Use Nullification to End Foreign Entanglements
by Peter Rykowski, Research Associate and Bulletin Editor
The Russia-Ukraine conflict illustrates how deeply entangled the United States is in foreign conflicts. The Biden administration has deployed thousands of troops to eastern Europe while reaffirming its compliance with the underlying NATO treaty’s dictates — including Article 5, which requires the U.S. to come to the defense of any NATO country if attacked. Clearly, our federal officials have abandoned the advice of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to avoid entangling alliances.
However, state governments can play a key role in curtailing unconstitutional wars and entangling alliances by enacting Defend the Guard Acts. Already introduced in multiple state legislatures this year, these bills would prevent state National Guard units from being sent on foreign combat deployments by the federal government in the absence of a congressional declaration of war or another constitutional reason in accordance with Article I, Section 8, Clauses 11 and 15 of the U.S. Constitution.
Defend the Guard Acts are a proper exercise of nullification under Article VI of the Constitution. It states, “this Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof … shall be the supreme Law of the Land.” Since the federal government’s participation in undeclared wars violates the Constitution, it cannot be considered “in Pursuance thereof” and, thus, is not “the supreme Law of the Land.” Accordingly, state governments have a constitutional duty to act against this.
Defend the Guard Acts would also be effective. According to the Tenth Amendment Center, over 650,000 National Guard troops have been sent to foreign conflicts since 2001. Additionally, 45 percent of the total U.S. forces sent to Iraq and Afghanistan were National Guard or Reserve troops. If the states prohibit unconstitutional National Guard deployments, the federal government’s participation in these foreign conflicts would be severely hampered.
Accordingly, contact your state legislators and urge them to immediately enact a Defend the Guard Act. For an easy way to check whether such a bill has been introduced in your state, and to quickly contact your legislators, visit https://gojt.us/9o36.
Additionally, spread the word by sharing the TNA interview video “How States Can Rein In Unconstitutional Wars,” which you can view at https://gojt.us/cjwf. Please share this video with at least five others outside your chapter.
Last, but not least, educate your fellow citizens about nullification by hosting a showing of Robert Owens’ webinar presentation Nullification: Military Tactics Applied to Legislative Action, in which he explains nullification and how citizens can achieve passage of such laws.
Our country is in a perilous position, but we also have a great opportunity to educate others on nullification and enact strong legislation enforcing the Constitution. If we take advantage of this opportunity, we can and will save our Republic.