A Political Mission That Shouldn't Exist

The primary mission of the United States Army is serve the American people, defend the nation, protect vital national interests, and fulfill national military responsibilities.

Nowhere does that mission say "serve the personal interests of a major political party." Now, we could argue that part of the reason it doesn't say that is because political parties didn't exist when the Continental Congress authorized the creation of the US Army in 1775. But, I don't believe that the founders would have wanted each governor or president who holds power to use the military for personal political reasons. So what am I getting at today? I spend way too much time reading, and today, on this Christmas Eve, an article came across my desk from ArmyTimes.com, about a recent wave of suicides that have struck soldiers of the National Guard deployed to the southern border by a power-mad governor who seeks nothing more than a continuation of his power. These young men and women have been mistreated by their state; deployed on short notice with no care for the disruption of their lives, denied deferment or leave for no reason, or tenuous reasons, and forced to live in intolerable conditions in service to a state that doesn't understand the value of their service. There is no legitimate military mission on our southern border. There is no need for tanks, Humvees, and armed soldiers. There is vital need for men and women who work on the southern border in a humanitarian mission. There is a vital need for food, medicine, blankets, and shelter on the southern border, and this need is only exasperated by sending soldiers, many of whom are being forced to sleep in their vehicles and live in tents, to the border. Finally, there is a desperate need in this country for rule of law. The military does not have police powers in this country, and this is clearly spelled out in the Posse Comitatus Act, which is a perfectly functioning law that builds on the important safeguards of the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution. So here, as I celebrate Christmas with loved ones, 10,000 Texas NG and State Police units are deployed to a border where they have no mission except to protect the political interests of a mad man. Oh, did I mention that the Texas legislature also cut tuition assistance for these soldiers and police officers, during the fall semester in which many were counting on that money to pay their bills. A directionless mission, a humanitarian crisis, and a state that believes it gets to set foreign policy by doing whatever it wants. We have to do better than this...

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