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US Army internal docs say migrant caravan most likely will dissipate

Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV (center), commanding general, U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) and senior commander, Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis, listens as his staff briefs him at the Combined Operations and Integration Center conference room on the Department of Defense's ongoing response to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. (Luis Deya, Army North PAO/U.S. Army)
November 07, 2018

As thousands of troops prepare to deploy to the southern U.S. border, a leaked internal U.S. Army North document reveals a glimpse into the military’s plan in facing the migrant caravan.

The document, obtained by Newsweek, outlines the caravan’s expected and projected routes, as well as their Most Likely Course of Action (MLCOA), which is that the caravan breaks apart before reaching the U.S. border.

“Caravan dwindles as it nears US; limited TCO exploitation and no terrorist infiltration; balloon effect on smuggling,” the document stated, noting that approximately 20 percent of migrants will complete the trek to the U.S. border.

The document also noted four known points of entry along the border and projected routes the caravan may travel to arrive at those points. It’s estimated that four caravans are heading to the U.S., totaling about 7,000 migrants.

However, the document also noted the caravan’s Most Dangerous Court of Action (MDCOA), saying, “Caravan grows markedly; terrorists or FISS exploit; TCOs upset by DoD efforts; cross border engagements.”

The document also mapped out teams and outlined their assets in particular locations, accounting for known points of entries and known border militias.

“Estimated 200 unregulated armed militia members currently operating along the southwest border. Reported incidents of unregulated militias stealing National Guard equipment during deployments. They operate under the guise of citizen patrols supporting CBP [Customs and Border Protection] primarily between POEs [Points of Entry],” according to the documents.

Protests are expected at various entry points on the border, based on historical evidence of caravan activity. The groups are considered “normally peaceful unless extreme right or left groups attend.”

The document also noted possible criminal and hostile threats that may accompany the caravan. Civil unrest, looting, crimes of opportunity, foreign collection and insider threats are the possible activities that could take place at points of entry.

“USARNORTH provides Military Support to Civilian Law Enforcement IOT enhance CBP’s ability to impede or deny illegal crossings, maintain situational awareness, and apply the appropriate law enforcement response against the southwest border,” the document noted.

“Everything we do is designed to enable intergovernmental success to CBP’s overall border security mission,” it added.

As of Tuesday, 5,200 troops were expected to be deployed to the border as a part of Operation Faithful Patriot, consisting of 2,700 in Texas; 1,200 in Arizona; and 1,100 in California, a Pentagon official told The Wall Street Journal on Monday.

Another 2,000 troops are scheduled to deploy within days, bringing the total number border-deployed troops close to 8,000.