Op-Ed: Arizona Must Pass ‘Defend the Guard’
Washington, February 14, 2023
Arizona Must Pass ‘Defend the Guard’
Op-Ed by Representative Paul Gosar
February 14, 2023
The Libertarian Institute
President Joe Biden’s foreign policy is fundamentally broken.
What should have been a clean, quick withdrawal from Afghanistan was given an artificial extension by the White House and bungled by complacent Pentagon brass. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been exacerbated by the administration’s sabotaging of diplomatic negotiations and determination to increase American military involvement. All to protect Ukraine’s borders while over six million illegal aliens cross over our border in just the past two years.
But these problems did not begin on January 20, 2021. For decades our foreign policy has been piloted by an insulated, egomaniacal elite who seek to use American military might to remold the rest of the world by force—and simultaneously transform the United States to look like the rest of the world.
Under President Donald Trump we had a brief respite, with no new protracted wars and a restraining hand against the worst inclinations of the federal bureaucracy. But we must go farther. We must abandon these globalist pursuits, and return to a foreign policy that prioritizes the security and liberty of Americans here at home.
For over a decade I have represented you in Washington DC attempting to reign in the empire’s nation-building, foreign aid giveaways, and bloody regime-change wars. Just last week, I was one of only ten members of the U.S. House of Representatives to co-sponsor a resolution to end the more than $100 billion in military assistance we’ve outsourced to Kiev.
That’s because at Joe Biden’s direction we have depleted our weapon stockpiles, intensified our inflation crisis, and heightened the risk of a nuclear exchange, all in service of dictating where the Russian-Ukrainian border is drawn in the Donbas. Our government treats what’s happening in Eastern Europe as a global crisis requiring our utmost attention, meanwhile hundreds of thousands of unknown individuals enter our country every month.
Putting a stop to this reckless gravy train should be a minimal threshold for Congress. But it’s one that’s not being met.
In our federal system, when the national government proves unable or unwilling to tackle a problem, it’s the duty of the sovereign states to step up and take action. And we need action in Phoenix.
Two companion bills have been introduced in the Arizona legislature, H.B. 2320 and S.B. 1367, the Defend the Guard Act. These bills would ensure that the Arizona National Guard could not be deployed into an unconstitutional war like the one in Syria, or into Ukraine if Joe Biden continues our country’s descent into World War III.
The National Guard is the backbone of the United States military, and it ought to play an integral role in our national defense. The Defend the Guard Act would not inhibit the use of the Arizona Guard to complete a domestic mission under Title 10, or even the Guard’s deployment overseas for training missions in allied countries like Kuwait or Germany.
All the bill requires is a declaration of war by Congress before the Arizona National Guard is sent into active combat. That’s the same precondition the Founding Fathers gave in Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution.
For over seventy years, from Korea to Libya, we have seen our military deployed into costly wars without consent or consultation from the people’s representatives. That is unconstitutional, immoral, and antithetical to the American conception of democratic government.
I cannot singlehandedly stop our endless wars. And a majority of Congress has no appetite for enforcing the checks and balances of our Constitution and actually debating whether we should be at war with Russia, and what that would mean for our country. But at least the Grand Canyon State can stop her National Guard from fighting undeclared wars based on executive whim.
Some opponents contend that passage of this bill would potentially threaten the Arizona National Guard’s federal funding. This is incorrect. There is nothing in federal law that would eliminate federal funding if Arizona passes the Defend the Guard Act. Nor would Congress pass such legislation. The federal government needs a well-prepared Guard.
But, just as importantly, the federal government needs a declaration of war from Congress before it sends American soldiers all over the globe to fight to protect other countries’ borders. This is a fundamental precept of the Constitution and representative government. Anything less will only put our soldiers at great risk, increase our national debt, and accomplish next to nothing. We are not a police force. We are a military. That is the only justification to send the National Guard overseas to fight and die. The cause has to be valid, righteous, and approved by Congress.
I pledge that under no circumstances will I allow the Biden administration to defund our state’s National Guard. I know the House of Representatives would not approve such dereliction and nonsense. And the House controls the purse strings.
A free people should not allow themselves to be threatened with their own tax dollars, especially when submission compromises both the safety of our soldiers and the rule of law.
The Senate version of the bill, S.B. 1367, will be presented tomorrow before the Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee. It has four Republican co-sponsors, including ret. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Wendy Rogers, and the House version has eleven co-sponsors.
I encourage all residents of Arizona to contact their local representatives and tell them that I support passage of the Defend the Guard Act, and so should they.
This is legislation that puts our soldiers, and America, first. And I’m grateful to the veterans’ organization Bring Our Troops Home for bringing it to my attention.