Kurt Schlichter penned an excellent piece for Townhall.com that gives very clear explanation for a question that has no doubt been on many conservatives’ minds: Why doesn’t the President just do what he threatens, send in the Guard and shut these riots down for good? We know those cowards will not challenge the military!
As we will see, the rioters might try to incite the military to filmable violence which could be “Pelosi’d“, that is, manipulatively turned around into an attack on President Trump and conservatives themselves. We will make some comments along the way, but this piece is basically Kurt’s all the way. We want him to be credited with his excellent thought and analysis. [We offer it with slight editing if needed, and emphases on points that we believe benefit from such treatment.]
There are a lot of solid conservatives frustrated and appalled by the Biden Riots, and a lot of those folks wonder why Donald Trump doesn’t just make it all stop – you know, sort of like Grandpa Badfinger implicitly promises he will do if we restore the garbage liberal establishment, except with military force. “Call up the Guard,” right? But what folks do not understand are the practical problems with Trump using troops (sending federal law enforcement officers presents similar problems, but also a unique and big one – there just aren’t as many federal cops as there are soldiers). The devil is in the details, and the devil here makes Trump pulling the trigger on the troops in the current situation a very bad idea. We should support his strategic patience and not do what the Democrats want by getting mad at the president for refusing to stumble into an ambush.
Let me share some background. After I got off active duty the first time, I joined the California Army National Guard. For the next 23 years I participated in, planned, and commanded during multiple civilian support operations. I was in the Los Angeles Riots, the Northridge Earthquake, and I commanded two battalions along with other forces in northern San Diego County during the 2007 fires. I planned ops from platoon to state headquarters level, and wrote about civil support ops in Infantry magazine and even in a first-of-its-kind law review article. So, I know a little about this stuff.
And what I know tells me that, despite our fantastic soldiers’ abilities, this is a bad idea.
But why? Let’s address the donkey in the room – Democrat governors, mayors and district attorneys do not want military forces deployed and will at least refuse to cooperate with them, if not actively hinder them. That makes a blue city like Portland a “non-permissive environment,” and the military is certainly designed to operate in them. That’s why when the military moves in force with, say, an infantry brigade combat team (IBCT) of 5,000 soldiers plus support elements (thousands more), we essentially deploy a small town with everything we need to survive – food, fuel, ammo, medical, maintenance, commo, power, transportation, even lawyers. Typically, in cities engulfed in chaos, it’s a permissive environment. The cops work with us. They take custody of arrestees, hold them, and the DA prosecutes them. Hospitals take in our wounded and sick. We use local government property to operate out of. We have access to the infrastructure of society. But what if the Democrat regime refuses to allow all that? Then the troops are on their own; it’s now an invasion, and while doable logistically, it takes a massive footprint.
A permissive environment solves some, but not all of the issues we will review. A non-permissive environment makes the whole thing exponentially worse.First, let’s think through the force package. Who do we send, and under what rules?
We keep hearing about the National Guard, but few understand it. The Guard is a reserve force trained and equipped just like active duty troops and containing a large number of active duty veterans (I joined after serving in Desert Storm). It works for the state governor – the Democrat who hates Trump – unless it is “federalized,” in which case it becomes an active duty unit and Trump is its commander-in-chief. Now, federal troops are barred from enforcing civilian law by the Posse Comitatus Act, unless the president invokes the Insurrection Act. On state status, Posse Comitatus does not apply and Guard forces are not prohibited by federal law from enforcing civilian law.
We interrupt to point out most strenuously that this is very important to understand. This is why we hear rather topical remarks such as “the military cannot be deployed on United States soil,” because to use them, the President must invoke the Insurrection Act. To date, these riots are not insurrections. The complicity of the Democrat governments involved makes it very close, but this is not good enough. It makes good sense for the President to be absolutely positive that an insurrection exists, and that such an insurrection is not just his call, but agreed to by a majority consensus. By definition this would be hard to do in a real insurrection, but at the same time, this is the risk involved when leading a nation whose people are Constitutionally defended from government, a fact that people in other constitutional nations do not understand because they do not have this right.
