Guardsmen Attacked and Overrun at U.S. Border

BY Herschel Smith
7 years, 6 months ago

**** SCROLL FOR UPDATES ****

A U.S. Border Patrol entry Identification Team site was overrun Wednesday night along Arizona’s border with Mexico. Note that this is not the Syrian-Iraqi border, but the U.S. border.

According to the Border Patrol, an unknown number of gunmen attacked the site in the state’s West Desert Region around 11 p.m. The site is manned by National Guardsmen. Those guardsmen were forced to retreat.

So how is it that Guardsmen are forced to retreat when attacked at the U.S. border? The answer lies in understanding the assigned mission of the Guardsmen. The current administration and many in Congress see America as a “state of mind” rather than a place to live and defend. Border security is not taken seriously because they do not believe in an America with borders.

This explains the role of the Guardsmen. Since arriving in mid-June, the Guard has assisted the Border Patrol by manning control rooms, repairing roads, fences and vehicles, and spotting and reporting illegal border crossings to the Border Patrol. President Bush said last spring he would have up to 6,000 National Guard troops deployed to assist the Border Patrol.

Note well. The Guardsmen are not even armed. Posse Comitatus does not prevent the use of U.S. troops from performing functions on U.S. soil, even policing functions. It just requires the approval of the President and Congress to use them in this manner. But because most people in Washington do not understand this, or simply do not care, the Guardsmen are not armed and are not instructed or even allowed to perform policing functions, even at the border with Mexico. They assist with roads, fences and office administrative functions.

It is manifestly obvious that to use U.S. warriors in this manner besmirches their honor and reputation, insults their dignity, puts them at undue risk, wastes their time and equipment, and turns them into road workers and administrative clerks. It is unseemly and scandalous in the superlative degree.

As a solution to this embarrassment, we should either arm them with M16A2s and instruct and empower them to arrest those who violate the sovereignty of the United States and kill those who resist, or let them go home, after which we can admit to our children that we don’t care about the security of our country any more.

**** UPDATE ****

Courtesy of Oak Leaf at Polipundit, we have this informative post from June of 2006.

Unfortunately, I must report that “Armed� does not always mean “armed� as most Americans would understand. There are various states of being “armed.� These are called “Arming Orders (AO)� which define where the weapon “is,� where the magazine “is,� where the bullets “are� and where the bayonet “is.� They start at Arming Order One which could best be described as a “show of force� or “window dressing� in the worse case.

After considerable searching, I was able to find a complete copy of the Memorundum of Understanding/Rules of Engagement pertaining to the National Guard Deployment (“Operation Jump Start”), which I could then review.

After reviewing the MOU/ROE, I contacted several senior “in the loop� National Guard Officers that I have previously served with, to determine how many soldiers would be “armed� and their Arming Order number. After confirming The El Paso Times article that “very few soldiers there would carry weapons,� I was advised that during the next 90 days, amongst the few soldiers that have weapons, no soldier will have an Arming Order greater than AO-1, which means that an M-16 will be on the shoulder, there will be no magazine in the weapon (thats where the bullets come from), and the magazines stored inside the “ammunition pouch� will in most cases have no ammunition, they will be empty.

It was also conveyed to myself that in the unlikely event that a soldier is ever harmed on the border, the Arming Order will not be raised. Every individual I spoke to envisions no circumstance where there will ever be soldiers at AO-3/4, where a magazine with ammunition would be immediately available. Instead the soldiers will simply be kept farther away from the border if needed. They will be deliberately kept out of harms way.

I know you are thinking (maybe screaming), “but Why?� The easy public relations answer is that a soldier could kill someone. The National Guard is going to ensure that there is not a repeat of the incident in which Esequiel Hernández was killed by a US Marine along the Border.

There are also numerous regulations pertaining to weapons. There is a requirement that a soldier must qualify with his weapon on an annual basis. Reasonably, you must be “qualified� with your weapon before you may carry a weapon. However, ranges for weapons qualification are extremely limited. National Guard soldiers normally perform their once a year required qualification when they go to Annual Training at Ft. Stewart, Ft. McCoy…… This year they are going to “the border� and unless there is a “regulation M-16 qualification range� down the road, they will not be able to get qualified. There is also the question of weapon storage and how do you prevent theft.

If you click the hyperlink above, and read the Rules of Engagement, you will see that they provide for the right of self defense, however the question that must be asked is “defense with what?�

Note to Lou Dobbs: When you go to the Border to do filming, do a close up on the M-16s where the magazine is inserted, it will go over real well with the American People.

– Oak Leaf

Smith responds: Thanks Oak. Keep up the good work.



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  • http://www.copthetruth.typepad.com Mike@CopTheTruth

    I’ve seen updated intel saying that the troops were armed, but they certainly weren’t carrying ammo, like the Marines in Beruit in ’83. Another example of the politicians imposing ridiculous ROE’s on our troops while expecting them to do the impossible.

  • Dominique R. Poirier

    I think this incident may arouse concerns of another sort, which are, diplomacy, the image of the United States, and even risks of violence escalation.
    Actually, what if Guardsmen, the Border Patrol, or any other officials shoot back and kill or harm one or several Mexicans (the reverse is true, of course)?
    How the Mexican and the U.S. public opinion would react in such case? Badly, probably.

    That’s why, in my own opinion, I think that the gravity of this incident would justify that approriate agreements and dispositions between the United States and Mexico be found as soon as possible before it reproduces again, so as to anticipate on any further disturbances of that sort, or graver. For I believe that this incident constitutes a precedent highly likely to be followed by others.

  • http://www.copthetruth.typepad.com Mike@CopTheTruth

    Dominique, I think you frame the problem nicely…our “image”. That seems to be all we are concerned about anymore. Don’t shoot back, it will harm relations. Don’t shoot first or the MSM will demonize you. Don’t offend the Muslims because they’ll hate us. Don’t offend the Mexicans, we share a continent. Don’t offend the U.N. or they’ll take our money and call us names on our own land. These border incidents have been going on for years…our BP agents have been shot, as have local cops, now the NG. They are smuggling people, drugs and Lord knows what else across our borders, entering illegally(a felony)from who-knows-where, and hating us all the while. It’s time to do what is right, rather than what is easy. It’s our country, not theirs. We need to do what’s best in our interests, here and around the world. If other countries don’t like it, they can go find their own democracy. We need to stop kissing asses and start kicking them!

  • Dominique R. Poirier

    Mike,
    I fully understand your point and, believe it or not, I agree with you on all other similar points you are making allusion to. Now, I have to add to my ignorance of similar and previous incidents happening in this area that I have been mistaken by this news which, I believed, presented facts as if a novelty.
    In the frame of this case my concern was just about good diplomatic and economic relations between the United States and Mexico. My field of professional expertise relates to communication and I studied extensively on foreign affairs, all facts that will help you to understand my attitude.

    Now, if this incident is not the first one and that Mexico didn’t take appropriate measures to counter it, my suggestion is a wrong one, of course, and it gives right to concerned administrations and officials to undertake the prophylactic measures you suggest.

    Regards and apologies.

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  • http://www.op-for.com Charlie B.

    I have yet to see anything that mentions the Guardsmen being engaged by their assailants with small arms fire. The gunmen retreated when armed Border Patrol agents arrived. I think they intended to intimidate the Guardsmen and force them to retreat from the observation post, possibly to facilitate the movement of some sort of cargo across the border. Firefights with the National Guard might very well lead to the U.S. suddenly taking border enforcement more seriously, and that would be bad for business.

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This article is filed under the category(s) U.S. Sovereignty and was published January 5th, 2007 by Herschel Smith.

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