They came at night, the Lakota choppers crossing the dry srcubland and setting down in a hostile, violent region where borders dissolved in the desert hills and those wishing to harm America moved quietly and quickly through the darkness.

As U.S. Central Commander General Joseph Votel said:

But again, the hard part I think is in front of us, and that is stabilizing these areas, consolidating our gains, getting people back into their homes, addressing the long-term issues of reconstruction and other things that will have to be done.

Hence the National Guard arriving at night. Like in Iraq.

Oh, right. General Votel wasn’t talking about the Southern Border. He meant Syria. And how silly to expect that the U.S. military would be concerned about securing its homeland’s borders when there is an urgent need to attempt the fool’s errand of building a nation state from the rubble of Syria. Here’s what Matthew Brodsky writes in National Review in the latest iteration of neocon-speak:

Chasing every Sunni jihadist down a desert rabbit hole misses the larger and more threatening trend that the Pentagon already identified in January in its own National Defense Strategy, namely, that “inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security.” In other words, the decade-long U.S. focus on counterterrorism strategies enabled and empowered dangerous adversarial states such as Iran and Russia at the expense of America’s position in the world.

That is why a premature withdrawal from Syria would likely match the disastrous and hasty American exit from Iraq and be far worse than President Obama’s efforts to “lead from behind” in Libya. In fact, it would double down on Obama’s worst mistakes, which set the table for the Islamic State’s rise and enriched and enabled Iran while allowing Russia to transform itself into the region’s chief powerbroker.

The security experts will always find a compelling reason to increase and spread the presence of American troops around the world, like the blossoming of a thousand PhD theses detailing yet another new world order. Be wary of the wonks and cautious about extended stays in the Middle East.

The Middle East dissolved in flames because of the Iraq War. Troops arrived in Iraq to depose Saddam Hussein, and then found their mission had expanded to include reconstructing a state that no longer existed and was deeply divided by hostile factions with the fatal fault line of Sunni-Shiite divisions running throughout the territory that was once a unified country. Unified by a bloodthirsty madman. Obama’s early withdrawl, in other words, may not have been as vital to the emergence of ISIS as is thought. But we really have no way of knowing if more boots on the ground for longer would have greatly helped stabilize Iraq. Remember the troops that helped crush ISIS did not go in there to help reconstruct Iraq or Syria. They went in to destroy ISIS.

So moving those metaphors North and slightly West, and ahead in time by basically a decade, we now have Syria as the next must-fix nation in the region. With the bood-thirsty madman called al-Assad still in power. And supported by Russia as well as Iran. That should be a clear warning. To experts like Brodsky, it’s a wonderful new opportunity.

But sending a few hundred National Guardsmen and women to help secure America’s southern border is seen as a foolish impulse on the part of President Trump. A crazed policy put into motion by a restless set of early morning Tweets. To be resisted by progressive governors who seem to care more about defending their cities’ sanctuary status than aiding in trying to keep the border a safe and well-managed frontier.

There is no resource more vital to the United States than it’s men and women of the military. Even, perhaps, more-so than its creativity and its innovating genius. A military that is governed by an elected civilian government and places those men and women in harm’s way reluctantly – or should – only to help the government secure its most pressing objectives. Partisan sneering at a reasonable redeployment of the National Guard, and expert doom-mongering over a reasonable questioning of how long troops should stay in Syria, reduces those men and women to bargaining chips in a policy debate where their lives will be at risk.

Send the Guard and bring back some more of those troops from Syria. They are both reasonable decisions by the President. And while we’re on the topic of Iranian influence in Syria, let’s look at that Joint Plan of Comprehensive Action, which has helped fund Iran’s terrorist and hegemonic activity.

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