousands of troops was a political ploy in advance of the midterms elections. “No, this is a law enforcement operation from CBP’s perspective and we partner with DOD all the time to help secure our border,” McAleenan said.

WHAT THE MILITARY BRINGS: Combat engineers to build things, such as barriers, walls, fencing and tent cities. “We have enough concertina wire to cover up to 22 miles, already deployed to the border. We have additional concertina wire that we can string, with over 150 miles available,” O'Shaughnessy said. Helicopters to surveil the border, and quickly transport special operations Border Patrol Tactical Units to austere locations where they can fast-rope down to the ground if needed. And medical units to treat both border protection agents and immigrants.

WHAT’S THE THREAT? The border patrol is concerned about being overwhelmed due to the sheer number of asylum seekers, even if they try to enter through a designated border crossing. “We've got to be prepared for the potential arrival of a very large group,” McAleenan said. “What we saw when this group crossed the Honduras-Guatemala borders, they did it very forcefully. They pushed past the Guatemalan security forces. Even more risky was on the Guatemala-Mexico border, where it was a combination, of you know, near-rioting on the bridge and then crossing illegally.” The CBP says there are now two groups in Mexico each numbering more than 3,000.

WHAT ABOUT ASYLUM RIGHTS? Refugees who have a legitimate fear of death or persecution in their home country have a legal right to apply for asylum. The deployment of troops won’t affect that right. “We are providing access to asylum seekers at our ports of entry lawfully as directed,” said McAleenan, who also noted that migrants are already in a safe country in Mexico, which has offered to take them in. “So if you're really seeking asylum you've reached a safe place and you've been given a generous offer by the first country that you've crossed into from Central America, so I think that's an important point to focus on.”

TRUMP: WE’LL BUILD TENT CITIES: “If they are applying for asylum, we are going to hold them until such time as their trial takes place,” President Trump said in an interview on Fox News last night. “We’re going to build tent cities, we’re going to put up tents all over the place. We're not going to build structures and spend all of these millions of dollars. We're going to have these tents. They're going to be nice and they're going to wait and if they don't get asylum, they get out.” Trump noted that the vast majority of asylum-seekers are turned down. “If you want to wait, they don't usually get asylum.

“The problem is they release them in and then they have the trial three years later and nobody shows up. But we are going to, unlike Obama and unlike others, we are going to take the people, were going to put them in and they're going to wait. And you know what?” Trump said. “When they find out that that happens you will have far fewer people come up.”

WHAT ABOUT POSSE COMITATUS? Under the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, active-duty U.S. military forces cannot be used for policing or domestic law enforcement. The troops are being deployed under Title 10 authority, and officials say they will not be arresting anyone, or performing law enforcement duties. Troops who are normally armed will be armed and U.S. troops always have the right of self-defense. “Everything that we are doing is in line with and adherence to posse comitatus,” O'Shaughnessy said. The Posse Comitatus Act does not apply to the National Guard unless it is activated for federal service.


Operation Secure Line: The CBP mission to make sure it is ready to deal with the arrival and attempted crossing of a large group of migrants.

Operation Guardian Support: The use of 2,100 National Guard troops under control of state governors to support civilian law enforcement with logistics, intelligence analysis, and other support.

Operation Faithful Patriot: The use of 5,200 active-duty troops under federal control to build barriers at ports of entry, string wire fences along gaps in the border, build tent cities, and provide airlift for CBP quick-response teams.

Good Tuesday morning and welcome to Jamie McIntyre’s Daily on Defense, compiled by Washington Examiner National Security Senior Writer Jamie McIntyre (@jamiejmcintyre), National Security Writer Travis J. Tritten (@travis_tritten) and Senior Editor David Brown (@dave_brown24). Email us here for tips, suggestions, calendar items and anything else. If a friend sent this to you and you’d like to sign up, click here. If signing up doesn’t work, shoot us an email and we’ll add you to our list. And be sure to follow us on Twitter @dailyondefense.

HAPPENING TODAY — MATTIS AT USIP: At 5:30 p.m., Defense Secretary Jim Mattis appears at the U.S. Institute for Peace for an hour-long discussion with Stephen Hadley, chairman of the institute’s board of directors and former national security affairs assistant to President George W. Bush. USIP says the discussion, livestreamed from its site, will be about the Pentagon’s National Defense Strategy as well as global alliances and partnerships.

TRUMP TO PITTSBURGH: Trump says he wants to be sensitive to the grief being experienced by families of the victims of Saturday’s synagogue massacre, but felt it was important to travel to the Squirrel Hill neighborhood to meet with members of the Jewish community there, along with police and first responders. “I'm just going to pay my respects. I'm also going to the hospital to see the officers and some of the people that were so badly hurt. And I really look forward to going,” Trump told Fox last night. “I would have done it even sooner but I didn't want to disrupt any more than they already have disruption, but I look forward to going.”

Pittsburgh’s Democratic Mayor Bill Peduto suggested Trump should wait to visit until the after the funerals for the 11 victims. “I would ask that he not do so while we are burying the dead,” Peduto said. “Our attention and our focus is going to be on them, and we don’t have public safety that we can take away from what is needed in order to do both.”

But Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, of the Tree of Life synagogue, told CNN: “The president of the United States is always welcome. I am a citizen. He is my president. He is certainly welcome.”

BAD PEOPLE: In his Fox interview last night Trump repeated his assertion that there are a lot of “bad people” among the mass of migrants trekking toward the U.S. border. “When you look at that caravan and largely, very big percentage of men, young, strong. A lot of bad people, a lot of bad people in there, people that are in gangs. We don't want them in this country,” he said.

