Defend the Guard: Will the States Bring them Home?

Dan McKnight is an Afghanistan war veteran who founded an organization called “Bring Our Troops Home.” He recently appeared on the Tom Roten Morning Show on WVHU in Huntington, West Virginia, to talk about the Defend the Guard Bill that would ban the overseas deployment of National Guard troops by the federal government without a declaration of war.

James Madison wrote, “Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other,” Madison understood that war comes at great cost. McKnight said America’s modern wars are no exception.

“The biggest waste of going into Afganistan is the lives and blood spilled by now soldiers who weren’t even born when the war started. And so the financial toll, and the toll on American lives, and the damage it is doing to families back home, it’s immeasurable. You can’t put a quantitative number to it.”

McKnight has worked with West Virginia Delegate Pat McGeehan on the Defend the Guard bill. McGeehan has introduced the legislation multiple times. Through some savvy political maneuvering during the 2019 legislative session, he was able to get the bill out of committee and onto the House floor. Unfortunately, Republican leadership managed to kill the measure. But McGeehan and McKnight have seized on the momentum. This year, the say legislatures in over 20 states will consider similar measures.

“With that kind of momentum, even if none of the state pass this law, it’s showing the country, the citizens, the people that are actually being represented by the knuckleheads in Washington D.C. are tired of this war and we’re asking them to do something about it. Reclaim your dang authority. Do your job before you send our sons and daughters, our brothers and sisters, our husbands, fathers and mothers, to go fight in a war that has no national interest – no national security threat.”

McKnight said one of his organization’s biggest pushes is to get Congress to reclaim its authority and retire the authorization of use of military force from 2001 and 2002 that sent U.S. troops to Afghanistan and Iraq.

“If you want to send American troops to war, by-God, do it the right way. Give us the honor and that respect of doing it the way the Constitution prescribes.”

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