It’s been almost a year since the National Review published a piece warning that the Black Rock Desert would be a hotbed for nuclear-armed insurgents.
The magazine published a video last November, featuring the National Guardsmen and Marines in full riot gear.
A month later, the military sent a letter to the federal government warning of “a growing and very real threat” from militants who are “using improvised explosive devices, rocket propelled grenades, and firearms to threaten civilians and military personnel, in addition to targeting our own troops.”
The White House responded by calling the threat “serious and urgent,” with National Security Advisor Ned Price telling the New York Times, “They’re using these very dangerous devices.
They’re using improvised explosive device.
They use rifles and pistols and pistols with knives.”
The threat from insurgents has only grown since then.
Last month, a gunman killed an army soldier and wounded several others in the desert, killing himself before police were able to intervene.
The White Houses reaction is not unusual: the Pentagon has expressed concern over the proliferation of nuclear weapons.
Last year, the Pentagon issued a report detailing the threat posed by militants armed with improvised explosive weapons.
The latest round of threats from militant groups comes as the Trump administration has been trying to find a way to end the federal shutdown and reopen the government, and is trying to figure out a way forward to address a growing debt crisis.
The National Review article is a classic example of the type of column that can go viral and garner attention, despite its lack of substance.
While there is no way to know how many of the National Guardmen or Marines who have been deployed to the Black Rocks are actually “enemies of the state,” it is possible that some of them are.
As a reminder, in 2016, the US military sent military reinforcements to the Middle East and Africa, with one battalion being deployed to Kuwait and the other to Djibouti.
This article originally appeared at National Review Online.
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