Military on the Border: Appropriate Response to a Crisis

How does a house stand without walls?

On February 3, 2019 ABC News posted an AP (Associated Press) report, "Pentagon sending another 3,750 troops to Southwest border."

The ABC/AP report noted that the Trump administration was sending those members of the armed forces to the U.S./Mexican border to bring the total number of active-duty troops to 4,350. The Pentagon said that the soldiers would be installing 150 miles of concertina barbed wire and assist with surveilling the border, but not have direct contact with any illegal aliens or aid in their arrest by the Border Patrol. Reportedly, however, the soldiers will be able to help defend Border Patrol agents who come under fire.

The news report included this excerpt:

The announcement is in line with what Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan had said on Tuesday when he provided estimates for the next phase of a military mission that has grown in size and length. Critics have derided it as a political ploy by the White House as President Donald Trump seeks billions to build a border wall.

It is astonishing that anyone would actually believe that protecting America and Americans from the entry of uninspected aliens and cargo is a “political ploy.”

Is the oath of office the President, Vice President or members of Congress take a political ploy?

In point of fact, the political foes of the border wall are playing politics with national security, public safety, public health and the livelihoods of American and lawful immigrant workers.

Even though prior administrations, including those of George W. Bush and Barak Obama, have sent military units to back up the Border Patrol, the fact that President Trump would take this action incites the knee-jerk deprecatory reactions of his foes.

Let us make a point that needs to be made when considering cooperation between the valiant men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol and those of the U.S. Armed Forces.

While it makes headlines that the U.S. military is being called upon to back up the Border Patrol, in reality the Border Patrol, the Inspectors of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and ICE agents (INS agents prior to the creation of DHS) have always backed up the United States military.

This is a point that is never made in the media but should be: the primary and shared mission of the five branches of the armed forces is to keep the enemies of the United States as far from our shores as possible.

Up close, however, that critical mission falls to the U.S. Border Patrol and to the inspectors at ports of entry who have the responsibility for determining whether or not to admit aliens into the United States.

Finally, ICE agents back up both the Border Patrol and the CBP Inspectors and are charged with, among other missions, locating and apprehending aliens who violate our immigration laws.

This critical nature of immigration law enforcement provided the incentive to move the enforcement and administration of our immigration laws from the Labor Department to the Justice Department at the beginning of World War II when it was realized that spies, saboteurs and enemy combatants were seeking to enter the United States to act against America.

Nevertheless, the ABC News article went on to report:

Members of Congress have question whether the border mission is distracting troops from their main work of fighting extremists abroad and training for combat. The first active-duty troops were sent to the border on about Oct. 30 for a mission that was to end Dec. 15. It has since been extended twice.

"What impact does it have to readiness to send several thousand troops down to the Southern border? It interrupts their training. It interrupts their dwell time," Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said at a hearing on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, January 29, 2019, the same day that the House Armed Services Committee conducted its hearing, the Senate Intelligence Committee also conducted a hearing on Worldwide Threats. The Senate hearing was predicated on the release of a "World-Wide Threat Assessment” detailing the major threats that confront America and Americans that was issued by Daniel Coats, the Director of the Office of National Intelligence, which oversees the U.S. intelligence community.

That hearing and report served as the predications for a couple of my recent commentaries, including "World-Wide Threat Assessment Makes Powerful Case For Border Security."

Perhaps the esteemed members of our Congress should be given a required reading list and an exam after they complete their assignment. (NOTE: their staffers cannot do the reading or take the exams for them!)

The 9/11 Commission Report and the official report, 9/11 and  Terrorist Travel - Staff Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, should be at the top of the list.

This latter report focused specifically on the ability of the terrorists to travel around the world, enter the United States, and ultimately embed themselves here as they went about their deadly preparations and carried out an attack. The preface of this report begins with the following paragraph:

It is perhaps obvious to state that terrorists cannot plan and carry out attacks in the United States if they are unable to enter the country. Yet prior to September 11, while there were efforts to enhance border security, no agency of the U.S. government thought of border security as a tool in the counterterrorism arsenal. Indeed, even after 19 hijackers demonstrated the relative ease of obtaining a U.S. visa and gaining admission into the United States, border security still is not considered a cornerstone of national security policy. We believe, for reasons we discuss in the following pages, that it must be made one.

The short version of that paragraph for our intellectually challenged “representatives” is simply the commonsense phrase, “Border security is national security.”

In the days, weeks and months after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, our leaders told us we needed to fight the terrorists overseas so that we would not need to fight them here.

The harsh and unavoidable reality is that we are fighting them “over here” each and every day.

This is why we undergo incredibly intrusive searches before we board airliners and have to submit to searches to enter government office buildings.

This is why the Patriot Act was enacted which all but shredded the Fourth Amendment, in the name of the “War on Terror.”

Nevertheless, this mantra about fighting the terrorists “over there” so that we won’t have to fight them “over here” was frequently repeated by globalist politicians from both political parties, even as it ignored the obvious: the terror attacks of 9/11 did not happen “over there,” they occurred “over here” in lower Manhattan, in Washington, D.C., and in a previously quiet field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

More terror attacks have since been carried out within the borders of the United States by aliens who, in one way or another, managed to enter the country. Some of those attacks killed and injured innocent victims while others thankfully failed.

Beyond the threats posed by foreign terrorists, the United States is also under siege from transnational criminal organizations and drug cartels that, in recent years in particular, have partnered with terrorist organizations such as Iran’s Hezbollah.

Here are a few of my recent commentaries that Mr. Smith and his colleagues should read to understand that which he clearly does not understand, given the questions he raised in the ABC News report:

Iran Threatens U.S. And Its Allies With “Drugs, Refugees, Bombs And Assassination”
Congress, meanwhile, remains willfully blind.

Jihadis And Drug Cartel At Our Border
A nightmare on the horizon.

Secure Borders Protect Immigrant Communities
Immigrants are the most vulnerable to transnational gangs.

Opposition To A Border Wall Is Opposition To Public Safety
Open borders cost innocent lives.

Simply stated, dead is dead. Whether the death of innocent victims is the result of a terror attack perpetrated by aliens who violated our immigration laws or a crime of violence committed by an illegal alien, the victims are no less dead. Neither are those who fall victim to narcotics smuggled into the United States and die of a drug overdose.

Illegal immigration is not a “victimless crime” but creates an obvious crisis for America and Americans.

Decent, moral leaders would never put political goals ahead of innocent lives. To politicize national security and public safety takes a very special sort of miscreant. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of such individuals who, it would seem, see dead bodies as speed bumps on their road to political objectives.

It is beyond belief that they could obstruct commonsense measures to protect national security and public safety in this particularly perilous era, and then sleep at night.

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