At the start of the New Year about one thousand Pennsylvania Army National Guardsmen began to deploy to the Horn of Africa. Governor Josh Shapiro summarized their mission in his remarks at the deployment ceremony “work to defeat international terrorism, promote safety and security in the region, protect our global trade routes, improve relations with our partners, and so much more.” 

This vague mission should seem eerily familiar to veterans of the disastrous war in Afghanistan.

The mission in the Horn of Africa is primarily focused on combating the Al-Shabaab militant group in Somalia. American forces use taxpayer money to prop up an unpopular centralized government to rule over a fragmented tribal society. The conflict between Al-Shabaab and the Somali Federal Government is a conflict that involves tribal and sub-tribal loyalties that Pennsylvania National Guard forces cannot begin to unravel. 

American soldiers should be brought home and instead diplomacy could take the lead in recognizing a solution. The autonomous region of Somiland has had success in combating Al-Shabaab and increasing security for its citizens. Somiland is not officially recognized by most other nations, but has been increasing official ties with Taiwan. Ending support for an increasingly unpopular centralized government and instead recognizing that federalism and local rule — values that this country was founded on — have a better track record of providing security and prosperity for all.

President Trump, in his push to end the endless wars, pulled out the last seven hundred troops from Somalia at the end of his term. President Biden decided upon assuming office that the same strategy attempted in Somalia for the last fifteen years should go on indefinitely. 

In April, a bipartisan group of representatives in the House tried to end the American military operation in Somalia. The motion was defeated 102-321. Montgomery County’s congresswoman Madeleine Dean voted against the motion in keeping with her record of voting against pulling American soldiers out of foreign civil wars

Pennsylvania National Guardsmen should not be put in harm’s way because politicians and bureaucrats in Washington D.C. refuse to admit that their policy of foreign intervention has failed time and again in every country where they have tried. Waiting for policymakers in Washington to admit that they were wrong and change course would not be a wise option for anyone hoping to see change. 

Instead there is a movement being led in state legislatures across the country for states to compel the federal government to obey the constitution before sending Americans to war. State legislatures around the country have begun to debate the “Defend the Guard” legislation that would allow state governments to block the use of their National Guard units from being deployed into active combat zones overseas unless such action has been sanctioned by a formal declaration of war by the U.S. Congress. 

A representative in the Pennsylvania legislature looking to gain a reputation as a defender of our constitution and do what is best for the commonwealth and introduce Defend the Guard legislation.

Shane McCarver lives in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, and was a sergeant in the U.S. Army. He worked for three years as a defense contractor in Afghanistan, leaving for the last time in July 2021.

2 thoughts on “Shane McCarver: Pennsylvania should keep our National Guard out of undeclared foreign wars”

  1. Ron DeSantis is a revivalist, as are Trump and Ramaswamy. Between them, they pulled 81 percent of the voters in Iowa (or more, accounting for the laptop elite communist donating interlopers who crashed the caucuses to vote for Nimirata “Nikki” Haley.) Ron DeSantis needs to stick around and continue to expose Nimirata “Nikki” Haley because the Republican Party cannot revert to the mediocre, base-betraying, donor-class-slave to Washington war monger operation that it was between 1988 and 2016 and seems to want to become again. The Republican Party is as or more responsible for the decline in American culture, politics, and economics than any other political faction. The United States of America’ future rests on closing the chapter of the Romneys, Bushes, McConnells, and Haleys and moving on to a revivalist posture.

  2. It is time to recognize that our involvement in endless factional wars just weakens our ability to meet with force our really dedicated (I mean by that Russia, China, Iran and their client states) enemies. It seems to me the National Guard has been and is being used as a kind of “second shift” adjunct to the Regular Army. I for one, have never heard a reasonable rationale for using the National Guard for these types of conflicts. I am reminded that I was drafted for service in the Army in Viet Nam, but the National Guard was not called up by Washington politicians for Viet Nam. I think I don’t have to remind all what the Guard was mostly used for in the Sixties and Seventies. Recall Kent State University? For the no deployment unless war is declared, it is good that some states are taking steps to make that a reality, but unless ALL states adopt this, it is doomed. Anyway, I want to leave the thought that it does not matter if a fatality is Regular Army or National Guard, they are both just as dead.

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