The two men who visited troops and places where the Department of Homeland Security requested Pentagon help to combat drug smuggling showed different CBP capabilities, including mobile surveillance vehicles, ATVs, horses and weapons in the Monument 3 A place in New Mexico, according to the group report
But in addition to meeting the capabilities of border security, Shanhan has launched a "PLS pepper launch system from PLS" – shortly thereafter, Dunford fired the "FN303". "FN303", according to officials, is similar to the device that Shanahan fired but with more kinetic energy
. Colonel Cedric Leighton, these devices are primarily riot-fighting and "designed to shoot non-lethal circles in the crowd."
"The pepper launcher systems are typically designed to be fired in the direction of a crowd but not (initially) directly into the crowd or individual," Leighton explained by email. "If the situation goes out of hand and one person blames a law enforcement officer, the policeman can react by firing the gun on the individual without seriously hurting or killing them."
But it is a bit unusual for the current Secretary of Defense and the President of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to see that they are launching a weapon, given the possible message he can send to the place where the United States stands. Today, General Dunford received briefings and watched demonstrations by CBP officials who described the current border control efforts after demonstrating a demonstration by a CBP employee who proudly used his equipment (a non-deadly paint gun in this case). Dunford had the opportunity to try it, so he did, "said Dunford's spokesman, Colonel Patrick S. Rider.
"Outside maybe routine weapons qualifications, I can not say that I have ever seen leaders at this level launching live weapons." CNN's Diplomatic and Military Analyst, Rear Admiral John Kirby said in an email that the incident was "not at Best Optics. "
" Sounds like an effort to be polite to your hosts. I guess it's good and good. I understand the message he most likely sends, "said Kirby, who also spoke to former Chief Justice Adm. Mike Mullen. "Our troops are not there in their role of enforcement, and there is already a great deal of concern about the policy of this particular mission." "Such images will not help alleviate these concerns."
Leighton also noted that it was "They could simply get acquainted with what CBP has in their arsenal or assess whether the military should get such weapons while they are on the southern border."
The situation would cause many questions because it would mean a greater role for the military at the Mexican border than is currently allowed, "he said.
However, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Buchin, a spokesman for Shanahan, argued that this
"During the reconnaissance of the southern border today to determine the requirements for CBP support, acting Secretary Shanahan received a briefing from the COP During part of this briefing officer, CBP showed the equipment and then offered the secretary the opportunity to put his hands on the equipment, said Buckchino
Barbara Starr, Tammy Cooper and Veronika Strakawarsi contributed to this report.