U.S. Southern Commander Adm. Kurt Tidd told a small group of reporters at the Pentagon yesterday that there is some evidence to back up that assertion, while being careful to say he could not comment on the specific make-up of this particular caravan of migrants. But Tidd said “broadly speaking” the U.S and partner nations do track the movement of what they call “special interest aliens.”

“We know that there are networks of human traffickers that engage in moving individuals from all around the world, some of them from nations that we have historic concerns with as being places that facilitate radicalization, and that some individuals who have moved through those networks who have been picked up do have affiliations with terrorist groups,” Tidd said.

BOEING’S BIG GAMBLE: Boeing Co. views the low-ball bids that helped it win contracts for a Navy drone and an Air Force training jet as spending money to make money.

While the Chicago-based planemaker wrote down third-quarter profits in its defense unit by $691 million to cover costs on initial work for the MQ-25, an unmanned refueling tanker that can take off and land on an aircraft carrier, and the T-X trainer for Air Force fighter pilots, Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg says the two programs offer a potential $60 billion long-term revenue stream.

CAUSE OF DEADLY HELO CRASH: The March crash of an Air Force Pave Hawk helicopter in Iraq that killed all seven troops on board was caused by hitting a steel cable, the service’s Air Combat Command Accident Investigation Board has found. “The investigation concluded that the pilot misinterpreted aircraft navigation displays, which caused the formation to overfly the intended destination,” the service said in a statement. The helicopter then struck and became entangled in the cable, which was strung between two 340-foot-tall towers.

AFGHANS IN ENEMY TERRITORY: Half of Afghans live in territory that is outside the direct control of the central government in Kabul, according to a new analysis by Bill Roggio and Alexandra Gutowski at the Long War Journal. About 41 percent of the country’s population resides in districts contested by the Taliban and 9 percent live in districts controlled by the group.

AMBASSADOR NAUERT? Trump has met with State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert regarding outgoing United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley’s position, a new report says. Nauert, a former Fox News host and who is now a State Department spokesperson and acting undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs, talked with Trump on Monday, sources familiar with the situation told Bloomberg News.


Defense One: After Laser Attacks, Pentagon Spending $200M to Protect Pilots’ Eyeballs

Breaking Defense: White House Slashes DoD Budget– Maybe

CNN: U.S. Denies Reported 'Show Of Force' Plans In South China Sea

Business Insider: China's Commander-In-Chief Has Ordered The Military Command Overseeing The South China Sea To Prepare For War

Air Force Magazine: US and South Korea Pursue Readiness Without Big Exercises

Wall Street Journal: Turkey Keeps Up Pressure on Saudis Over Khashoggi Killing

BuzzFeed: Iran Is Watching Silently As The Khashoggi Killing Tests US–Saudi Relations

Reuters: Trump weighing options in response to Khashoggi killing: White House

Defense News: The biggest challenge to the Pentagon’s space plan? Hint: ‘It’s not the technology’

AP: Al-Shabab’s former No. 2 leader runs for office in Somalia

Task and Purpose: The Crew Of ‘Top Gun 2’ Built A Bar On The Beach In San Diego

Foreign Policy: The Military Is Back in Brazil

New York Times: South Korea Leader Vouches For Kim’s Sincerity, But Critics See A Ruse



4:30 p.m. 1211 Connecticut Ave. Book Launch of Just Security in an Undergoverned World.

3 p.m. 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW. The Protection of Civilians in U.S. Partnered Operations with Mark Swayne, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Stability and Humanitarian Affairs.

3:30 p.m. 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW. A Conversation on Cybersecurity Strategy With DHS and DOD with Kenneth Rapuano, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Global Security.

5:30 p.m. Webcast Conversation with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.


10 a.m. Phone Briefing: Global Implications of Exiting the INF Treaty.

11 a.m. George Mason University. Democracy Under Stress: Challenges to Our Constitutional Norms with Former NSA and CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden and Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

12:30 p.m. 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW. Dilemmas of Stabilization: Syria and Beyond.


7 a.m. 7525 Colshire Dr. 2018 Cyber-Augmented Operations Division Fall Conference.

8 a.m. 1001 16th St. NW. 28th Annual Review of the Field of National Security Law Conference.

12:30 p.m. 1333 H St. NW. Examining US–Saudi Arabia Relations.

6 p.m. 1000 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Stalin’s Propaganda and Putin’s Information Wars.


7:30 a.m. 2101 Wilson Blvd. Health Affairs Breakfast featuring John Tenaglia, Deputy Assistant Director of the Defense Health Agency.

8 a.m. 300 First St. SE. Space Training and Exercises Discussion with Brig. Gen. DeAnna Burt, Director of Operations and Communications at Headquarters Air Force Space Command.

8 a.m. 1777 F St. NW. A Conversation with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

9 a.m. 1775 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Assessing the Readiness of the U.S. military.

11 a.m. 1211 Connecticut Ave. NW. Course Change or Full Speed Ahead? Post-Midterm U.S Foreign Policy's Impact on Indo-Pacific.


10 a.m. 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Artificial Intelligence and National Security: The Importance of the AI Ecosystem.

3 p.m. 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW. Book Launch: The Jungle Grows Back: America and Our Imperiled World with Author Robert Kagan.


6:30 a.m. 2425 Wilson Blvd. Institute of Land Warfare Breakfast with Lt. Gen. Aundre Piggee, Army Deputy Chief of Staff.

9 a.m. 529 14th St. NW. Elections Under Threat? A Global Comparative Analysis of Cybersecurity of Elections.

5:30 p.m. 2425 Wilson Blvd. Institute of Land Warfare Hosts Douglas Mastriano, Author of Thunder in the Argonne.

“We will not allow a large group to enter the U.S. unlawfully. We will maintain lawful trade and travel to the greatest extent possible. We will act in accordance with the highest principles of law enforcement. We will treat intending migrants humanely and professionally at all times.”
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan.