Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Little Dutch boy.

So with great fanfare, National Guard troops are being trained up and moved to the southern border:
Arizona will receive most of the forces with 524 troops, while Texas will get 250, California 224 and New Mexico just 72, officials said Monday. Additional troops will perform administrative work.
Stop laughing.

Seriously? Seriously? If all we're going to do is phone it in like this, why even go through the charade?


Carteach said...

A few token soldiers with no ammunition and orders to do absolutely nothing, or face court martial.

Go team Fail.

Bram said...

A few years ago my Guard unit got a border mission. When we found out that we weren't taking any weapons, I quickly unvolunteered. I have better things to do with my time than symbolic BS.

Anonymous said...

Do these redeployments count as a "new job" created, or do they count as a "job saved"?

Shootin' Buddy

Brian Dunbar said...

A few token soldiers with no ammunition

From the article: "The airmen and soldiers will be armed but they will be limited by rules of engagement .."

This suggests they will have ammunition. ROE could be ducked in other ways of course.

If all we're going to do is phone it in like this,

Depends on what the soldiers are doing. 72 grunts to drive back and forth across the border ain't much. 72 air guardsmen operating surveillance drones or aircraft can do a great deal.

Borepatch said...

Security Kabuki. The only appropriate response is mockery.

JD said...

Hey, Now Obama can call himself Tough on Border Issues!

Living in Babylon said...

Hey, at least by the end of it we will be even more comfortable with military law enforcement handling civil matters. I'm sure that makes everyone much more comfortable.

Jim said...

A corporal's guard with no ammo? That isn't enough to scare anyone but the French.

Standard Mischief said...

Bush did it too , although he send 6,000 unarmed troops at the time to appear to pretend to do something about kinda sorta defending our southern border against gun shows (or something like that).

Tam said...

Standard Mischief,

Thank you for informing me of that! I was a huge Bush fan until just now, when you let me know that the whole Department of Security Kabuki was invented on his watch. ;)

(And yes, standing up a handful of Nat'l Guard troops is traditionally what we do instead of something.)

Desertrat said...

SW of Sierra Blanca, parity would be Humvees with Ma Deuces. Superiority would be Bradleys.

Around Fort Hancock? Delta would be a nice start...


Anonymous said...

Ever hear of the Posse Comitatus Act?

Bram said...

Living in Babylon - Defending the nation's borders is what an army does.

Tam said...

Anon 9:11,

"Ever hear of the Posse Comitatus Act?"

Doesn't apply to non-Federalized Nat'l Guard troops.

Anonymous said...

In DOD speak armed means issued rifles. It does not mean issued ammo.

Out in Lower East Jezus, AZ and have to radio back for permission to kill a rattlesnake with a rock.

Some fun.


ParatrooperJJ said...

What they really need are sniper teams with full deadly force authorization.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't apply to non-Federalized Nat'l Guard troops.

There are a number of situations in which the Act does not apply. These include:

* National Guard units while under the authority of the governor of a state;

I don't think these troops are under the authority of their respective governors, therefore the Act should apply.

I may be wrong.

epochelyptikal said...

So just for the sake of argument, lets theorize that our southern border was being invaded by armed elements of a foreign country.

The "National Guard" can't be used to defend that border?

Border patrol and local AZ PDs only?

Tam said...


The Posse Comitatus Act is one of the most widely misunderstood pieces of legislation on teh intertubes. At its root, it makes it illegal to order the U.S. (Federal) military to be used to enforce the nation's laws.

Stopping a foreign army is not "enforcing the law" (ie nobody's getting arrested and charged with "misdemeanor invading and entering",) so the act would not apply in that case.

Non-federalized Nat'l Guard troops operating on the soil of their own state are not the U.S. Army; the governor of your state has the authority to order troops out to enforce the law and no federal law prevents it.

Standard Mischief said...


I just *Knew* you were a closet GOPer! Now I have proof!

Since Sarah Palin is courting the tea party movement, (and because she's "like a Heinlein character come to life"), maybe she'll convert the entire GOP and then attend the fence building ribbon cutting ceremony on our southern border!

Bubblehead Les. said...

I wonder what would happen if Az. Gov. Jan Brewer ordered the Az. Nat'l. Guard to the Border (that move would have to be paid out of the State's pocketbook)? Would Holder and the DOJ then file a lawsuit against the state for doing the exact same thing that they (the Federales) are doing?

Tam said...

Standard Mischief,

"...attend the fence building ribbon cutting ceremony..."

Like we could afford to build a fence without using cheap off-the-books labor... :p

Carteach said...

