Why Trump Doesn’t Just 'Send In the
by Kurt Schlichter Posted: Sep 03, 2020 12:01
Source: AP Photo/Morry Gash
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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