When you deploy troops into a combat zone, there is a potential adversary that is armed, thus, you must have rules of engagement (ROE). Sadly, we have seen some very horrific ROE that have given advantage to the enemy.
We all remember the incident where the US Navy Riverine Assault boats, and crew, were taken captive by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps navy, using little Boston whalers. The fact that our Navy personnel, on what seems to resemble a tank on the water, surrendered without firing a shot against a known adversary, disturbed us all. Heck, we can even go back to Bosnia where a three-man Army HMMWV patrol was taken by Serbian forces without firing a shot.
Well, I hate to share with y’all but this has happened again. This time, doggone, it was on American soil.
As reported by the Washington Examiner:
“A senior defense official says the Pentagon is reviewing how U.S. soldiers responded during an incident this month in which Mexican troops detained and disarmed Americans on Texas soil. The standoff between two U.S. soldiers and as many as six Mexican military officials on April 13 is believed to be the first of its kind, according to the senior defense official from Northern Command, or NORTHCOM.
“This is the first incident that we’re aware of that the two militaries came together,” the official told the Washington Examiner.
Two Army soldiers from Washington state were sitting in an unmarked Customs and Border Protection vehicle south of the U.S. barrier but north of the international boundary near Clint, Texas, when Mexican troops moved in on them. The Mexican soldiers, each carrying FX-05 Xiuhcoatl rifles, detained, disarmed, and questioned the U.S. troops. One soldier’s Beretta M9 service pistol was taken from him and temporarily confiscated.
The Pentagon is now investigating the incident, which the official said “will help us modify any instructions that we’re giving the troops” about how to deal with such a situation. Troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico boundary go through joint readiness staging, or training on how to handle dangerous situations in the area. The official said he could not recall anything similar to last Saturday’s encounter having taken place during a previous active-duty troop deployment. No official protocol exists for how to navigate a run-in with a foreign military, but the senior official said the soldiers were trained to “de-escalate” the situation. By surrendering at least one gun, they followed existing protocol, though it left them unarmed.
The NORTHCOM official also defended the U.S. soldiers being in the location. The pair had been assigned by Customs and Border Protection to be at those coordinates on the U.S. side of the border. The two soldiers were one of 150 teams serving on mobile surveillance missions who had been assigned that specific location to stake out and monitor surveillance feeds. Mexican soldiers spotted the pair and did not recognize their unmarked vehicle. The U.S. troops did not recognize the unmarked truck. There was mutual confusion about why either party was at that location.”
Some of you may wonder why I am so concerned about this encounter. It’s simple: what if those so-called Mexican Army troops were actually drug cartel members dressed as Mexican Army soldiers? Why the lack of coordination that would have deconflicted any intersections of these respective patrols? Why would our troops surrender their weapons to any foreign military? Who in the heck came up with that brilliant idea?
If this is part of the ROE to de-escalate a situation, the person who created that ROE tenet needs to be fired. Our troops do not — under any circumstances — surrender their arms to a foreign military. Doggone, what are Mexican Army soldiers doing operating on US soil, in Texas? And, why would our troops surrender their arms while standing on American, Texan, soil?
Dang it, back in October 1835 when the Mexican cavalry showed up at the town of Gonzales, Texas, and demanded their cannon back, they were told, “come and take it.” It appears we are now responding, here it is, go ahead and take it.
I do not blame the soldiers. I blame the idiots who came up with this ROE. Think about it: when was the last time a US Army Soldier surrendered their personal weapon to a foreign military, on American soil? Who the heck came up with this “protocol?”
Do we realize the precedent this action has established? If I were members of drug cartels, coyotes, and gang members, why not masquerade as Mexican Army soldiers, or police, and watch our Soldiers “follow protocol” and surrender their weapons.
This is unconscionable. What has me irate — and, I hope you, as well — is this happened on American soil. So, again, what were Mexican troops doing on American soil?
“That area of the border is kind of confusing,” a second NORTHCOM official told the Examiner. “It may have been difficult for them [Mexican forces] to know if they didn’t know the area as well or were new or something. I don’t think — it definitely wasn’t trying to overtake the U.S.”
I do not accept that excuse. The Mexican soldiers should have been warned, notified, that they had crossed into the United States of America. If anything, the two-man patrol should have had a bullhorn, something, to announce, “halt, you have now entered into the United States.” There is no way that we should have a “protocol” that says a member of the US military should surrender his weapon to a foreign military on US soil.
I reiterate: you wonder why armed Americans are taking this situation into their own hands? What a serious failure of leadership . . . totally FUBAR!
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During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
He is a Fox News Contributor, Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, published October 16, 2018, from Brown Books Publishing Group.