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Politics Troops Await Orders as Administration Mulls a Military Response

17:05  03 june  2020
17:05  03 june  2020 Source:   online.wsj.com

Trump extends National Guard's coronavirus deployment after outcry

  Trump extends National Guard's coronavirus deployment after outcry An earlier cutoff could have blocked federal benefits for thousands of Guard troops aiding relief efforts.The federal government will now keep funding National Guard troops in nearly the entire country through mid-August, President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday. The administration was previously planning to terminate the deployment on June 24 — one day before thousands of Guard members would have qualified for key retirement and education benefits.

Military police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at a peaceful protest near the White House while the president delivered a Rose Garden address on Calling the nationwide demonstrations “acts of domestic terror,” Trump took the rare step of mobilizing the military and threatened to deploy troops

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — No suspects are being sought in a shooting that left two airmen dead at the Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota, the military said Tuesday. Greene said the shooting occurred at a dormitory on base for single enlisted airmen early in their military careers.

WASHINGTON — Approximately 1,600 active duty U.S. Army troops waited Wednesday just outside Washington, D.C., for a possible deployment into the streets of the nation’s capital as the Trump administration continued to weigh whether to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807.

D.C. National Guard military police and law-enforcement officers stand guard Monday near the White House during a protest over the death of George Floyd. © Jonathan Ernst D.C. National Guard military police and law-enforcement officers stand guard Monday near the White House during a protest over the death of George Floyd.

The troops, from Fort Bragg, N.C., and Fort Drum, N.Y., arrived Monday as Pentagon officials prepared to implement a possible deployment order by President Trump. A decision to send the federal troops onto streets in Washington, and potentially in other cities, would represent the first domestic deployment of active-duty personnel in nearly 30 years, experts and officials said.

Insurrection Act: Would it allow Trump to send troops to a state over a governor's protests?

  Insurrection Act: Would it allow Trump to send troops to a state over a governor's protests? The law does allow a president to send troops to a state over the state government's objections, but only under specific circumstances.Could President Trump order troops onto the streets of a major American city over the objections of local and state officials?

Both shooting victims were members of the 319th Reconnaissance Wing, according to a news release Monday from the base. The shooting occurred at about 4:30 a.m. in a dormitory on the base that primarily hosts single, enlisted airmen early in their military careers, said Staff Sgt.

Military police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at a peaceful protest near the White House while the president delivered a Rose Garden address on Calling the nationwide demonstrations “acts of domestic terror,” Trump took the rare step of mobilizing the military and threatened to deploy troops

Many in the Pentagon and some of the nation’s governors as well as some Republicans are opposed to the move, saying the use of active-duty troops into U.S. neighborhoods to restore order is unnecessary and carries risks of inflaming national unrest. Pentagon officials argued for more time for thousands of National Guard troops, most under the command of the nation’s governors, to be used to restore order, and unrest eased Tuesday night amid widespread curfews and heavy police presence.

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Mattis' paradox

  Mattis' paradox The decision of some current and former military leaders to criticize President Trump and his desire to deploy troops to American cities is a blessing, demonstrating there are still powerful institutions resisting the country's slide into authoritarianism. But it's also a curse, revealing just how badly all the civilian institutions have failed. America thus finds itself in a paradox. Civilian control of the military is foundational to our constitutional democracy. Now, however, the survival of that democracy may require the armed forces to reject — or, at least, push back against — the direction and orders of the nation's highest elected official.

President Trump militarized the federal response to protests of racial inequality that have erupted in cities across America late Monday, declaring himself the “president of law and order ” as military police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at people protesting peacefully near the White House.

Military police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at a peaceful protest near the White House while the president delivered a Rose Garden address on Calling the nationwide demonstrations “acts of domestic terror,” Trump took the rare step of mobilizing the military and threatened to deploy troops

“I don’t think that the military should be used on the streets of American cities against Americans,” said Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser on Tuesday.

The introduction of federal troops would add another layer of security in a city where more than a dozen local and federal law-enforcement agencies have overlapping jurisdictions.

Mr. Trump and close advisers favored the move, adamant that something more must be done and viewing as “weak” state and local responses to protests and violence arising from the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis after he was detained last week by police officers.

Underscoring his preference for military action, Mr. Trump on Monday said he was putting Army Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in charge of an effort to restore stability to the nation’s streets, without offering any specifics about what that would mean.

Pentagon orders remaining active-duty troops to leave DC area

  Pentagon orders remaining active-duty troops to leave DC area The Pentagon will be sending back the remaining 900 active-duty troops who were sent to the D.C. area to potentially respond to civil unrest, and they are expected to start heading back to their home bases, a U.S. official told Reuters.The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the order had been signed by U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper and that the troops would be heading back to Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York. While the troops were in the National Capital Region, they were not deployed to Washington D.C. and were on standby in case they were needed.

After military helicopters carried out a “show of force” mission to discourage protesters, retired senior military As military helicopters flew low over the nation’s capital and National Guard units moved into many Mike Mullen , another former chairman, wrote in The Atlantic: “Whatever Trump’s goal in

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has ordered military commanders to plan for an escalation of The Pentagon directive and General White’s response — both classified internal military The exchange comes amid a simmering fight inside the Trump administration over policy toward Iran and the

That action, along with his pledge to send federal troops into Washington, have plunged the Pentagon into the midst of a political crisis over how to address the violence on the streets of Washington and elsewhere.

Some Pentagon officials fear the use of federal military forces on the nation’s streets as politically and morally questionable. “No one wants to do this. No one wants the military on the streets,” said one Defense official knowledgeable about the debate.

