Texas should say no to N.D. troops

It’s patently foolish to cede operational control of military assets to political donors. The idea that a private citizen can direct military units with his checkbook violates principles of self-governance. It converts soldiers into private security contractors at best, mercenaries at worst.



July 7, 2021 - 10:01 AM

National Guard troops stand guard along Constitution Avenue as law enforcement responds to a security incident near the U.S. Capitol on April 2, 2020. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images/TNS) Photo by Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images/TNS)

At the direction of a political donor, the state of South Dakota is deploying National Guard troops to the border in South Texas. This is a bad idea, and raises legal concerns.

As reported by multiple outlets, Tennessee billionaire Willis Johnson sent South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem $1 million to pay for the deployment, telling Politico, “I’m trying to help out the governor and help America.”

But Johnson’s action here, and any endorsement of it by  Noem or Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, will do just the opposite, because it violates longstanding precedents related to military oversight and democracy.

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