The occupation of our nation’s capital continues and now has a growing feeling of permanence strengthened by the recent decision of the unelected Secretary of Defense indefinitely extending the Guard deployment to Washington.
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The American taxpayer continues to foot the bill for this occupation to the tune of some $400M dollars and growing.
Amazing how politicians are so caviler when it’s the people’s money.
The “mission” of Guard forces according to a Pentagon spokesperson has changed. Previously, the stated mission was to counter an existing but unidentified “threat.” More recently its mission is now to “augment” the Capital Police force based on staffing shortfalls.
Both the Chief of the National Guard, General Daniel Hokanson, and the Chairman of the National Guard Association, Major General Mike McGuire see this as an unnecessary and possibly illegal use of National Guard forces.
Could not agree more.
General Hokanson has made a valiant effort to return the nation to some degree of normalcy by his unprecedented letter to the Secretary of Defense outlining his concerns with what can only be described as a national embarrassment. His message fell on deaf ears.
But finally, someone has the moral courage and integrity to place their career on the line and say enough. Hopefully, others will follow. It’s a sign that at least we have some senior leaders who still retain a set of guiding values and remain outside the political arena.
The National Guard is unique in many ways, not the least is its close and deep relationship within the communities in which it lives and serves. The average citizen may have little knowledge of the active forces, but they certainly understand and appreciate the many missions from Disaster relief to the defense of the country that the National Guard performs.
This bond has developed over our nation’s long history and is best described in the phrase “Citizen Soldier.” The people of New England, the birthplace of the National Guard understand this better than most. The leadership of the National Guard understands this as well and they do not want to break that bond with the American people by being viewed in a very public and unfavorable light.
Like most things in Washington when you pull back the curtain you will find that this is all about power, resources, and funding.
The recent public health crisis has demonstrated to the “deep state” that they are able to control the population without limit by issuing fiats under the guise of unconstitutional “Executive Orders” with no basis in law, and the public will comply.
They also learned that the Constitution is no longer an impediment to their agenda of amassing more power for the central government at the expense of individual freedoms. State governors and mayors have learned the same thing and New Hampshire unfortunately is no exception. Many of us have seen this movie before just not in the United States.
The other drama taking place behind the scenes is the desire to grow the footprint of the Capitol Police force (USCP) using a manufactured crisis as a rationale. All designed to further isolate the government from its own citizens.
The USCP reports to the Sergeant-At-Arms of the House and Senate respectively. They in turn report to the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader. It may not be far-fetched to say that we now have a political party with its own law enforcement arm capable of being augmented by military force if necessary to push a political agenda and suppress dissent. All of this with a willing and compliant press.
None of this is a good sign for our Republic.
The USCP has an authorized strength of 2200 uniformed personnel. Apparently, until staffing levels are attained, the National Guard will fill the “gap.” You can be assured that future manning levels of the USCP will increase with little or no oversight by Congress.
At the same time what appears to be playing out is a new informal chain of command. The Speaker of the House directly communicating with the unelected Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) on the commitment of military forces in the nation’s capital. This should be a concern to all of us and the Guard leadership rightly views this as falling outside of their normal responsibilities.
The leadership of the National Guard is right to question the use of Guard forces as they are currently being employed. Never mentioned in most discussions of this topic is the size of the existing law enforcement footprint that surrounds the nation’s capital and which the Capital Police can call on for added resources.
When we add up the USCP, The District Metropolitan Police, United States Marshalls Service, Uniformed branch of the Secret Service, Park Police, The Washington Field office of the FBI, along with Fairfax, Prince Georges and Montgomery County Police, and finally the DC National Guard we find a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) of over 20,000 individuals that can be drawn on in event of any emergency.
The American public needs to now forcefully speak out and demand that our nation’s capital return to a state of normalcy.
The first step is supporting the efforts of the Chief of the National Guard to have his forces redeploy to home station. Other Guard leadership, New Hampshire included, should be vocal in that support. The Capital Police need to resume their assigned duties and if they need any help see the paragraph above.
By the way, the Guards’ last mission before departing should be to take down the “Bagdad Fencing” that rings the Capital.
It’s also time to get serious about our profession and the strategic challenges we face. Our current senior leadership needs to stop worrying about the style of hair and type of maternity uniforms for women to wear in “combat” and get on with the serious business of how we intend to fight the force and win decisively.
While we are at it, let’s cure these same military leaders of their addiction to social media “Twitter” and “Facebook” along with their urge to make political commentary. Set the example for your subordinates. You don’t get paid to win a popularity contest with your subordinates you’re paid to lead and earn the respect of those under you. By the way, our adversaries are paying attention to this foolishness.
Maybe a “stand down” focused on strategic thinking and principles of military leadership instead of chasing “extremism” in the ranks and engaging in public debate with cable news personalities would be appropriate. Very difficult to fight and win our nation’s wars if you’re spending all your time doing otherwise.