The alternative here is that Guard forces are allowed to enforce civilian law if not federalized, but when the governors and mayors do not want the Guard in the first place, and where they do not want the law enforced… one can see where this goes. These crazy Democrats are trying to eliminate police. Why would they want even more powerful police? They don’t. And here we are. Back to Kurt:
Got it? Seems complicated, huh? Yeah, because it’s a giant cluster fark that only gets more farked as we dive in to the details of implementing the idea of sending in soldiers.
Oregon has the 41st IBCT. It has five “maneuver battalions,” the ~500-soldier or so sub-units that would actually be on the street (well, maybe two-thirds tops of those units’ personnel would actually be on the street with guns. All the rest are support, as are the IBCT’s other units). Only three battalions are actually in Oregon, and one of those is an artillery unit. The rest are in other states. What is the readiness of the 41st? Are elements deployed overseas? What’s their manning? Their maintenance readiness? Who knows?Maybe Trump uses federal forces, like the 82nd Airborne Division’s ready brigade. Now they have to fly from Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, to Portland. Can they land at the airport? Remember, it’s a non-permissive environment. Will the Democrat regime refuse to allow them to land, or if they do land, refuse to service the planes? I guess we need to send in an Air Force airbase unit to run things. That’s more troops.
And how are we supporting this rapidly expanding force package? Will local contractors serve the military, or be too intimidated to work with the military (they will still be in Portland long after the Army goes home). I guess we could bring in a support brigade. We’re over 10,000 troops now. Say, how do we get their vehicles there? Drive them across the country? Put them on trains? That takes time.
Where does this military force assemble if the state and local government are not letting them use local facilities? Maybe the military just moves into, say, a stadium parking lot to use as a base. And maybe a federal judge issues an injunction saying it can’t. Oh, we’ll need more troops to defend this logistics and command and control base. And we’ll need a combat support hospital in case the local government refuses to allow local hospitals to treat the sick and wounded. Please, try and maintain a straight face saying there is no way Democrat politicians in a blue city would forbid our troops from getting medical care.
Let’s put the awkward issues of logistics aside and talk tactics, though professionals always think logistics while amateurs only think tactics. What do the troops actually do? Patrol? Got to wait on our vehicles. Do they go arrest looters? For what? If the looters violate federal law – like crossing a state line to riot – that’s easy. You hook them up, turn them over to the federal cops and the US attorney prosecutes them. But what if they commit a state crime, which most routine crimes are? In LA ‘92, we grabbed a crook and handed him over to the LAPD and he went to jail and got prosecuted. But the Portland police will be ordered not to cooperate. Moreover, the Portland DA will not charge them, much less prosecute them. What do you do with them? How do the feds hold a rioter for a state crime that he is not charged with?
Non-permissive environments suck, huh?
Then there is the rules of engagement (ROE) issue. What are the ROE going to be? Basically, the ROE outlines what force can you use on the rioters, with particular interest in when you can shoot them. That’s always a huge deal. You want these soldiers to go out and do something to the rioters, so you need to decide what. Remember, they are the ones who can get prosecuted if they kill someone. Oh, Trump’s Department of Justice won’t prosecute them today, but will a Democrat administration’s DOJ do that tomorrow? Don’t scoff – British ex-soldiers today are, despicably, getting prosecuted for killing IRA terrorists in Northern Ireland back in the 1970s.
Now, the Democrat regime would love nothing more than for a military unit to open fire on “peaceful protestors.” So, would the media. Looking for fairness? How many of the mainstream outlets have reported that one of the criminals Kyle Rittenhouse shot in self-defense was a convicted pedophile? The demagogues are aching for Trump to throw them into the briar patch of a military crackdown. Remember, this whole riot scheme is an information operation designed to present the country as out of control and Trump as, alternatively, ineffectual or authoritarian.
By argument, it is also the case that plots like this are going to multiply exponentially as we get close to November, unless the President and his people can outsmart the rioters, perhaps in the way that seems to be taking shape organically now. BLM’s popularity is falling according to some surveys, and in fact, most blacks surveyed want police protection, so the Defund the Police movement appears to be cracking at the very least. The challenge for the Democrats is how to keep these people angry enough to commit violence that tries to draw a violent response.
