The White House tried to reassure Americans and the governor of Texas Wednesday that a planned special U.S. military training operation in several southwestern states is no cause for alarm. The plans have raised fears among some Texans of a federal occupation. “In no way will the constitutional rights or civil liberties of any American citizen be infringed upon while this exercise is being conducted,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest.
The military exercise is called Operation Jade Helm 15, and will involve about 1,200 special forces training over eight weeks that will simulate special operations in hostile territory. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has ordered members of the Texas State Guard to “monitor” the federal troops in the upcoming exercise. Asked by a reporter in the White House press corps whether Texans were expressing “paranoia” or whether their concerns were justified, Mr. Earnest refuted reports that the special forces would be “incognito.” MORE