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Thread: Military and border security

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    Military and border security

    With all the chatter in the news about this (now 14000 strong) migrant caravan moving to the US, and Trump sending 800 troops to the border..
    What do YOU think the troop's roll should be?

    Should they be there for just logistical, medical and legal aid?
    Should they be there for 'overwatch"?
    Should they have more of a hands on approach, and if needed, use force to turn the caravan back?

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    Senior Member LogDog's Avatar
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    At the most, they should only provide technical and logistical support. They shouldn't be on the front lines doing the Border Patrol's job.

    I'd prefer they not be deployed and instead increase the number of Border Patrol agents so our National Guard.Reserves and active duty can focus on their normal duties.

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    Posse Comitatus
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

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    Mj.. Posse Comitatus only prevents the mil enforcing DOMESTIC laws on citizens. Illegal aliens, are not citizens, and not in country. Ergo enforcing our border securty would NOT be a violation of it.

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    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    Mj.. Posse Comitatus only prevents the mil enforcing DOMESTIC laws on citizens. Illegal aliens, are not citizens, and not in country. Ergo enforcing our border securty would NOT be a violation of it.
    Current opinion here within the Pentagon and at NORTHCOM is different.

    Posse Comitatus forbids use of the Army and AF (and by later regulation the USN & USMC) from enforcing domestic law, not just on citizens, but on anyone. Immigration law is domestic law, we can't get involved in that.

    Last week saw a quck summary that current JAG opinion is that we (military) would not be able to use force to prevent illegal immigration unless the individual were considered an 'invading force' (ie. were armed and fighting their way in). The military can render aid, support to ICE or the Border Patrol, but NORTHCOM is very limited by what they can do.

    Now, POTUS can declare a national emergency which effectively could suspend the law ... but I think he would run into some serious challenges and potential Congressional actions if he did.
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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    ...potential Congressional actions if he did.

    Ha ha ha ha...good one!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    Current opinion here within the Pentagon and at NORTHCOM is different.

    Posse Comitatus forbids use of the Army and AF (and by later regulation the USN & USMC) from enforcing domestic law, not just on citizens, but on anyone. Immigration law is domestic law, we can't get involved in that.

    Last week saw a quck summary that current JAG opinion is that we (military) would not be able to use force to prevent illegal immigration unless the individual were considered an 'invading force' (ie. were armed and fighting their way in). The military can render aid, support to ICE or the Border Patrol, but NORTHCOM is very limited by what they can do.

    Now, POTUS can declare a national emergency which effectively could suspend the law ... but I think he would run into some serious challenges and potential Congressional actions if he did.
    SO if in effect they can't do jack squat to stop this 'invasion' of illegal aliens. WHY THE HELL Bother send them?

    It's like if Mayor A of city Z, sends 400 riot police because of a pair of competing mass demonstrations, BUT THOSE officers get ordered to "don't interfere, just give them their space", What the hell was the point in sending the cops?

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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garhkal View Post
    SO if in effect they can't do jack squat to stop this 'invasion' of illegal aliens. WHY THE HELL Bother send them?
    Yes, why did he bother sending them?

    It's like if Mayor A of city Z, sends 400 riot police because of a pair of competing mass demonstrations, BUT THOSE officers get ordered to "don't interfere, just give them their space", What the hell was the point in sending the cops?
    It's a little different in that the police have the legal authority to act and in being there can interfere on a moment's notice when given a follow on order. If you don't send them at all, then if things escalate it would take more time to get them there and may be too late.


    All that said, I'm not read up on Posse Comitatus, it would seem to me that securing the border is a legitimate military function, but we do have border patrol for that.
    Last edited by Bos Mutus; 10-30-2018 at 07:28 PM.
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    Senior Member Bos Mutus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    Current opinion here within the Pentagon and at NORTHCOM is different.

    Posse Comitatus forbids use of the Army and AF (and by later regulation the USN & USMC) from enforcing domestic law, not just on citizens, but on anyone. Immigration law is domestic law, we can't get involved in that.

    Seems like they've been ordered to get involved...not clear if it'll be direct engagement or supporting...

    Last week saw a quck summary that current JAG opinion is that we (military) would not be able to use force to prevent illegal immigration unless the individual were considered an 'invading force' (ie. were armed and fighting their way in). The military can render aid, support to ICE or the Border Patrol, but NORTHCOM is very limited by what they can do. .
    What will NORTHCOM do if ordered by the POTUS to go against their current opinion on legal actions?
    Last edited by Bos Mutus; 10-30-2018 at 07:29 PM.
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    Administrator Mjölnir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    Seems like they've been ordered to get involved...not clear if it'll be direct engagement or supporting...
    By "get involved", I mean US military cannot be used for direct enforcement of domestic law, of which immigration law is part of. Basically the line between use of the military for Title 10 vs Title 32 purposes; the National Guard (non-federalized) could be used if a state Governor approved.

    US mil can provide support / logistical functions (provide intel, supply); US mil cannot conduct direct apprehension nor (based on the current ROE I have seen) engage with deadly force (unless in defense of vital resources, defense of US law enforcement etc.) again, unless POTUS goes the route of officially declaring a state of emergency and suspends posse comitatus. If he did that, I have a sense that Congress would (commensurate with thier Article 1 authority / powers) move to quickly create language that fences funds from the directed action which effectively would kill it and create an Executive vs Legislative branch crisis. I have my issues with POTUS, I don't think he will go down that route.

    The idea that US mil is going to use force in some form be physically roudning up these folks or will engage the caravan (as long as they remain non-violent) is wholly incorrect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bos Mutus View Post
    What will NORTHCOM do if ordered by the POTUS to go against their current opinion on legal actions?
    Don't know; am not CDR USNORTHCOM. That said ...

    Based on what has been disseminated from JCS & NORTHCOM, I think the planners to include WHMO personnel in the WH get this; I think POTUS gets it too ... what is said at a rally or on Twitter may differ; it plays well with those that want to hear it.
    The most important six inches on the battlefield ... is between your ears.

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