Actually Tam, I suspect a southern border fence could be built almost entirely with volunteer labor. There seem to be that many people upset enough, that it would be possible.

Of course, the labor unions would pitch a fit and send in their goons, but dragging a few dozen of them across the desert for an hour behind jeeps would thin their ardor quite a bit.

Standard Mischief said...

We can hire some of my friends that hang out at the home center, cheap.

It's all above the board with no need to issue a 1099 if we keep the payments to under $600 per employee ;)

Talk about cooking the books, you can hire people at $10/hr to work 7 days at 8 hours each day and every new person hired is a job created by the Feds, even if they're employed for less than a fortnight.

Tam said...

Why even need to build a border fence if we stop handing out free stuff to anybody who asks?

Clean the pile of sugar off the kitchen floor and the ant problem goes away.

Stop enticing freeloaders and then the only people who come in will be the ones you want.

Bram said...

Bubblehead Les:

Obama could federalize the AZ National Guard and order them back to base.

Will said...

The feds can order the Guard to "patrol" the border, but if the orders are that they do nothing (literally) except call in observations of cross border movements, they are good to go. I'm pretty sure they would have to get permission to even defend themselves when out there. Really good chance the grunts will not be carrying ammo. May or may not have some stored under lock and key aboard their vehicles. Reason being they killed some US citizens a few years ago while "observing" the border. Hmmm, that may have been US Army troops that did that, memory's not so hot.

Standard Mischief said...

We need a fence to protect Mexican drug gangs from gun shows, silly.

Matt G said...

If they ran heel-to-toe shifts (which is just silly), they could maintain about 500 people along a ~1951 mile border, or 1 guardsman for every 4 miles of rugged terrain. But given scheduling, it's going to end up being 1 guardsman for every 8 miles, IF they were spread out evenly.

However, it looks like AZ and CA get the highest concentration. The TX and NM portion of the border represents about 2/3 of the border, but will be getting maybe 1/3 of the force.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"However, it looks like AZ and CA get the highest concentration. The TX and NM portion of the border represents about 2/3 of the border, but will be getting maybe 1/3 of the force."

Hmmm. Just to be cynical about it for a minute: California has the most electoral votes, so that explains that. TX has the next highest number, but AZ has been very much in the public eye because of their new enforcement law, so AZ gets more than TX. NM has the smallest portion of the border except for CA (maybe, I'm eyeballing it), so they get less than TX.

The upcoming Congressional elections probably play into it more, but I don't know how that all balances out and compares.

staghounds said...

Here's a thought experiment:

Some rabble rouser in Mexico whips up a crowd, say 2500 people. Fires them up to head north- men, women, children, whatever- and tells them, "Whatever you do, don't stop. If they physically stop you, keep trying. if they let go, start walking north."

And the whole crowd crosses the border.

It's physically impossible to arrest that many people without several thousand arrestors on hand, and a place to put arrestee one while you're hooking up arrestee two.

"Sir, there are fourteen of us. The cameras are here too, women and children in front. Do we shoot or stand aside?"

What if it's 10,000? 30,000? 125,000?

What if it's 5000 young men?

What if they are empty handed, but wearing Mexican army uniforms?

What if it's 100,000 of them?

Do you really believe that ANYONE with authority will order that for CNN tonight? Machine gunning unarmed men?

If we won't shoot, we don't have a border, we just have a game.

And until breaking in hurts worse than staying in Chiapas, the sugar is all there is on the floor.

Kristophr said...

Scorpion pits. Lots of scorpion pits.

NotClauswitz said...

I thought one feature of this republic was Civilian control of the Military? Not to worry, Sheriff Joe has a Ma-Deuce! The drug and human smugglers often employ Zetas - the Mex paramilitaries who were trained here and went AWOL. Thunderdome is approaching, but it's not in Australia.
Arpaio - that's not a name out of the Anglosphere, is it?

Anonymous said...

Ron White has a valid point that the further south the southern border is, the shorter the fence needs to be. Hell, you could use the north bank of the Panama Canal if you wanted to.


Ed Foster said...

Does Arizona have a State Guard?

Not all Guard units were nationalized in 1905, only "select" units.

If Arizona has a State Guard, equipped and financed by the State, the Feds can't touch it, and the Governor could enlist whomever she wanted to be in it.

In the Rhode Island Guard, we get two sets of utilities a year and free online training. One dance a year, quarterly meetings, and free ammo for the personal weapons (of military caliber) we carry to the state ranges.

Shooting sessions count as monthly meetings, and we get about as many as we want. Just call ahead for scheduling and ammo.