A further comment: It is vitally important to realize that BLM / Antifa is indeed far, far to the left. They exist in Marxist territory philosophically, and their approach has been carefully crafted to impact Americans where they live in terms of worldview. Were it the case that some radical socialists were to try to sell socialism purely on an economic basis in the United States, it would still probably fail. Bernie Sanders is unabashedly socialist and honest about it much more so than not, but the reason Biden is the candidate for President and Sanders is not is because the rest of the Democrat Party knows that America will not cede her wealth to become uniformly poor. There has to be another, more provocative selling point. This year, we got two of them: COVID-19 and how it is handled, and this walks hand-in-hand with the fabrication of “racist injustice” or any other parallel term. Remember, this pandemic was predicted by Dr Anthony Fauci in 2017, it is not outside the realm of possibility that all of this is a globalist plot to stop Trump and prevent him from joining forces with President Vladimir Putin to put a complete hammerlock on secular globalism.
Conspiracy theory? Maybe, but certainly a lot of pieces are present, aren’t they. More about that some other time. Let’s return to Kurt:
These rioters have no actual power. They don’t hold ground and a determined police response by local cops with a DA who prosecutes them would scatter them. The Democrats are using them to intimidate voters into accepting Biden’s implicit argument that if we allow the liberal establishment back into power, these bad people will go away (they won’t, but that’s what the Dems want you to think). These Antifa and BLM street punks can serve the liberal elite’s cause just as well as martyrs.
Here we must interject. Kurt is correct in a sense: the rioters have no hard power. However, I was reminded of some events in history to bring up:
The National Guard was activated by President John F Kennedy, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and by President Richard M. Nixon. Both Kennedy’s and Eisenhower’s activations were to enforce school integration, allowing black students to attend formerly “all-white” schools as determined legal by the Supreme Court. Richard Nixon’s activation was in response to a strike by the US Postal Service and helped both in distrubuting the mail during the strike and also to bring the strike to a close.
But in these situations, the factor of “the court of public opinion” was probably different than it is now. Here the force of opinion of the nation was likely to be clearly behind the school integration, and also clearly behind ending the postal strike. In the current situation, the sentiment that the riots must be stopped and that Black Lives Matter is not supported by the vocal majority of the nation likely are nowhere near what they ought to be for an activation to be anything but fodder for the Trump-hating press. However, BLM is getting on more and more people’s ‘excrement list’ as their beastly brutality continues.
Bottom Line: All in all, sending military forces into a non-permissive environment in a blue city is a recipe for disaster.
It’s easy to fume about Trump not waving his magic camo wand and making the Antifa and BLM rioters disappear, but the reality of the situation created by the Democrat regime makes it a disaster waiting to happen. You either go in and essentially invade the cities and use an iron fist to crush the rioters – and make Kent State’s body count look as paltry as the audience for a Joe Biden rally – or you alienate some on your own side when you refuse to save the Democrat demagogues’ bacon by becoming the villain in their information operation.
These hard truths are not to say there is nothing for the feds to do. Until the Democrat regimes decide this needs to end and cooperate, the feds should do one of the few things the feds are good at – taking down large criminal organizations.
Antifa is just like the drug cartels with less testosterone, and just like the mafia except with worse clothes and less testosterone.
The feds should ignore the street thugs who make up the shock troops. It was no coincidence that 100 percent of the people Kyle shot had criminal records.
The feds should focus on the LARPing middle class SJWs and the dedicated Marxist cadre and use RICO, conspiracy, and other federal charges to take them out and lock them up. When little Ashleigh from the suburbs realizes that she’s looking at five years in federal prison instead of heading back to the Evergreen State to finish her Bolivian Trans Dance of the 13th Century degree, the lawyer daddy buys her will get her to sing like a canary about her commie pals. The feds should identify and map the whole criminal organization, identify its players and funding, and wipe it out.
Look, it’s perfectly understandable to be frustrated. But getting mad at Trump because he is not doing something that would turn into the cluster fark to end all cluster farks is doing exactly what the liberal elite and its media minions want. Let Portland and the rest of the blue cities trash themselves. Let the DOJ, which has already charged dozens of these degenerates with federal beefs, do its thing. And make sure you get out and vote straight Republican if you want any hope of this ever ending.
Once again, we are incredibly grateful to Kurt for putting all this in one place.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.