Northam Can Order the VA Guard Around

Or he can try to

by baldilocks

On Virginia, the National Guard, gun-grabbing, and Democrats wish-casting for civil war:

With dozens of Virginia counties declaring themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries, some Democratic lawmakers have said the governor should use the National Guard to enforce future gun control legislation — but can he?

Virginia Democrats, who control the legislature and governorship, have proposed several measures, including an “assault weapons” ban, universal background checks, and a red flag law. In response, 75 counties vowed they will not enforce future gun control legislation. Virginia Democratic Rep. Donald McEachin told the Washington Examiner on Thursday that Gov. Ralph Northam “may have to nationalize [sic] the National Guard to enforce the law” if local authorities refuse to do so themselves.

The president, as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, is the only person who can nationalize [sic] the Guard, but state governors have the latitude to use it to enforce state law, legal experts said.

“Until nationalized [sic],  it’s a creature of the state. So that’s what leads me to believe that, yes, the governor can activate the National Guard to enforce even a state law,” Gary Solis, a military law professor at Georgetown University, told the Washington Examiner.

Note to Rep. McEachin and to Russ Read, the author of this article: ‘nationalize’ doesn’t mean what you think it means.

Allow me to expand on who commands the National Guard.

The governor of each state is the Commander-in-Chief of his/her state’s National Guard. When a governor wants his state’s national guard to go somewhere within the state and do a thing, he is giving orders to mobilize, not nationalize. And when a president calls a guard unit to active duty, he is activating that unit, not nationalizing it.

(All this talk about “nationalization” makes me think we have a bunch of socialists in government, media, and academia. Nah, that can’t be true … )

People may remember that Guard units have served in many of our overseas conflicts. When they do so, they are on active duty and the POTUS is their CinC. Here’s how that happens.

When a POTUS wants to activate a Guard unit, he requests to do so in writing to the governor. Almost always, the governor says “yes” and the POTUS then becomes the CinC of the Guard unit(s) for the duration of said Guard unit’s active duty period. That’s why it seems to be automatic.

However, I could see Northam saying “no” under these conditions. That’s federalism.

All that said, it’s so cute how members of the Democrat-dominated VA legislature publicly ponder pitting the military against the state’s LEOs and its gun owners — as if they thought that no one was paying attention and they could just blurt out their fantasies in friendly company.

Simply, it’s beyond ridiculous to think that even a small portion of the VA Guard units would carry out orders to make war against their neighbors, especially considering that many of the LEOs who are defying the tyrants in the VA government are probably guardsmen/guardswomen (and reservists) themselves.

We’re watching you and rooting for you, people of Virginia. Don’t lose heart.

UPDATE: Readers are telling me that the Guard chain of command is more complicated than I’ve laid out. I’m looking it over.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Does Russia even need a carrier?

Russia’s aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov on fire. Image from Reddit.

Russia’s only aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, is on fire, and not in a good way. A large fire spread throughout the ship during recent welding work, and has so far killed one crew member (likely more, due to the extent of the fire). Anyone that has seen the fires aboard Forrestal can’t help but make an eerie connection.

Fighting the fire aboard the Forrestal. By Official U.S. Navy Photograph – This Image was released by the United States Navy with the ID USN 1124794 1124794#mw-category-media.

You would think this would be big news, but its barely scratched the Google News feed. Given that its Russia’s only carrier, you’d think this might change their Naval strategy or ship building priorities. For Russia though, this might prove to be overall a good thing.

Unlike the United States, Russia doesn’t have nearly the amount of foreign interests around the world. Most of Russia’s interests are right next door to them, in Eastern Europe and the South and Central Asia. These nations don’t require a Navy to reach. When war broke out in Syria and the Kuznetsov couldn’t launch and recover planes, Russia shifted to using other nearby airbases.

This is quite different from the United States, which uses aircraft carriers to project power around the world. The U.S. has multiple islands, two entire states and a number of Caribbean and Pacific territories to defend. Additionally, there are a significant number of Americans overseas, as well as a number of American owned companies that do business around the world. The U.S. needs a Navy to protect all these interests.

Russia’s Navy, in contrast, exists to foil the U.S. Navy. The small Russian economy can’t produce 11 supercarriers. Instead, Russia builds small, extremely capable vessels (such as the Buyan) that are fast, difficult to track and yet carry capable weapons such as the Yakhont anti-ship missile. Russia also builds an extensive and capable submarine fleet, with anti-ship missiles for use against carrier strike groups and fast attack submarines against U.S. ballistic missile submarines.

Remember too that Russia doesn’t need an outright win in any U.S. conflict. It’s sufficient for Russia to slowly take back former Soviet Union territory and keep the U.S. out of a conflict. Georgia and Ukraine are prime examples of Russia “nibbling on the edges of NATO” but keeping the U.S. at bay. In a possible large conflict, Russia would need a quick strike that would hurt the U.S. and convince them to do nothing. A strike on a carrier strike group from a Russian submarine, or an exchange of fire from a small Russian vessel against a NATO surface group, might be sufficient.

So for Russia, it would come as no surprise if they scrap their carrier. It doesn’t fit their naval strategy, and the cost to repair would be far better used building more submarines and smaller, more capable surface vessels. While we might laugh at them for this, given our wasting of money on stealth destroyers that can’t deploy or small ships that can’t fight, perhaps we have something to learn from the Russian Navy.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

More British Election Thoughts

Map Via The Telegraph, comments via me

Looking at the map of the Results of the British Election is a lot like looking at a Map of the US election of Donald Trump in that the left does better in the urban areas where the elites dwell and the right in the more rural areas where you know the food that the urbanites eat come from.


It worth also noting from the map that there are several nationalist movements going on. In Scotland the Scottish National party picked up 13 seats. Most of those SNP seats would have gone labor. I guess most of the conservative Scots were the ones who came here.

In Ireland the primary division remains the Democratic Unionists (conservatives) who want to stay in the UK and those who want out Sinn Fein (Socialists) who while winning seats in parliament refuse to attend or vote. 3 seats went to two minor parties 2 going to the Social Democrat & Labor party and one to the Alliance Party (Moderate liberals)

In Wales the Plaid Cynru or Welsh Nationalists (more socialists) have four seats but unlike Ireland and Scotland the vast majority of seats in the area remain divided between the two major parties with Labor having the advantage.


While Labor was clearly the biggest overall loser dropping a solid 20% of their seats (-42 from 245 to 203) including some districts that hadn’t voted conservative in over a century porportionally the liberal democrats did worse dropping from 21 to 11 seats losing nearly half including their party leader who lost in Scotland. The other big loser were minor or uncleared parties which held 50 seats in parliament before this election and now hold only 23 all but two being outside of England proper one being a seat held by the greens and the other being the current speaker of the house’s seat who by law must renounce his party and remain strictly non-partisan. All of the Change UK (a party of disaffected conservative and labor folks) PM failed to be re-elected.

It appears that the Brits figured it was time to actually choose sides.


What’s really significant was the shift in the overall popular vote. While the Conservatives share went up by went up to 43.3% a gain of just over 1 % Labor’s share plummeted by over 7.8% down to 32.2% with the Liberal Democrats picking up 4% in the popular vote while halfing their number of seats in Parliament. Apparently the California syndrome is alive and well in Britain.


It’s worth nothing that a “conservative” in England is a lot different than a conservative in the US. Boris Johnson would likely be at best a RINO or moderate Democrat in the US but he’s the best you can currently get in England at this time.

Or as Mark Steyn put it:

It would be nice to think that the Conservative Party might now think it safe to offer a bit of conservatism. But that would be too much to hope for…

Well, you have to start somewhere.