General John Bahnsen on the Defend the Guard Act

by Jun 28, 2021Defend the Guard0 comments

General John Bahnsen, a decorated Vietnam veteran, supports Defend the Guard Legislation. Listen to this Hero's perspective on why Defend the Guard legislation is important.

 

There is an incredible amount of support for Defend the Guard legislation. Here is an interview of General John Bahnsen, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam war talking with Brad BcElhinny.

Its time to take action and get legislation in place that requires a congressional declaration of war to send out National Guard overseas for extended periods of time. 

Interview Transcript

Brad McElhinny:          

All right, general. I know you’ve been following this, defend the guard bill and you probably have for a few years, what is your specific position on it? And how does your personal experience lend itself to your interpretation?

General John Bahnsen:          

Uh, number one, I, I don’t think we should go to war. The United States should not be involved in the war without the declaration of war by the Congress. That’s fundamental to our government our constitutional, uh, laws that say we’ve supposed to vote. When we go to war. The last time we did that was in world war II. And since that time we’ve had Korea and Vietnam, all these overreactions they’re then put together by the leadership in Washington without a vote of Congress. And we’ve lost a lot of people, friends of mine, Westport, classmates, and one American lost an a war- unnecessary war in my mind is a tragedy. So try to use everbody involved and we’ve been involved in civil wars. We shouldn’t have been involved in, and right now we’re in the 20 year war that we shouldn’t be involved in anymore. We should move our troops out of there right now, without any further ado, let them have it, let them sorted out by themselves without our American lives involved. So that’s, that’s basically where I’m coming from.

Brad McElhinny:          

You know, when this bill has come up before there have been a few elements of pushback, one is that the national guard has both state and federal duties. And, uh, the guard sees, uh, the federal deployment as part of that overall mission. And the other is, uh, financial, but that the states like West Virginia, if they limit those federal call ups, they may sacrifice federal funding that is important for communities like Charleston and Martinsburg with guard basis.

General John Bahnsen:          

That that should be the last reasons they shouldn’t do it. It basically a federal call-up understand perfectly. It’s gotta be done in a certain situation where you call them up. We call up our national guard all the time in the state, but federally, you just had a great example of that in Washington DC. And they bring all those people in the Washington, DC, the Garth, the Capitol. Now that was a federal mandated thing for the national guard, uh, you know, right or wrong. That’s the way you’re supposed to do it. However, what happened after Vietnam, we made it a point in the army to make sure we never went the war again, that our reserve units and national guard units weren’t involved. And as a result of that during this latest war, the Persian Gulf war, and then this war in Afghanistan or Iraq, we’ve called up national guard units.

One by one by one. I don’t think there’s very many in the United States. Haven’t been called up to fight in this current war on undeclared war, but yet we called up our national guard reservist and we’ve had people basically go to war in a war. That’s been undeclared for all practical purposes. And, uh, we can go into the details there, but George Bush wanting to attack Saddam Hussein because they thought they hadn’t weapons of mass destruction, which turned out to, they didn’t have weapons of mass destruction, destruction. And, uh, basically we went to war and lost how many people, you know, five, 6,000 people plus all the people who’ve been named before life cripple lost limbs want, have you, all you gotta do is turn on TV and you’ll see the results of awards in Iraq and Afghanistan. And that’s tragic in my mind.

Brad McElhinny:          

This is a national issue with, with different states with, with bills that are kind of like the one that’s before the West Virginia legislature. What has your involvement been in your you’re in Hancock county and retired, but are you following this issue pretty closely?

General John Bahnsen:          

I follow it as close as anybody can. I think it’s a great bill. I appalled pat, uh, again for having put that bill forward, he’s done it over and over again. He’s gotten very little support, which me off, but that’s neither here nor there he’s got veterans don’t understand it. Anybody who’s worried about Washington cutting off federal funds to West Virginia, they’re in a pipe dream. They’re going to do that. They’re not going to cut anything out and they’re certainly not going to take the national guard away from us. We’ve got very few national guard units. As a matter of fact, we don’t have one single active army base in the state of West Virginia. We have national guard basis. We have a lot of good things in the state, but none of it is federally a blood. I call the federal, uh, location, uh, basically for the active army active Navy.

