‘Looks like insurrection’: Calls for Natl Guard grow as campus chaos escalates, Biden seeks to hamstring governors

Echoing demands for action to stop anti-Israel campus protests were met with a surreptitious move from the Department of Defense that would hinder the response from states.

As President Joe Biden’s ineffective leadership on the world stage and global conflict spillover into campus chaos, rather than tamp down on Hamas sympathizing activists, his administration appeared to be forging ahead with a measure that would obstruct governors from taking action.

Monday, 53 governors representing states, commonwealths and territories joined together in issuing a letter to Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in opposition to a proposed law that would allow the reassignment of National Guard units without their approval.

Asserting the proposal submitted to the Senate Armed Services Committee “undermines over 100 years of precedent as well as national security and military readiness,” the National Governors Association expressed, “Ensuring the National Guard is adequately equipped with the resources and capabilities to serve as the operational combat reserve for national security missions and to support domestic emergencies is among the National Governors Association’s highest priorities.”

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) was among the signatories and highlighted “The Arkansas National Guard is our first line of defense and Biden is trying to take away states’ authority. I was proud to join a bipartisan group of governors to oppose this bill and defend states’ rights.”

With only Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) absent from the continental executives that signed on to the letter, the governors drew attention to the DoD proposal being sold as necessary for a one-time transfer of 14 units of the Air National Guard that would be sent to the Space Force.

Not only did the effort spearheaded by the Defense Department pose a risk to efforts from the governors to assist Abbott with Operation Lone Star, Texas’ attempt toward securing the border in spite of the Biden administration’s apparent negligence, it also came as there have been increasing cries for the Guard to be utilized to disperse anti-Israel protesters from the grounds of academia.

Many states had utilized law enforcement to remove those deemed to be unlawfully assembled in recent days as threats for suspension were only met with increasing hostility.

New York’s Columbia University remained a prime example as activists barricaded themselves inside a campus building while at the University of Texas at Austin, “Baseball size rocks” had been discovered “strategically placed” around the pro-Hamas encampment comprised of a “majority of protesters…believed to be unaffiliated with the university.”

Though the governors held strong to their authority to control where the National Guard would be assigned, they had yet to be called up to address the campus protests impacting the safety of students as social media figures, lawmakers and others cried out for someone to take action.

Kevin Haggerty

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