The White House’s decision to send more than 5,200 active-duty troops to the border with Mexico a week before the midterm elections has put the American military and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis squarely in the political crosshairs regarding one of the nation’s most divisive issues.
Defense officials have sought to characterize the operation — believed to be the largest deployment of active-duty troops to the U.S. border in a century — as routine support for the Department of Homeland Security.
But the mission could jeopardize Mattis’s effort to shield the military from the political divisions gripping the country as questions persist about the size and timing of the deployment and the use of active-duty troops instead of the National Guard.
In his nearly two years as defense secretary, Mattis has sought to protect the military from the sort of politicization that has rattled the FBI and the CIA since President Trump took office.
Read the full article and more in The Washington Post.