There is no better use for our military than guarding our own border

· November 2, 2018  
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Trump with military copters
Brendan Smialowski | Getty Images

This is akin to a “Gaza moment” for our border. Thankfully, with Operation Faithful Patriot and the deployment of 5,200 troops, the president appears to be taking it as seriously as the Israelis take their border.

Evidently, our political class believes that the U.S. military was created solely for urban renewal and social work projects in Kabul, Baghdad, Raqqa, and Mogadishu, but not for the purpose of protecting our border. In fact, that is almost the only role of our military that our Founders envisioned. It is the one military deployment that the president can order unilaterally without a congressional declaration of war, because it is purely defensive. The president is right to deploy soldiers, because the time has come to treat our own border with as much respect and care as we would other countries’ borders.

Yesterday, President Trump announced before the world that we are indeed a sovereign nation and will finally treat our border – the national private property of all the citizenry – with the respect it deserves. There are already several thousand troops down at the border, and he intends to increase the numbers. It’s about time. We don’t want to spend $700 billion per year on the military so that it can referee Islamic tribal wars or nation-build overseas. Our first priority needs to be our own border.

What about the Border Patrol, you might ask?

How open-border policies creating caravans endanger our national security

Here’s the reality. If one believes we need to deploy our military around the world, then our need for them on our border is that much greater. Some 72,000 people died here last year from drugs, most of them due to heroin, cocaine, and meth laced with fentanyl brought in by the drug cartels. How is it brought in? Through military-style operations of the cartels, which strategically throw the bogus asylum seekers into the arms of the border agents and then send in the drugs, gangs, and special interest aliens through the gaps created by the diversion.

Brandon Judd, president of the Border Patrol Council, active-duty agent, and former instructor at the Border Patrol Academy, explained it to me as follows:

In the past, criminal cartels have exploited the caravans by forcing individuals in the caravans to cross the border illegally, thereby forcing the Border Patrol to use resources to take the individuals into custody. This depletes our resources because it takes agents out of the field for processing. Taking agents out of the field creates artificial gaps in our coverage and allows cartels to smuggle [in] their higher-value contraband, such as opioids and criminal aliens or persons from special-interest countries, through the gaps.

The damage to America’s safety and security is incalculable, and it is that gap that needs to be closed. There are likely hundreds of thousands of these dangerous individuals who come over every year undetected, thanks to the bogus asylum claims that occupy the Border Patrol. The Arizona Sherriff’s Association warned in a letter last month that Border Patrol “is currently using up to 40% of their available staff to monitor family units.”

This is where the military comes in. “The military will be able to monitor the gaps and will be able to alert us to any crossings, thereby cutting into the cartels’ profits,” said Judd, who is thankful for the deployment of the military. “If we’re able to cut into profits, the cartels themselves will stop these caravans from coming because it puts too much pressure and attention on their illegal enterprise.”

Judd’s point is that the cartels operate like any other logical economy, though with the brute tactics and firepower of a foreign army. They have to show results to their clients. A 50 percent chance of being apprehended is not good enough for those who are criminals and will likely be thrown in prison if caught by Border Patrol. They have to guarantee them success in crossing, which is why the caravans and fake asylum seekers are so dangerous. Guess which ones will likely be smuggled through privately while the women and children are sent to the border agents under the watchful eye of the officious media?

What was very telling about Trump’s announcement is that he didn’t just speak of the caravan. He talked about the hundreds of thousands we fail to catch every year. There’s the equivalent of a caravan coming over every day. Despite the pictures from the media focusing on women, three quarters of those coming are males, and in some sectors, such as Laredo, it’s as high as 88 percent. Many of them have become violent and have injured Mexican police with rocks and bottles. Trump was right to sternly warn them that the military will treat this like an invasion. Rocks can kill and have killed border agents in the past.

Our own military can guard our own border

Finally, the public needs to understand that the cartels, such as Sinaloa and Zetas, are every bit as violent as ISIS and Hezbollah. They are right on our border and are responsible for the death of tens of thousands of Americans as well as endless violence on our side of the border. There should not be one inch of American soil that is not safe, and we should never deploy a single soldier overseas until our own territory is secure. This is not just for Americans, but for Mexicans as well. Nearly 30,000 Mexicans were murdered last year because of the cartel turf wars created by the lax immigration policies implemented by the Obama administration. Why is it that the media is obsessed with every murder in the Middle East, yet couldn’t care less about thousands dying a stone’s throw away from El Paso? I’m not a big fan of nation-building, but if we actually want to “stabilize” nations through military intervention, Mexico is the most important country to stabilize. And that begins by first securing our own side of the border.  That will be a warning shot to the cartels that we mean business.

I’m already seeing ignorant pundits suggest that somehow the deployment of our military on our own border violates the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act. The law was signed by President Grant to prohibit the military from being used to enforce domestic Reconstruction-era laws against American citizens in the southern states, absent direct authorization from Congress. To repel an invasion at our border — any invasion — is actually the quintessential use of our military that our Founders had in mind. Article IV, Section 4 of the Constitution tasks the federal government with guaranteeing states’ protection against invasion, and we owe it to Arizona and Texas to secure their territory. And unlike “offensive expeditions” that George Washington felt required congressional authorization for deploying troops, the use of the military to fight the drug cartels and smuggling is part of “the power to repel sudden attacks” that James Madison and Elbridge Gerry promised at the constitutional convention would be left to the executive.

Trump has shown strong leadership as commander in chief on this issue. But there is one issue that even the military cannot solve: our own legal masochism. The caravan is now suing us in our own federal courts. If the Trump administration even legitimizes this lawsuit by sending DOJ attorneys to defend the case rather than simply treating this potential judge as a lawbreaker of all judicial precedent, no army in the world can stop the invasion by lawfare.


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Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.