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Archive for Saturday, May 20, 2006

Memo: Guard mission to last at least 2 years

May 20, 2006

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— President Bush's planned deployment of National Guard troops to the Mexican border would last at least two years with no clear end date, according to a Pentagon memo obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

The one-page "initial guidance" memo to National Guard leaders in border states does not address the estimated cost of the mission or when soldiers would be deployed. But high-ranking officials in the California National Guard said they were told Friday that deployments would not begin before early June.

While the military document makes clear the troops would remain under the command of their governors, it also indicates a high degree of federal control over operations. It states that the National Guard Bureau's Army and Air Directories "will serve as the states' focal points for force-planning, training, organizing and equipping their forces."

Guardsmen in "all other states, territories and the District of Columbia" will serve a supportive role, according to the memo.

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