A retired four-star Marine general ripped President Donald Trump this week for threatening protesters with military force, which he said “may well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment.”
Gen. John Allen, who led U.S. forces in Afghanistan and was former President Barack Obama’s special presidential envoy for the global alliance against ISIS, wrote an opinion piece in Foreign Policy, which was published on Wednesday, about Trump’s “stunning” Rose Garden address earlier this week.
He wrote that Trump “mentioned George Floyd, but he did not touch on long-standing societal problems at all.” Allen added that Trump “sees the crisis as a black problem,” and “an opportunity to use force to portray himself as a ‘law and order’ president.”
Allen continues, “Trump was clear he views those engaged in the unrest and criminal acts in these riots as terrorists, an enemy. He said so, ostensibly as justification to deploy the U.S. military to apply federal force — his ‘personal’ force — against the riots. Indeed, the secretary of defense used the military term ‘battlespace’ to describe American cities.”
He notes that “governors have sufficient law enforcement capacity — and, if necessary, the combat power of the National Guard — to handle their respective crises. If not, they can ask for federal assistance. There is no precedent in modern U.S. history for a president to wield federal troops in a state or municipality over the objections of the respective governor. Right now, the last thing the country needs — and, frankly, the U.S. military needs — is the appearance of U.S. soldiers carrying out the president’s intent by descending on American citizens.”
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