MoonDawg's Den: The Guard won't guard

MoonDawg's Den

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Guard won't guard

My initial optimism about the announced deployment of 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border is unwarranted, it seems. The assistant SecDef, Paul McHale, says they will only be used in a support role, and will have no arrest powers:
The National Guard's border missions will include surveillance and reconnaissance, engineering support, transportation support, logistics support, vehicle dismantling, medical support, barrier and infrastructure construction, road building, and linguistics support, McHale said. He emphasized that Guard forces will play no role in the direct apprehension, custodial care or security associated with those who are detained by civilian law enforcement authorities.
Now I'm sure these support missions are valuable, but when President Bush tells people that 6,000 Guard troopers are going to be "deployed on the southern border", one would be under the impression that the troops were going to be, you know, on the southern border - and not sitting in ops centers or manning commo equipment in the vicinity of the border.

It's not like we have a lack of NG personnel to actually engage in serious border enforcement - of 444,000 available Guard troops, only 71,000 are deployed in the war on terror. What's lacking is the political will to let the Guard, guard.


  • Bush promised something and didn't do it? Shocking!

    Welcome to liberal world, my friend.


    By Blogger Jeff, At 6:10 PM, May 22, 2006  

  • Well in fairness to Bush he did discuss the support role the NG would be playing in the linked speech - but the soundbyte folks will remember is Bush saying troops are being "deployed on the southern border".

    And I'd hardly say I'll be venturing to the "liberal world", when they're far less serious on border security than the Repubs. The liberal Dem leadership is condemning even this low-profile (cosmetic, really) deployment as "militarizing" of the border.

    "Militarizing our borders is a desperate response by the president to his and Republican Congress' policy failures," said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California.

    So no, thank you, I will not be joining the liberal world anytime soon!

    By Blogger Garry, At 11:26 AM, May 23, 2006  

  • I meant the liberal world as being frustrated with Bush, not that you were becoming a bleeding heart liberal.

    BTW, I think Pelosi means that sending troops is a cosmetic or "band-aid" solution, not a real viable response. She's not taking issue with the military being sent; she's taking issue with the lack of seriousness by the President at tackling the issue. And, really, I think you would agree that it is a desperate attempt by the President (which was her real point). Americans want action, congress can't agree, and the President did something to appease the masses. It didn't work.

    I do agree that Pelosi's statement is fingerpointing and probably not terribly productive, but it is not the "condemning" of "militarization" that you spin it to be. Both sides need to quit blaming the other and come up with a viable solution. The "repubs want this" and "dems want that" crap needs to stop.


    By Blogger Jeff, At 5:02 PM, May 23, 2006  

  • "She's not taking issue with the military being sent"? She obviously used the word "militarizing" in a pejorative sense. If one is making the case that the deployment is cosmetic, then "militarizing" is not the word one would use - "cosmetic" is the word one would use. This is not "spin" on my part - she used the word, not I.

    By Blogger Garry, At 2:52 PM, May 24, 2006  

  • "She obviously used the word "militarizing" in a pejorative sense."

    "Militarizing" simply means to send the military somewhere, which is what Bush is doing. He is militarizing the border. That's not a pejorative. I don't see that at all, and it's certainly not "obvious." Plus, you're choosing to focus on one word of her statement and missing her real point, which I believe that you agree with: sending the troops to the border is a desperate attempt at appeasing the masses and not a real solution.

    Let me be clear, I think the far left is too soft on immigration, but I also believe that the far right is too rigid. They are both blocking the process. I think most moderates agree and are correct.

    My two cents,

    By Blogger Jeff, At 12:31 AM, May 25, 2006  

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