17 March 2009

Presidential Pretention

According to this Military.com article, Obama is "considering deploying National Guard troops to the border."

Huh.

He "doesn't want to 'militarize' the border," BUT...

Well, what would you call it when you have military forces on the border? What's wrong with "militarizing" it?

I'm all for militarizing the border to keep cartel violence out, (though preferably by arming citizens), but it seems to me that the President is missing a step in the chain of command.

He doesn't order Guard troops anywhere.

He asks the governor of a state if he (or she) would be willing to allow the feds to temporarily mobilize some of that state's Guard forces.

As a Guard family, (and there's a big reason I like being state-level), I find this mingling of federal and state powers rather troubling - especially given the Arizona's governor's angling to make sure her state's Guard is mobilized under federal authority.

Am I just way off-base here? Does this happen all the time? Or am I right to be bothered by it?

3 comments:

Jennifer Dunn said...

I don't know a lot about the National Guard--but any time the Feds step in at the State level, it sounds foreboding.

Ann said...

I agree. I don't know much, either, but there should not be a presumption of authority over the guard. That is a STATE-level job, and not one that he should be doing!

Carissa said...

Remember when President Bush wanted to "federalize" Lousiana's guard troops after Katrina in 2005?

Well, in 2006, he and Congress greatly increased executive control over the National Guard through the 2007 Defense Authorization Bill... widening the Insurrection Act to include:

"a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that--" (blah blah blah)

Thankfully, these changes were repealed in 2008, probably due to ALL 50 governors opposing the presidential increase in power. But while they were in effect, Bush legally could have declared a public emergency (HIS definition) and stationed the military anywhere in America, (including taking control of National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities).

The President has had authority to use the National Guard in a limited capacity (congressionally declared war or state of emergency) since the National Defense Act of 1916. But I always assumed that it was with the consent of the governor(s).