The prospect of military deployments raises concern, especially given the depth of the national debate over the past week’s protests and violence.

“I think it’s a deeply unwise decision to try to deploy the active-duty military into what’s a politically divisive situation,” said Kathleen Hicks, a former Pentagon official now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington. For the military, rated as one of the country’s most trusted institutions for decades, the move would be risky. That reputation, she said, “is not guaranteed.”

But the deployment is favored by some conservatives as a decisive step to restore order. “The only way to end this insurrection is the overwhelming display of force,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) said Tuesday, citing assaults on police officers by violent demonstrators.

Milley, America’s Top General, Walks Into a Political Battle

  Milley, America’s Top General, Walks Into a Political Battle Gen. Mark A. Milley was never meant to be President Trump’s top military adviser. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had sent him to the White House in late 2018 to interview for the top American military post across the Atlantic, with its grand title: supreme allied commander Europe. Mr. Mattis wanted someone else, the quiet and cerebral Gen. David L. Goldfein of the Air Force, to be Mr. Trump’s next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Military leaders have said they're overwhelmed by unnecessary training requirements, but there are signs Defense Secretary Jim Mattis announced a review of personnel policies, professional military education National Guard troops would be deprived of federal benefits under current orders for the

Hospital ships stayed in port, veterans hospitals awaited orders and requests for help went And the Defense Department, home to 1.3 million active-duty troops and a civilian and military infrastructure Senior Pentagon officials say they are ready to assist in any way that is ordered , but they also caution

The federal military forces awaiting possible deployment include engineers to conduct logistical support, and military police, who have training in law enforcement and in securing bases in combat zones. The units were flown in on Monday on C-17 military jets.

Although they were prepared to take positions in the Washington metro region Tuesday and Wednesday, they had yet to be committed to do so, military officials said.

Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement late Tuesday that the troops were on “heightened alert status” but weren’t participating in enforcement activities.

Even without the federal forces, downtown Washington earlier this week appeared to be in the military’s grip. In addition to the presence of officers from the U.S. Park Police and other agencies, a Washington, D.C.. National Guard medevac helicopter flew low across Washington streets on Monday night to disperse crowds in the vicinity of the White House.

Defense Secretary Mark Esper implored governors on Monday to “dominate the battlespace” by quelling protests. The appearance that day of Gen. Milley walking with Mr. Trump while wearing military fatigues fueled perceptions that the U.S. military was taking over the streets.

To deploy active-duty armed forces to quell civil unrest, Mr. Trump would need to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807, legal experts and former military officers said. Mr. Trump is legally authorized to invoke the act, but experts said it is less clear whether the current situation allows him to do so.

Mayor Muriel Bowser says Trump's response to protests brought out more demonstrators

  Mayor Muriel Bowser says Trump's response to protests brought out more demonstrators Throughout the week, tensions between D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and President Donald Trump have grown over the federal response to the protests in the city. © Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images Police face off with demonstrators near the White House during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, DC, on June 3, 2020. In a letter to the president on Thursday, Bowser asked Trump to "withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence from Washington, DC.

”Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,” said a former Army military police officer, who said the risks for the military were high and could increase the chances people could be hurt or killed. “It’s not clear that adding troops will de-escalate the situation. It’s likely it will do the opposite.”

The law has rarely been implemented, so provides little legal precedent. Under a later statute, the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, U.S. service members were prohibited from conducting law-enforcement functions within the U.S., unless through exceptions provided under the Insurrection Act.

The Insurrection Act gives the president authority to deploy active-duty troops when governors have lost control over their states and need federal help to restore order. The law calls on governors to request federal troops.

President George H.W. Bush invoked the law in 1992 after violence erupted in Los Angeles over the acquittal of four white police officers in the beating of Rodney King. In that instance, the president consulted with then-Gov. Pete Wilson. Following the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson invoked the law to send troops to several cities, including Baltimore, Chicago and Washington.

But there also are extreme circumstances when the federal government can bypass governors, such as when local governments violate citizens’ civil rights. For example, in 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower federalized National Guardsmen to allow nine black students to attend Little Rock Central High over the objections of Arkansas’s governor.

The District of Columbia also poses additional complications as it already is under partial federal jurisdiction, with sometimes murky lines of authority. On Tuesday, for instance, the U.S. Secret Service closed Washington streets around the White House; Ms. Bowser acknowledged that while the streets are Washington thoroughfares, the Secret Service has authority to safeguard the president’s travels.

Any dispute over whether to bypass the states by invoking the Insurrection Act in today’s circumstances would likely have to be resolved by the courts, said Eric Carpenter, professor of military law and former Army lawyer at Florida International University College of Law.

Despite that, experts said the biggest challenge for combat troops likely would be a moral one, not a legal one.

“For most countries in the world, there is not a big distinction between the military and the police, particularly in authoritarian states,” Mr. Carpenter said. “It is an ingrained piece, however, of the American psyche: You are not going to drive down the street and get pulled over by the military.”

He added: “The moral dilemma for active-duty troops is that they may think to themselves: I don’t want to do this to American citizens.”

Write to Nancy A. Youssef at nancy.youssef@wsj.com and Gordon Lubold at Gordon.Lubold@wsj.com

Barr Denies Trump Demanded 10,000 Troops to Quell Protests .
Attorney General William Barr on Sunday denied that President Donald Trump wanted 10,000 active duty troops sent onto American streets to quell unrest. © Bloomberg Attorney General William Barr listens during a Coronavirus Task Force news conference at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Barr, in an interview with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” pushed back on reports by several news organizations that the president initially made the demand before backing down after resistance by Barr and other administration officials.

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