Antony Tata is a retired Brigadier General in the U.S. Army. His nearly 40 years in the Army included serving as the deputy commanding general of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
He received a shout-out from President Trump via social media on December 21, 2018. Tata, who appears frequently as an analyst on Fox News, stated that he supported the decision to withdraw from Syria. The president tweeted his thanks by quoting Tata. The tweet read, “General Anthony Tata, author, ‘Dark Winter.’ ‘I think the President is making the exact right move in Syria. All the geniuses who are protesting the withdrawal of troops from Syria are the same geniuses who cooked the books on ISIS intelligence and gave rise to ISIS.'”
Tata responded to the president: “Thank you @realDonaldTrump and thank you for bringing our troops home from Syria after routing ISIS and training the Syrian Democratic Forces.”
Tata has also stated that he supports the Trump administration’s efforts on the border with Mexico. He wrote an editorial for Fox News’ website on November 24, in which he defended the president’s decision to send troops to the border. Tata pointed out that previous presidents have taken the same step before.
Tata further explained his position on Sunday, November 25 during an interview on Fox News. President Trump must have watched the interview, because he tweeted a thank you to the retired general, writing, “General Anthony Tata: ‘President Trump is a man of his word & he said he was going to be tough on the Border, and he is tough on the Border. He has rightfully strengthened the Border in the face of an unprecedented threat. It’s the right move by President Trump.’ Thanks General!”
Tata responded a few minutes later, writing, “My privilege @realDonaldTrump thanks for standing strong on the border. #MAGA #CaravanInvasion”
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Anthony Tata Pointed Out That Sending Troops to the Border is a Move Taken By Both Republican & Democratic Presidents
Retired General Anthony Tata pointed out to Fox News that sending troops to the border with Mexico is nothing new. President Trump’s decision to send military members to support the Border Patrol is in line with decisions past administrations have made, both Republican and Democratic.
In his editorial, Tata used President George H.W. Bush as an example. In 1989, the forces he sent were called “Task Force 6, now Task Force North, and has continuously provided the U.S. Border Patrol with intelligence, support and necessary shows of force.”
In 2011, President Obama ordered National Guard troops to the southern border. As reported by the Washington Post, the operation was called “Operation Phalanx.” The force took about 18,000 illegal immigrants into custody and stopped about 56,000 pounds of drugs from entering the United States.
President George W. Bush also sent National Guard troops to the border with Mexico to assist with stopping illegal immigrants from entering the country. Before him, President Bill Clinton also sent military forces to the crossing between Tijuana and San Diego.
2. Tata Repeated the President’s Assertion That Terrorists Could Be Traveling With the Caravan
Tata referenced the migrant caravan in an interview with Fox News on Sunday, November 25. He stated, “What liberals today don’t understand is the history. What President Trump has done is rightly reinforce the border in the face of an unprecedented threat with thousands of migrants coming and we all know that there’s drugs and possible terrorists in that caravan coming to the border.”
In his editorial, Tata accused “the left” of taking the opposite view of President Trump, just because they don’t want to agree with him. He wrote, “When the president called out illegal immigration, the left supported MS-13 gang members, who kill and rape U.S. citizens. Now, instead of supporting our Border Patrol and military, the left is supporting illegal immigration – along with drugs, crime and terrorists that invariably flow with that tide.”
The Cato Institute, a think tank based in Washington, D.C. and co-founded by conservative businessman Charles Koch of Koch Industries, addressed the issue of whether the caravan possibly included terrorists. The Institute, citing statistics from 1975 through 2017 in their report, stated that the odds of an American being killed by an asylum-seeker was 1 in 1.3 billion. The article also included the following: “As far as we can tell, virtually all the members of the migrant caravan come from Central America while the asylum-seeker and illegal immigrant terrorists who committed or attempted to commit attacks on U.S. soil came from Cuba, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Canada, Algeria, Somalia, Macedonia, Kyrgyzstan, and Afghanistan. Not a single terrorist in any visa category came from Mexico or Central America during the 43-year period.”
It’s also worth pointing out that caravans are not a new phenomenon. Groups of migrants typically choose to travel together for safety reasons. Peter Hakim, President Emeritus of the Inter-American Dialogue, acknowledged in a recent interview that the current caravan is larger than previous ones. But he dismissed the idea that their numbers would be overwhelming at the border. “This is not an unusually large number of people. 300 people leave Honduras every day, if you take [those] and 500 from El Salvador, 500 from Guatemala, [and some more] you have 1500 people a day [that] are just moving out. This is only 3 or 4 days of immigrants from those countries and they happened to join together in part because it gives them some security. But this is not a huge increase in the numbers coming to the border.”
3. Anthony Tata Wrote That President Trump is Undoing President Obama’s Legacy of ‘Dismantling American Ideals’
Anthony Tata was not a fan of President Obama. In his editorial, he wrote that President Obama had been working to “dismantle American ideals” during his 8 years in office. “Through resolute action, such as reinforcing our border, President Trump is undoing President Obama’s eight-year drive to dismantle American ideals.”
Tata expressed his discontent with the Obama administration during an interview in 2016. It was around the time that then-candidate Trump criticized U.S. generals and said he would fire them all if elected. Tata said he interpreted the criticism as being aimed more at the administration than the military. “When you look back in 2009, two generals, (Stanley) McChrystal and (David) Petraeus asked for 40,000 troops for Afghanistan. President Obama and then Senator Hillary Clinton did not agree with that and it was reduced significantly and now we’re left with this lingering problem in Afghanistan.”
4. General Tata Served in the U.S. Army for 38 Years
Anthony Tata served in the armed forces for nearly four decades, according to his Linkedin profile. He graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1981 and began his service.
During his military career, Tata found time to acquire additional degrees. He earned a master’s in international relations from Catholic University in 1991. He also attended the School of Advanced Military Studies and obtained a master’s degree in strategic planning and military art in 1993.
From 2005 through 2007, Tata served as the Deputy Commanding General of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. He oversaw 18,000 soldiers and a “25,000 warfighter joint task force” during this command. Tata’s final role was as Deputy Director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Organization from 2007 until 2009. He retired from the military that year.
5. Anthony Tata is a Best-Selling Author & Loves to Surf
Anthony Tata retired from the Army in 2009, but he has remained very busy in the years since then. According to his Linkedin profile, Tata worked in the Washington, D.C. public school system for nearly two years after leaving the military, as the Chief Operations Officer. He followed that with two years as the Superintendent of Wake County Public Schools in North Carolina.
Tata is also a best-selling author. He has written several thriller novels. His book “Foreign and Domestic” was a finalist for the 2015 Best Thriller Barry award. “Besieged” was named as a Top 10 Thriller of 2017 by Publishers Weekly. Tata’s most recent novel is “Dark Winter,” was released in October 2018. You can see a list of all his books here.
According to his Twitter page, Tata resides in Wilmington, North Carolina. He describes himself as an avid surfer. Tata also has two children named Brooke and Zachary.