John Turpish for Georgia State House

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Defend the Guard


All this bill would do is forbid the Georgia National Guard from participating in combat operations oversees without it being declared a war. It doesn’t stop training oversees, nor domestic operations. And it doesn’t stop oversees combat deployments either, if the US is at war.

I feel as though I shouldn’t need to say much to argue why this seemingly mild move is important, since the case is made so well by those championing the the project as their main objective. By all means, go read their take at https://defendtheguard.us/ . And if you want a more-libertarian take on it, check out the Libertarian Institute’s take.

I’ll go ahead point out two arguments that are well-known to people behind that movement, but they are ones that matter to me:

Follow the rules

I want government officials of all kinds to follow the rules and to be held accountable when they do not. This bill puts pressure on them to do just that – I see it as a rather mild form of accountability.

Specifically, it makes it somewhat more difficult for the president to illegally (and impeachably) conduct wars without Congress approving them as the US Constitution requires.

But the real pressure is actually on Congress. There are lots of people in Congress who love to take credit for wars that end up being popular, and take lobbyist payouts for wars they fund, without having to actually put their name on a war that could end up being unpopular. But it is precisely their job to take on this massive responsibility of deciding when the time has come for America to go to war, and when it’s not our fight.

We in the state government can’t actually make them do this, but we can choose not to have our Guard participate.

War is a last resort

I would like to see less war in the world, especially ones involving Amerca. Some folks who share this view think Defend the Guard gets us closer.

I do see how it could help. There’s no guarantee, though. For example, recently Biden started illegally striking Yemen. But if he had gone to Congress, could he have gotten them to declare ware? I actually think they might do that if it was necessary. So I’m not sure this argument is really all that strong, honestly.

But hey, at least you’d know whether your Congressman (if you’re reading this, probably Rick Allen) represented your viewpoint on that particular war.

Or, at the very least, our guardsmen would be safely left of out of the matter.

Let’s work together

Libertarians like myself are coalition-builders, not by nature but by necessity. There simply aren’t enough of us to effect change on our own. But, many people can find common ground with us on an issue or two here or there. And we want to work with you on those issues.

Defend the Guard is one of those issues. Most of the people involved in Defend the Guard aren’t libertarian, as pointed out out by The Mises Institute, a libertarian think tank.

But it’s not the only issue where I want to be part of a coalition with people from all over the political charts. If you find yourself vehemently disagreeing with me on one policy or another, I urge you to consider not writing me off but rather working with me on some other issue.


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