That beat cops so often look like troops is not just a problem of “optics.” There is, in fact, a “positive and statistically significant relationship between transfers [to police of military equipment] and fatalities from officer-involved shootings,” according to recent research. In other words, the more militarized we allow law enforcement agents to become, the more likely officers are to use lethal violence against citizens. The corollary of more police-involved killings, of course, is more protests in response. That sets up, for some, a convenient “law and order” pretext to occupy American streets—or “dominate” them as President Trump remarked in a recent news conference.
Afghans you have generously helped continue to need assistance. None of the assistance we have been able to provide would have been possible without your generous support. I hope that I can continue to count on your generosity as we continue to help our Afghan colleagues reach safety and rebuild their lives.