Earlier by Washington Watcher : The U.S. Military Is Woke—Patriots Must Demand Court Martials, Forced Retirements
As Ann Coulter noted last night, we’ve just learned that near the end of his term as President, Donald Trump wanted to send troops to the border to protect America from the invasion—an idea “quashed” by Mark T. Esper, Secretary of Defense:
Trump’s Pentagon Chief Quashed Idea to Send 250,000 Troops to the Border, by David E. Sanger, Michael D. Shear and Eric Schmitt, October 19, 2021
“Top national security aides to former President Trump also talked him out of launching military raids against drug cartels inside Mexico.”
As Ann said:
Of course, the Times’ take is: Isn’t he awful? Yes, New York Times, because he didn’t do it. Not because he said he would.
It is obviously wrong for the Secretary of Defense—a Trump appointee—to “quash” attempts by the President to defend the country. Esper had earlier “quashed” attempts to defend Americans (and the White House) from the looting, burning, and murdering mobs of Black Lives Matter and antifa, as James Kirkpatrick reported in July of last year:
Defense Secretary Mark Esper, a Trump appointee, reportedly opposed the President’s desire to use federal troops to quell the BLM riots in Washington, D.C., and the Pentagon countermanded the president’s troop deployment orders. James Mattis, Trump’s former defense secretary and a former Marine general, strongly criticized Trump’s riot response and sided with the protesters [Pentagon-Trump clash breaks open over military and protests, by Zeke Miller, Jonathan Lemire, Michael Balsamo and James LaPorta, Associated Press, June 4, 2020].
Here's how, according to the New York Times, Esper is supposed to have reacted to proposals to use the American Armed Forces to actually defend America:
In the spring of 2020, Mark T. Esper, the defense secretary, was alarmed to learn of an idea under discussion at a top military command and at the Department of Homeland Security to send as many as 250,000 troops — more than half the active U.S. Army, and a sixth of all American forces — to the southern border in what would have been the largest use of the military inside the United States since the Civil War. [Emphasis added throughout]
When the NYT says “inside the United States,” it means “defending the border with Mexico.” My position (repeated here on our site over a dozen times) is that defending borders is what armies are for.
With the coronavirus pandemic raging, Stephen Miller, the architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda, had urged the Homeland Security Department to develop a plan for the number of troops that would be needed to seal the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico. It is not clear whether it was officials in homeland security or the Pentagon who concluded that a quarter of a million troops would be required.
The concept was relayed to officials at the Defense Department’s Northern Command, which is responsible for all military operations in the United States and on its borders, according to several former senior administration officials. Officials said the idea was never presented formally to Mr. Trump for approval, but it was discussed in meetings at the White House as they debated other options for closing the border to illegal immigration.
Mr. Esper declined to comment. But people familiar with his conversations, who would speak about them only on condition of anonymity, said he was enraged by Mr. Miller’s plan. In addition, homeland security officials had bypassed his office by taking the idea directly to military officials at Northern Command. Mr. Esper also believed that deploying so many troops to the border would undermine American military readiness around the world, officials said.
After a brief but contentious confrontation with Mr. Miller in the Oval Office, Mr. Esper ended consideration of the idea at the Pentagon. [Emphases added]
Note the anonymity of all this. I have no doubt that the Trump Administration was full of people disloyal to both the United States and to Trump personally who will leak things to the NYT, but it’s also true that many things you see in the Main Stream Media from “anonymous” sources may have been just made up.
However, one of the reporters in the article above, Michael D. Shear [Tweet him], is coauthor with Julie Hirschfeld Davis of Border Wars: Inside Trump's Assault on Immigration, also containing a lot of leaking by disloyal aides.
For example, this Esper story says, with tones of horror:
Mr. Trump’s obsession with the southern border was already well known by that time. He had demanded a wall with flesh-piercing spikes, repeatedly mused about a moat filled with alligators, and asked about shooting migrants in the leg as they crossed the border. [n.b. The NYT doesn’t say so, but the Israelis actually do this]. His aides considered a heat-ray that would make migrants’ skin feel hot. [Links in original.]
Border Wars says that Kelly and Mattis, two of the disloyal aides, insisted that any additional fence or wall on the Border should be safe for migrants to climb. See A Reader Wonders Why Trump Isn't Putting Razor Wire On The Fence. The Answer Is He Tried, But Subordinates Refused.
Also in Border Wars we learned, as a result of apparent leaks, that the Trump Administration contained—until they betrayed him publicly—two intrepid warriors who believed that the Posse Comitatus Act somehow prevents the American Armed Forces from defending the country from invasion: Generals John Kelly, USMC, retired, and James "Mad Dog" Mattis, USMC, retired:
In the anti-terrorist panic after 9/11, various people made noises about changing it. (One of them was Senator Joe Biden [Biden backs letting soldiers arrest civilians, Washington Times, July 22, 2002].)
As early as 2006, when Bush was thinking about putting National Guard, rather than Army, troops on the Border, we noted that it's been repeatedly suggested that using the Army for border control would violate the Posse Comitatus Act. (E.g. Raoul Lowery Contreras, in the middle of an attack on VDARE in 2004: "It is illegal to put troops on the border" [Stop the flow of illegal aliens, CalNews.com, February 2, 2004].) No, it wouldn't—and it isn't.
Aside from the multiple modern exceptions to the Act, what is at issue here is a matter of guarding the border from foreign invaders. The Posse Comitatus Act is about not using the Army on Americans. These are Mexicans, Guatemalans, Haitians, and people from Africa, as well, of course, as various Muslim terrorist-exporting countries.
It’s true that there is a civilian agency called the Border Patrol (established almost 50 years after the Posse Comitatus Act) which arrests illegals crossing the border in the same way city police arrest a criminal. But with millions of illegals inside the U.S. already, and the recent record rush—the highest total ever recorded—for the border, this must be considered a failure.
A previous version of this article incorrectly said that Border Patrol arrests along the Mexico border reached their highest levels since 1986. Historical data shows [sic] fiscal year 2021’s figure was the highest total ever recorded. The article has been corrected.
[Border arrests have soared to all-time high, new CBP data shows, by Nick Miroff, Washington Post, October 20, 2021]
And the reason that Esper didn’t want to stop any of these invaders is because he thought that his responsibility, as Secretary of Defense, was to use American troops to maintain “American military readiness around the world”—i.e., to protect various places like Israel, South Korea, Britain, Germany, and Italy, plus maintaining the capability to start a war with Putin over the Ukraine or Tallinn.
Apparently, the U.S. Defense establishment wants to do anything with the U.S. Armed Forces but protect the United States from invasion.
This is too bad, because using the military to seize the illegals as they enter and detaining them under military guard—possibly, though not necessarily, on Guantanamo—would avoid a lot of the legal hassles we see with immigration courts and kritarchs.
But that would require not only an Administration loyal to the United States, but a military establishment that was similarly loyal. Now we know we just don’t have that.
Previous VDARE.com coverage of troops on the border