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Ben Carson Wants US Troops Patrolling the Canadian and Mexican Borders

The Republican presidential candidate released the “Seven Steps to a Safer America,” in which he calls on the president to send troops "to patrol the US southern border as well as designated spots along the northern border.”

by Tamara Khandaker
Dec 15 2015, 10:25pm

David Goldman/AP

Ben Carson wants US soldiers to patrol certain parts of the Canadian border, according to the seven-step anti-terrorism plan he issued on Tuesday.

The Republican presidential candidate, who once dominated the polls but now sits in fourth place, released the "Seven Steps to a Safer America," in which he calls for President Barack Obama to "immediately employ the National Guard and military troops to patrol the US southern border as well as designated spots along the northern border."

He does not specify, however, which spots along the US-Canada border — which has 119 checkpoints but is described as the largest open border in the world — he'd like to see guarded.

"Our country faces grave national security threats. We must act boldly and decisively to protect American citizens from terrorists at home and abroad," Carson, who is polling behind Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Donald Trump, said in an online statement.

"We can no longer dawdle while ISIS continues to persecute Christians, enslave young girls, oppress civil societies and perpetrate terrorist attacks against the free world. We must destroy their caliphate and prevent their terrorists from infiltrating our homeland. We must also secure our borders, identify radical Islamic extremism by name and root out its agents and collaborators in our own country. My Seven Steps for a Safer America offers a path forward for confronting these threats and protecting this great country."

His plan also includes issuing a formal declaration of war on ISIS, leading the formation of a regional military coalition in the Middle East to fight against the group, establishing a war-time emergency visa and immigration policy and limiting visitor visas to three months, and designating the Muslim Brotherhood and "other organizations that propagate or support Islamic terrorism as terrorist organizations," among other things.

Observers have questioned the career neurosurgeon's understanding of foreign policy. At the last Republican debate, he incorrectly claimed that the Chinese had intervened in Syria, and in a Fox News Sunday interview, he couldn't answer a question on who he'd form a coalition with to fight the Islamic State.

A New York Times article quoted Duane R. Clarridge, whom they describe as one of Carson's top terrorism and national security advisors, saying that "nobody has been able to sit down with him and have him get one iota of intelligent information about the Middle East."

In August, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who is no longer in the race, received backlash for saying a wall between the United States and Canada — which is America's second largest trading partner — was "a legitimate issue for us to look at."

In response to Walker's comments, then-immigration minister Jason Kenney said Canada would "vigorously oppose any thickening of the border," and would work to protect Canada and the US's trading relationship.

While Donald Trump has said he'd build a wall between Mexico and the US, he wouldn't do the same for the northern border.

"I love Canada," he told a CBC reporter in September. "I would not build a wall on the Canadian border."

Follow Tamara Khandaker on Twitter: @anima_tk