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Pentagon examining military rules of engagement after U.S. troops disarmed by Mexican army in Texas

By Jon Dougherty

As we anticipated would happen, the Pentagon — no doubt at the behest of the White House — is reevaluating the rules of engagement for U.S. troops deployed along the southwest border after two soldiers were surrounded and disarmed by a small, armed Mexican force north of the international boundary in Texas earlier this month.

As we reported earlier this week, in an incident that had troubling international implications, especially given the tension among Americans regarding illegal immigration, officials with U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) said on Saturday that a squad of armed Mexican troops detained U.S. soldiers for a brief period earlier this month…in Texas.

NORTHCOM told CNN the incident happened in the afternoon on April 13; the U.S. personnel were conducting routine surveillance, according to the command.

“On April 13, 2019, at approximately 2 p.m. CDT, five to six Mexican military personnel questioned two U.S. Army soldiers who were conducting border support operations in an unmarked [Customs and Border Protection] vehicle near the southwest border in the vicinity of Clint, Texas,” NORTHCOM said in a statement.

During the incident, the Mexican troops — all armed — ordered the two U.S. soldiers, a sergeant and a private, out of an unmarked vehicle. NORTHCOM said the Mexican soldiers pointed their weapons at the U.S. troops and detained them for a period of time.

We concluded:

Mind you, the demarcation line and border sectors are well-known to both U.S. and Mexican military personnel.

While this encounter ended without incident, the fallout from an actual confrontation with an exchange of gunfire and casualties is incalculable. Diplomacy aside, it’s hard to imagine that POTUS Donald Trump, who has no doubt been briefed about this incident, would not respond by ordering additional U.S. troops to the border with orders to ‘protect and defend’ the country.

Sounds like we were right.

According to the Washington Examiner:

A senior defense official says the Pentagon is reviewing how U.S. soldiers responded during an incident this month in which Mexican troops detained and disarmed Americans on Texas soil.

The standoff between two U.S. soldiers and as many as six Mexican military officials on April 13 is believed to be the first of its kind, according to the senior defense official from Northern Command, or NORTHCOM. “This is the first incident that we’re aware of that the two militaries came together,” the official told the Washington Examiner.

The two soldiers appear to be active duty Army, not National Guard — at least according to reporting — from Washington state. Reports said they were sitting in an unmarked Customs and Border Protection vehicle when they were moved on by the Mexican troops.




The Mexican soldiers were armed with standard-issue assault rifles; they confiscated one soldier’s M9 Beretta sidearm for a time.

Now, the Pentagon is investigating the incident, which the official said “will help us modify any instructions that we’re giving the troops” about how to deal with such a situation, the Washington Examiner reported, adding:

Troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico boundary go through joint readiness staging, or training on how to handle dangerous situations in the area. The official said he could not recall anything similar to last Saturday’s encounter having taken place during a previous active-duty troop deployment.

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No official protocol exists for how to navigate a run-in with a foreign military, but the senior official said the soldiers were trained to “de-escalate” the situation. By surrendering at least one gun, they followed existing protocol, though it left them unarmed.

No doubt the Trump administration has already protested this encounter through diplomatic channels with the Mexican government. And no doubt that protocols going forward will change, especially if POTUS Trump continues to order U.S. troops to the border in support of federal agents.

American troops are likely to be more heavily armed in the future and, perhaps, be assigned to sectors in numbers greater than two. Either way, the situation along the border is tense; Mexican troops, who regularly patrol the border, are not used to seeing American troops opposite them — making it more likely, not less, that things could spiral out of control if another armed incident takes place.

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45 Comments on Pentagon examining military rules of engagement after U.S. troops disarmed by Mexican army in Texas

  1. Next time the U.S. soldiers should shoot the lousy Mexicans bastards.

    • The word from Mexico is to restart an intimidation process of Mexican troops going over the known border area and harassing American troops and federal officers. The Medes are armed and know the lily-live red politicians and generals on the US side are overly caution to make a scene to hurt their political reputation. So they don’t even all our troops to defend themselves with armed weapons.

      This sounds like capitalization to the Socialist Mex prez.

      We’re turning into wimps. Where is our Pattons and Pershing’s to put the fear of God unto these aggressive Mexican military moves?

      Leadership Trump, quit wimping out.

      • rgrx1276 // April 24, 2019 at 9:16 am //

        Be willing to bet good money our troops were unarmed.. Probably carrying their weapons but without ammo… See it many times in the past.

