As readers know who’ve been following LU coverage of the Jade Helm saga, I don’t believe the exercise is a pretext for invading Texas or violating U.S. law.
I do think it sets a bad precedent by putting U.S. soldiers in local communities, to hold an exercise that will involve running around on private and local public property. This is not something the American people should ever get used to or agree to accept. No training requirement trumps the importance of maintaining our non-militarized public environment. No training requirement, period. A non-militarized public environment in our communities was a core goal of the American Revolution, and has remained indispensable to our national understanding of liberty. It will never not be a latent threat to the conditions of liberty, for the military to treat civilian community spaces as available venues for warfare exercises.
So I think Texas Governor Greg Abbott is doing exactly the right thing by ordering the Texas State Guard to observe the exercise and report to him what’s going on. I hope, frankly, that the exercise is so hemmed about by skeptical observation of all kinds that the Department of Defense thinks better of ever doing it again. There are sometimes more important things than what military planners decide they need at a given time, and this is one of those cases of a higher priority. Our trust in the good intentions of military planners should not lead us into policies that are bad for other reasons.
With that reiterated once more, a brief update on Jade Helm.