CHIHUAHUA, Mexico — Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) met with Mexican military officials today in Santa Gertrudis, Chihuahua, to discuss the possibilities of military assistance during any future Operation Jade Helm, a U.S. Department of Defense military training exercise involving several tactical units that began in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado on July 18 and runs through September 15.
The meeting took place at Military Air Base 11 with General José Doroteo Arango, Supreme Commander of Mexican Armed Forces, and General Salvador Cienfuegos Zepeda, 34th Military Zone commander, and lasted several hours. Mr. Patrick didn’t take questions from reporters after the meeting, and his staff didn’t issue a press release.
In a telephone interview, a Texas official, who had detailed knowledge of the meeting and spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it, said the meeting was to determine if Mexican military units would be available to provide emergency assistance if needed by Texas if Operation Jade Helm happens next year.
“Nothing was decided,” said the official. “There were only preliminary considerations and discussions of dates for further meetings with them.”
In May when Operation Jade Helm was announced, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) ordered units of the Texas State Guard to monitor the military operation because he was concerned it was “a Trojan horse for a federal takeover of Texas and imposition of martial law.” He also encouraged independent citizen-formed militias to “keep check on the Americans.”
According to the official, Mr. Abbott believes it’s a states’ rights issue. “The governor is simply fulfilling his duty to protect and ensure the safety, constitutional rights, private property rights, and civil liberties of all Texans,” the official said.
When Operation Jade Helm ended, Mr. Abbott honored members of the Texas State Guard for their performance. But according to the official, Mr. Abbott’s administration has very little confidence in the abilities of the Texas State Guard.
The official said: “These are just weekend-warrior types, somewhat just a bit better than glorified mall rent-a-cops, so we have concerns in case a high-level response is needed. That’s why we went down there. And the governor is committed to do what’s best for this republic, as he was elected to do. The announcement caught us by surprise this year, but we intend to be fully ready for the next Jade Helm crisis.”
Texas state officials are deeply concerned about “what Obama’s up to,” the official said. Mr. Abbott’s administration believes the ultimate objective of Operation Jade Helm is to seize oil wells and oilfields and to shutter them, which would ruin the Texas economy.
“Look, it’s no secret Obama hates the coal and oil industries. He’s a commie. If that many Obama storm troopers are coming down here, they’ve got to be up to something no good. He probably wants to nationalize the oilfields and replace them with wind farms and solar farms. We have thousands of oilfields, and we can’t protect them all. If anything would happen, we’d probably need the Mexicans to protect the oilfields in the lower Rio Grande Valley and some in the southwest.”
The Department of Defense did not respond to queries about dates for the next Operation Jade Helm.
Juan N. Uendos covers news from the Southwest, Mexico, and southern Americas. Givhans N. Cites contributed to this report from Washington. Willie Leroy Washington contributed from Austin.