Donald Trump’s political stunt of sending thousands of troops to the border weeks before a caravan of asylum-seekers arrives could cost an estimated $220 million. That’s $220 million to deploy the military to the U.S. border to act as support staff for border patrol in the best scenario—the scenario that doesn’t have troops illegally shooting migrants to make Trump happy. This isn’t the only appalling idea Trump has had for the military’s role on the border, though. The Trump administration also floated the idea of having the military build migrant detention centers, an idea that died thanks to pushback from the Pentagon:
The U.S. military declined a draft request from the Department of Homeland Security last month to build housing for detained migrants during early discussions in the Trump administration about the military’s role on the border, the officials said.
By voicing its opposition, the Pentagon helped ensure that its mission was tailored to only providing support to U.S. government personnel on the border, U.S. officials said.
It’s rarely if ever a good sign when the military is pushing back against over-militarization by civilian leaders. The mildly relieving news is that once the elections are done, Trump’s political posturing may subside a little—at a minimum he won’t be doing daily rallies at which he tries to whip up his base by pulling new horrific stunts out of the recesses of his bowels. But make no mistake that he’s once again revealed his vision for the United States, and it’s not a vision of peaceful democracy.