I would imagine Arizona and it's neighboring states (RI accepts enlistments from permit-carrying former military from CT and MA) could scrape up quite a goodly number of willing recruits.

With the leg units heavy on night ops and providing a small reaction force during the day, State PD choppers and CAP air assets from sunup to sunset, call it a platoon every 10 miles, with interlocking 81 mm mortars firing illumination and smoke.

There's a grenadier and a medic with each patrol, carrying first aid gear and teargas. 10 men per mile, rotated out every 2 days. Call it a light division, maybe 8,000 men, with 2,000 on duty any given 48 hour period.

Arizona gives them legal min plus three hots and a cot, and they draft Joe Arpaio to run the tent camps the illegals are put in until the Feds accept them for processing. Another 1,000 State Guard to do that.

Imagine Governor Jan accepting the resignation of thousands of National Guardsmen and okaying their transfer to the State Guard. The media would be hysterical, screaming anologies to Fort Sumpter. I would love it.

The only problem I see is that maybe half the border is Federal land or Indian reservation. They might have to pull the line back along Rt. 8 and look for leakers coming across Barry's property. Still, it makes resupply easy.

Bubblehead Les. said...

The main problem with the whole border situation is that to seal the Southern Border up properly takes Political Will. The "Boss Hogs" Republicans won't support it because they're afraid they may lose their slave, er "cheap" labor (which is why the "Conservative" Gov. Perry of Texas said that "The Arizona law isn't right for Texas"), while the DemiCommies won't support it 'cause they'd lose too many votes trying to keep the poor locked up in their Feudal Estates, err, "Ethnically Diverse Sanctuary Cities"(Hate to have to downsize a Congressional District when there aren't enough people in it, don'tcha know?). And since half of the eligible voters will spend hours bitchin', moanin', whinin' and gripin' 'bout the Gooberment, yet won't take a half hour to Vote come Election Time, there won't be much one can do until the SHTF Big Time, and that would have to be like a Dozen 9/11s scattered around the country on the same day. All we can realistically do is hope that there'll be an honest election,stockpile, and get some range time in while waiting to hear Revere come a ridin' down the road, IMHO.

Ed Foster said...

Bubble, I think that the real costs of illegals have made an enourmous difference in Republican attitudes in the last few years.

Make them legal and they become too expensive, get replaced by the next wave of illegals, and end up on welfare, voting Democrat.

The two parties aren't the same, or the TeaPartiers would be stockpiling weapons instead of organizing PACs.

The Republicans are potentially salvageable, the Democrats hopelessly dedicated to being in charge by any means, even if it means being captain of a sinking ship.

I've worked with hundreds of illegals, as the little lassez-faire aerospace jobshops around here are full of them. Raids are rare, and payoffs the norm. Not everybody at INS is corrupt, but you only need one person in the Federal/local P.D. chain willing to "do a favor" for the entire process to fall apart.

Basically, you only get hit once (at 5 grand a head,ouch), then you "get a friend". I've seen a large shop "lose" half it's employees (and their timecards) two minutes after a single phone call.

The entire process could be replaced with an anonymous bonus program. Turn in an illegal, get a grand. Turn in an employer of illegals, get 2 grand. Take it with you on your way back to Warsaw, Sonora, or Cheng Dhu. Simple and capitalist.

The pickup day laborer market down at Home Depot is common in liberal California or New York, unseen in any rural or greenbelt suburb I have experience with.

It's the yuppie in the Audi who hires them, not the local landscaper with the large network of sons, nephews, neighbors,former employees, and teenaged relatives of former employees.

Geodkyt said...


I may be mistaken, but I believe the Department of the Navy is ALSO not subject to Posse Comitatus -- the Department of the Army (and since the USAF originally derives from the Army, it falls under Posse Comitatus as well).

TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 67 § 1385. Use of Army and Air Force as posse comitatus

Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

DoD Directive 5525.5 extends practical application to the Navy and Marine Corps -- but that is not LAW, and can be overridden by the President with a phone call. . . he make the exemption a classified one (it wouldn't be hard to write the justification statement for that classification, either).

Cabinet level officals (AG, Defense, and Navy would have to agree) can provide exemptions to DODD 5525.5 in regards to Navy and USMC personnel. One reason for such an exception is stated right in the DODD:

E4.3.2.1. The size or scope of the suspected criminal activity poses a serious threat to the interests of the United States and enforcement of a law within the jurisdiction of the civilian agency would be impaired seriously if the assistance were not provided because civilian assets are not available to perform the missions; or