Reprinted with permission from Shareblue.
With midterms fast approaching, Trump has resorted to increasingly desperate measures in a last ditch effort to rile up GOP voters and convince people he’s not really as incompetent as he is.
While he may think he sounds tough when he barks orders to send thousands of U.S. troops to the border, not everyone is impressed with Trump’s bluster.
During an appearance on CNN’s “AC 360” Thursday night, retired Army Lt. Col. Ralph Peters didn’t mince words when describing his thoughts about Trump’s plans to exploit the military for political gain.
“The president of the United States is a draft dodger, playing with our troops,” Peters told host Anderson Cooper. “This idea of sending 15,000 troops to the southern border right now, it’s an election ploy.”
Peters made the comments in response to a question about Trump’s remarks earlier in the day, when he suggested that he may order U.S. troops to shoot migrants who throw rocks at them.
“Our active duty troops aren’t going to do that,” Peters said. “Commanders aren’t going to order them to do that.”
As Peters pointed out, there’s no need to send thousands of troops to the border, and it’s not even clear what they will do when they get there.
“There’s no plan to use 15,000 or 10,000 or even 5,000 troops,” Peters said. “For purely partisan political purposes, Trump is ripping these soldiers, airmen, marines, sailors — he’s ripping them away from their training, which is vital.”
Furthermore, he added, “To show you how much Trump loves his troops, he’s ripping them away from their families with the holiday season coming. Soldiers are used to that. They understand their duty and they’re glad and proud to do their duty, but when they are manipulated for partisan political purposes, it — it literally is disgraceful.”
For its part, the Pentagon has said it has no plans to send 15,000 troops to the border. Apparently, Trump didn’t think to check with top military brass before committing to sending more service members away from their families to take part in his election stunt.
Trump is justifying his demands for an unnecessary military presence at the border by claiming that the migrants who are still thousands of miles away from America are the biggest threat to U.S. national security.
Even in the aftermath of several high profile incidents of extremist violence, including the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history, Trump continues to downplay the threat of white supremacist and far-right violence so he can divert more resources to his political theater at the border.
And that’s the greatest irony of all: As Trump claims to be making America safer by militarizing the border, he’s actually leaving us more vulnerable to domestic terrorism and violence.
Published with permission of The American Independent.