    • The sheep took the lions weapons….seems like the sheep are winning more and more…not good

  2. I served in Vietnam. This is the Sorry state of our Military.

    Back then we would let our Weapons be taken. This also happened with the US Navy Sailors when the Iranians captured a group of them.

    Why have a Military when they Roll over and let themselves be captured by any foreign Power. It’s a disgrace.

    • “Back then we would let our Weapons be taken.”

      Typo, of were you in the Cub Scouts in Viet Nam?

    • No solder or Marine ever surrendered their weapons in Vietnam. Even if we wanted to, the VC/NVA practiced torture and battlefield executions. I conclude you are a fake veteran.

    • Mark Stewart // April 24, 2019 at 8:53 am // Reply

      We were invaded and defeated. What would happen to a land owner patrolling his ranch land?

      • Pattie J N // April 25, 2019 at 2:30 pm //

        @Mark Stewart, a land owner would probably have been shot because he probably would not have surrendered his weapon. Land owners have been shot and killed along the border by drug runners and human traffickers. The Mexican military is corrupt to the core and are probably among them.

  3. those Mexican troops are only there to protect the narco and human traffickers. nothing more.

    • Hold the phone here a sec, active duty guys in Texas [US] were disarmed by some ragtag mexicans. Listen I’m retired LOS and back in the 80’s [when drill drill sergeants would kick your ass even if you looked the wrong way. We were drilled to NEVER relinguish your weapon. Not just the ROE that are in place, NEVER HAND OVER YOUR WEAPON !

  4. Mexican military were doing recon for the cartels. They wanted to know who it was, and now they do. They even know the names of the Americans on duty.

  5. When I was in the military in the late ’60s to ’70s we were told NEVER to surrender our weapons. No exceptions were made that I can remember.

  6. Hopefully the new policy states that the Mexican Police will be returned in wooden boxes next time.

  7. Shoot a few of those Mexican punks and they’ll be real polite in the future. Kissing fundaments has been a Clinton/Bush/obama policy for long enough now to where even dirtbag Mexicans think they can push us around.

  8. The boys like the Obama rules. Probably shower together too. Another Obama rule.

  9. the new policy will be simple. if mexican troops are on our side of the border, shoot them. never give up your arms, especially to them.

  10. Who gave the Order to stand down and not SHOOT? We need to send some Seasoned Soldiers down there.

  11. Chazngwen Gugins // April 23, 2019 at 1:24 pm // Reply

    I understand that the Mexican soldiers were on U.S. soil so what is being done about that? They were trespassing. Trump once again does not do enough. Pretty typical as the whole country is getting a little tired of him anyway. Protect the damned borders regardless of some unelected judge telling you otherwise.

    • The President is not a King, by design of the constitution. The while country is getting tired of him? Really? Two years is all you give the man? With the entire media, all democrats and 1/3 of republicans acting indignant because Trump doesn’t “speak well”?

      You are either a Leftist troll here to act like a fool, or you are a fool. Do you honestly think any single one of the other 16 republican candidates or Hillary Rotten Clinton would have been tougher on the border?

      • Rich Desantis // April 23, 2019 at 8:54 pm //

        I think that a lower level judge should only have authority over his/her district, not the nation.

    • nuthinmuffin // April 23, 2019 at 6:22 pm // Reply

      “the whole country is getting tired of him anyway?” so who would be your choice, einstein? you sound like a mccain/romney flake brain

    • Trespassing? Armed soldiers invaded our country..

  12. What were our guys going to fight back with? they had one pistol between them, against six with fully automatic rifles.

    • DeplorableFromBirth // April 23, 2019 at 10:48 pm // Reply

      The US Soldiers were Armed, with Empty Magazines. Military does not want to start a border escalation.

  13. Sucker them in stick two SEALS or Special forces troops out there as bait with the rest of the team(s) camouflaged near by when these idiots cross the border and try to mess with our troops spring the ambush. take the bodies of the mexican (soldiers? ) and hang them upside down the border fences with a not is Spanish this is what happens to people who invade the United States. Put the word out that there is a game in town then see what happens to Illegal immigration.

