There Were Plans to Send Troops to the Border

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According to erstwhile Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the DHS and U.S. Northern Command discussed sending “hundreds of thousands” of soldiers to the southern border in response to an influx of migrants. 

NORTHCOM, the fighter command for North America, operated on “a concept to dispatch a couple 100,000+ soldiers to the border.”


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Transcript of Their Conversation

Esper stated he instructed Milley to “shut down the planning and inform them there would be no further involvement with DHS on this matter.”

According to Esper, Stephen Miller, a former aide to former President Trump renowned for his anti-immigration attitude, was the first person to alert Esper of this plot. 

Miller told Esper in the Oval Office as they awaited Trump’s arrival, “We need to deploy a quarter million troops to the border as soon as possible.”

“There is another caravan arriving from the south that we must stop.”

Esper’s reply was, “I haven’t seen any rumors of another convoy. I’m confident DHS can handle it as they have in the past.”

Miller said, “This is a large one. Customs and Border Protection can not accomplish this. We must deploy our military forces. I am already conversing with DHS personnel.” 


Miller’s admission angered the defense secretary at the time. Esper wrote that he told Milley the Pentagon “doesn’t even have 250,000 men to send to the border for such silliness.” 

Acts of War

Esper claimed that later in the Trump administration, Miller proposed dipping the severed head of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who blew himself up as U.S. forces drew in on him in Syria, in pig’s blood and parading it in public to discourage other terrorists. 

The former defense secretary referred to the proposal as a “war crime” and noted “the United States military will never undertake it.” 

The specific date of these conversations was not specified in Esper’s book.

According to the book, Trump asked “at least twice” whether the military might “fire missiles into Mexico to demolish the drug labs” because the Mexican government is docile about the situation.

Esper said, “Mr. President, we can’t do that. It would be an act of war that would violate international law, undermine our relationship with Mexico, and harm our international standing. “

Trump remarked, “We could simply launch some patriot missiles and eliminate the labs quietly.”

“No one would suspect it was us,” the book states. In response, the former president’s defense secretary stated, “This would constitute an act of war, Mr. President, and there would be no way to conceal it.” 

The Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, and NORTHCOM did not reply to requests for comment. The spokesman for Milley declined to comment.


Many people have cast doubts on the legitimacy of claims made in Esper’s book.