Lets not forget that the memo was released at the very end of the work week during the first week of the summer season. In Texas, it was distributed by the Governors office after five. And there has yet to be any public discussion of its wisdom. Doesnt this sound too familiar?
A plain reading of the operations structure suggests that the Pentagon has vastly strengthened its hand in the conduct of domestic affairs. And citizens of the USA often express well-founded concerns that we would not want our military doing what it does best in the neighborhoods where we live. Military professionals also have a right to be nervous about the situation this makes for them.
On the level of pure formality, the Memorandum of Understanding indicates that Guard missions should be "requested by, coordinated with, and undertaken in support of the USCPB" (U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, Department of Homeland Security.) But the initiative for Operation Jump Start seems to come from forces well beyond the control of USCPB.
Thus, any Operation Jump Start mission formally requested by USCPB will activate a Pentagon line of power that goes from mission approval to mission deployment, flipping the switch toward a conduit of border affairs that runs from the President, through the Secretary of Defense, to the National Guard. This raises serious legal issues about the militarization of domestic law enforcement, and suggests why such a show had to be made about the roles of various Governors. But clearly, this operation was commenced with little display of pride or initiative from the Governors (even if it might give them what they secretly want this election year.)
Furthermore, in terms of formal bureau alignments, there is a mismatch beteen USCBP and DoD that further seems to weaken the actual power of the primary domestic agency, because nowhere in the memo is the director of Homeland Security given the kind of formal power that falls into the hands of the Secretary of Defense.
And why shouldn't this literal structure make us very nervous, given the obvious pattern of strategic muscle exercised by this particular Secretary of Defense? It is a question you may ask nearly anyone in the USA, since very few seem very nervous.
That the federal administration of the USA also represents an apex of corporate types and tokens reminds us as well that a huge border contract is about to enter the awarding phase. The literal structure of the memo gives the DoD some power to push a nose or two into that process of neo-liberal privatization (for which readers of the Texas Civil Rights Review are so far predicting a contract for Northrup Grumman.)
Thursday afternoon, the Texas Civil Rights Review filed records requests with the offices of Governor, Attorney General, and Texas National Guard in order to begin an archive of key documents pertaining to the militarization of the border, because the peculiar paper flow mandated by Operation Jump Start is well worth reading closely.