  14. The mexican troops were protecting cartel interests we all know it.

  15. What’s to examine? The Mexicans got the drop on our guys and disarmed them ! Good thing this wasn’t the Alamo, THEY were not only allowed to shoot back they were armed ! In todays America BOTH political parties want illegals here for various reasons, our last 5 Presidents refused to enforce our immigration laws and the tsunami of illegals keeps pouring in. We have no one standing up for us other than Trump and a few others. Soon it will be adios America and hello 2nd world nation. We have no one to blame except ourselves. WE let our government do this to us.

  16. Dave Llewellyn // April 23, 2019 at 3:09 pm // Reply

    Our guys are there as a show of force and law enforcement. No need getting one killed doing his duty as a “weekend warrior” while at it. POTUS is doing more than any recent president but is stymied by the activists in the Fed court appointed by you know who. Also, look no further than the D leadership for a quick answer to this crisis…simply appropriate (for all the nation) the paltry $5B we need to help secure the border with a barrier! Congress burns 30 times that on useless grants and pork.

  17. When the hell is someone going to get this entire issue under control? Someone needs to be demoted and sent into the field. Maybe a half dozen demotions are needed and now, not tomorrow.

    What is it this Administration can’t seem to get figured out? Need some help? Call me, maybe?

  18. This is NOT the first time an incident like this has happened. It IS the first time that the mainstream media and local lackeys could hide what happened. We need to grow a pair as a nation and get tougher at the border.

  19. william chandler // April 23, 2019 at 5:56 pm // Reply

    Your government has surrendered your nation to the Invaders.
    Now sit down:
    This PIG has been living off YOUR future for 20 YEARS — and “your” politicians claim YOUR Social Security is “going broke”?!??! The Politicians STOLE it and GAVE it away
    https://streamable.com/43v2w
    . How many 100thousands ILLEGALS are living directly off YOU thanks to the politicians????

    Yes, they are giving away your future too.

  20. dave Jensen // April 23, 2019 at 6:54 pm // Reply

    It is ridiculous we don’t use the military on the border, and I’m not talking about using them for observing for the border patrol. We should have them down there with machine guns, hand grenades, rockets, whatever they need and USE them. Shoot a few of the illegals and we wouldn’t need a wall. Hell, I bet private citizens would do it for free along with the military. It is an invasion, plain and simple.

  21. TexanForever Thompson // April 23, 2019 at 7:12 pm // Reply

    The beaners know exactly where the border is. This was no mistake. It could have been a distraction by the Mex Army guys (if they truly were Army) to distract our artillery guys at one spot while stuff was taken across at another. We need to change the Rules of Engagement. Put Abrams tanks on our side with authority to use live ammo. Our civilian militia is an updated version of George Washington’s militia. They should be commended rather than arrested by sone two-bit sheriff.
    .

  22. The US Army and US Navy have become surrender monkeys…whether in a boat off Iran or on our own soil faced by Mexicans.

    We no longer have an “American” military….we have an “Ameri-can’t” military.

    • All thanks to the ‘Os’ rules of engagement; he almost destroyed our military and our ability to defend our country and ourselves. I hope he drops dead.

  23. We need gunships at the ready, to support our military at the border.

  24. Our Military should be able to shoot them dead! This is getting out of hand and they are not welcome here. What do they not get? Other countries do this. We have that right. Round them up in our country and ship them home.

  25. This is NOT the first time Medes have crossed the border and harassed out military or law enforcement. It has been happening for 150 years, off and on.

    When we display weakness they cross and embarrass our army.

    Get rid of the Obama era officers and NCOs who are limp dicks and have no idea what protect the USA means.its not rocket science.

    Instead of putting militia in jail for protecting our country, we need to assign them a border section to protect. Our side isn’t doing anything about it.

  26. How humiliating. It’s shameful that US Soldiers would just surrender like that. What freaking days are these?

  27. When I served in the late 80’s, we would have taken them all out. What an embarrassment this is, I am in shock that we now have “Soy Boy Pussies” with gun’s supposedly protecting us.

  28. This may bee the first time that Mexican military confronted US military, but they have previously confronted US citizens in the United States. There is video of them escorting shipments across the border. We have done nothing about it.

  29. I’m reading a lot of rhetoric, some good, others just gut emotions. The bottom line is a sovereign nation’s (United States of America) southern border is being violated and dissolved by thousands of illegal crossings every day and the lack of appropriate actions of the government.

    It is past time for “We The People” to contact our state and federal representatives and demand in the most strongest terms that our border be secured and that this unabated flow of drug and human trafficking be brought to an immediate stop. Our nation’s security and the survival of the truths we believe in are at risk.

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