General John Bahnsen:          

After Marine Corps, everything we’ve got in the state is, uh, is a reserve or national guard location. And so people worried about taking money away from the state. I think that they’re smoking dope and I don’t think it ever happened. I think Pat’s right on. We need to get this bill passed. And we say it. I said earlier, I think he’s young freshmen, uh, delegates. And some of the senators are scared of it as the current governor, uh, he calls me and says, oh, we’re going to get screwed on the national guard and the federal funding. And they roll over and vote right with him, which kind of startles me. The fact that’s kind of people we we’ve elected

Brad McElhinny:          

And current times the last 20 years or so, uh, American forces have not necessarily been always opposed to, to the forces of other countries, but sometimes rogue within those countries. Does there need to be some military policy that that is a flexible policy that is fall short of a declaration of war, but could be a military act.

General John Bahnsen:          

There, there, don’t no question about that. There were actions have to be taken quickly. I’ll give you a perfect example. When the south Koreans were attacked by the north Koreans president Truman made her decision immediately to go to the new United nations and get support to defend the south Koreans. And they did that with the intentions basically to save of free country. South Korea from the common is two, which were backed by the Chinese and by the Russian boat. And, uh, it was done. There are situations where you do that, but are, they will eventually should have gone to Congress to declare a war with the intention of winning the war. And, uh, that’s where I follow them is right now we go into an action. We have no end game. We don’t understand the word of end game. The only people that have understood the word end game. There’s a guy named Colin Powell and the purse first Gershon war, where there was an end game. And we pulled her forces out and came home after we freaked Kuwait. Now he understood it perfectly. And everybody involved, understood end game. We will end the game when we free the Kuwaitis and then they came home, but we haven’t done that lately. And we’ve let the thing go. Unended unending. For example, in Afghanistan, there is innovations there’s situations. Yeah.

Brad McElhinny:          

If there is an event like I described, what you’re prescribing is it needs to be a limited action with

General John Bahnsen:          

A clear, with an end game, with an end game there, Claire, when it’s over with, and they don’t know how to do that, they haven’t figured it out

Brad McElhinny:          

True war. There needs to be a declaration of war by Congress.

General John Bahnsen:          

Well, let me tell you what all you gotta do is look at world war II. It was unconditional surrender. The Germans would have liked it negotiated. We said the hell with you it’s own convicted. You know, basically unconditional same thing with Japan, unconditional surrender. That means you have no rights, no reason to negotiate with you or anything else. And I might add, we were very generous to both the Japanese and the Germans, uh, very generous. And it turned out that the only additional surrender was Delaware. We were going to pick those people and, uh, people in leadership had the guts to do what was necessary to win the war.

Brad McElhinny:          

Well, thank you for giving me your perspective on the defend, the guard act and any additional thoughts.

General John Bahnsen:          

Well, I’d like to see the thing voted in. It’s been flipped before the legislature. Now I think for three years in a row by pat McGann, and for some reason it doesn’t get supported and I’ve found that tragic in my mind, we need to take a span. Like other states are taking a stand to take care of our soldiers, airmen, sailors, Marines, and not commit them to war unless this nation is threatened. And the Congress decides we’re willing to go to war with an end game and with either unconditional surrender or a national salvation, whatever the hell it requires, but it needs to be something important, not some frivolous action in the middle east, a bunch of Muslims. So I have real strong feelings in that regard. I like to see the pack, the act, uh, the bill passed and take a stand and let it fight it out in court. So that’s my final word on it.

 

 

Sign the Petition - Support Defend the Guard Legislation in Pennsylvania

If you are a Pennsylvania resident and you are mad at how the federal government violates the constitution on a daily basis we could use your help. We are currently looking for support for our Defend the Guard petition so that we can enforce the power of the constitution in DC.With this petition, we can put a stop to the blatant overreach of the federal government by enacting legislation to bring our national guard home. 

It is unconstitutional to send them to war without congressional approval.

It is time to put an end to it.

I became a Libertarian back in 2000 but was the stereotypical, "Libertarian Leaning Republican". The right's endorsement of endless wars and growing government invasiveness let me to officially switch parties.

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