As the border crisis continues, Texans, including Lt. Colonel Allen West (R-TX) are shifting the blame from the Biden Administration to Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX).
Governor Abbott saw his stock rise in early 2021 after President Biden (D) took office. The majority of Americans disapprove of the job President Biden has done to keep the border region safe and stop the flow of illegal immigrants and illegal drugs and weapons. Since then, Texas saw the implementation of Operation Lone Star, which was popular among Texas conservatives, but not anymore.
Lt. Colonel Allen West, who is seeking to oust the seemingly popular Governor Abbott from office in 2022, further questioning Abbott's leadership along the border and promising to, "Fully mobilize the National Guard," along the border if he were to be elected governor.
West alleges that a “variety of shortcomings” have plagued military readiness along the border, stating that soldiers are enduring “force protection issues, equipment shortages, ammo shortages, housing shortages, task saturation issues, and Joint Task Force (JTF) attribution problems.”
“People on BOLO lists have entered the hotels of soldiers and stolen receipts and notebooks in an attempt to gain intel, most likely for cartels. Additionally, sicarios — cartel mercenaries — actively operate in many southern counties in Texas and troop security is not being effectively provided. These actions by cartel agents have resulted in no action by those high up in the chain of command,” added West.
Now, members of the military, and even close political figures to the GOP are backing West's claims. “It was common knowledge inside the command group that [Operation Lone Star] is just a political stunt,” retired Command Sergeant Major Jason Featherston, who served as Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Texas Army National Guard, told Chronicles. “Do I think we should have soldiers on the border? Absolutely. But what’s gone wrong with this is that it was hastily done and poorly planned.”
Currently, the dying Operation Lone Star has been plagued by a lack of morale, pay, soldier welfare, and concerningly high suicide rates among border personnel. This is an issue that West has addressed in press conferences and promised to end.