Get our Soldiers Home
Mark S. Robertson, Candidate for Nevada’s First Congressional District
As a retired member of the U.S. Military after 30 years, I’ve served in combat zones in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait. What we see today in our Nation’s Capitol resembles green zones and security perimeters in hotly contested areas. The Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has turned our capitol into something you might find in a war-torn country. This is truly a national embarrassment.
It makes no sense to keep our wonderful National Guard Soldiers, and razor wire fencing around the U.S. Capitol Building (known as the “people’s house). This is a huge waste of money, an embarrassment to our Country, and a monument to the failed Leadership of Congress.
The United States Capitol Police (USCP) has nearly as many officers as the Las Vegas Metro Police Department. USCP has a total force of 2,300 officers protecting less than two square miles of Washington DC. In comparison, the Las Vegas Metro police department protects 600 square miles with a similar size force of 2,900 officers. USCP has 1,150 officers per square mile, Metro has five.
There are currently 5,100 National Guard troops surrounding our capitol. This is down from a high of over 25,000 troops. These fine men and women serve with honor and professionalism and it is past time to allow them to return home to their families.
The original intent for having Soldiers at the capitol was to provide protection for President Biden’s inauguration. That was two months ago – Soldiers are still at their post. The Commander and Chief, and the Speaker of the House need to take immediate action to get our Soldiers home.
So far, the decision to deploy Soldiers has cost taxpayers $410 million (and growing). That money would be much better spent securing our national borders. It is ludicrous that we have built a fence to keep US Citizens away from their Capitol, but no complete fence to stop non-citizens from entering our Country illegally.
This is not a partisan issue. Lawmakers from both parties have called for the fence to come down and Soldiers to return home. Just last week, leaders of the House Armed Services Committee from both parties said they were “deeply troubled” by the continued heavy military presence.
Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire of the National Guard Association said, “National Guard soldiers and airmen here in Washington need to return home to their families, civilian employers, and regular military obligations.”
I call on President Biden and Congressional Leaders to do the right thing and send our Soldiers home. Now.