Increased Military Presence Planned Here in the United States

"The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.

The long-planned shift in the Defense Department’s role in homeland security was recently backed with funding and troop commitments after years of prodding by Congress and outside experts, defense analysts said.

There are critics of the change, in the military and among civil liberties groups and libertarians who express concern that the new homeland emphasis threatens to strain the military and possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military’s role in domestic law enforcement." (Emphasis Mine)

msnbc.msn.com/id/27989275/

The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011** trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe,** according to Pentagon officials.

The long-planned shift in the Defense Department’s role in homeland security was recently backed with funding and troop commitments after years of prodding by Congress and outside experts, defense analysts said.

There are critics of the change, in the military and among civil liberties groups and libertarians who express concern that the new homeland emphasis threatens to strain the military and possibly undermine the Posse Comitatus Act, a 130-year-old federal law restricting the military’s role in domestic law enforcement.

But the Bush administration and some in Congress have pushed for a heightened homeland military role since the middle of this decade, saying the greatest domestic threat is terrorists exploiting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

Before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, dedicating 20,000 troops to domestic response – a nearly sevenfold increase in five years – “would have been extraordinary to the point of unbelievable,” Paul McHale, assistant defense secretary for homeland defense, said in remarks last month at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. But the realization that civilian authorities may be overwhelmed in a catastrophe prompted “a fundamental change in military culture,” he said.

washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/30/AR2008113002217_pf.html

I think this is an important and necessary step. If a terrorist organization were to obtain a nuclear weapon and use it on US soil, I do not think civilian law enforcement and other relief agencies would be equipped or prepared to deal with it. A major catastrophe might require the extra hands the military can provide.

We’ve already got the sturcture to handle this. It’s called the National Guard. Each state has its own Guard units and can and do call them to service when there is a need. Federal forces are not needed, and in many cases not wanted.

Thanks but I am quite aware of the existence of the National Guard. A nuclear or biological attack on the United States is just that, an attack on the United States, not a strictly local or state event. The ramifications would be huge and the effects could and probably would be felt in more than one state. A nuke detonated in a city, for example, could spread fallout across state lines. A biological attack using some kind of flu virus, entirely possible, would probably not limit itself to one state. The recovery and containment efforts would have to be coordinated at a federal level. So, sorry, but just having a state governor or two call up some National Guard units is unlikely to work in these scenarios.

My reaction to this is quite different. There is such a danger with expanded government powers given the nature of our Constitutional Republic. Of course, I am a conservative on all counts, especially and including the belief in limited government.

I believe it was the NDAA (John Warner Nat’l Defense Authorization Act) that critics say essentially nullified Posse Comitatus. PC originally forbade federal troops from being deployed on our soil with one exception - The Insurrection Act which was only to be used for the purpose of putting down civil unrest if state authorities failed to do so.

The language in the NDAA was expanded and now the president can federalize Nat’l Guard troops for just about anything he wants - including public health emergencies.

Public Law 109-364, or the “John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007” (H.R.5122) (2), which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a “public emergency” and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to “suppress public disorder.”

towardfreedom.com/home/content/view/911/

I think the idea is to have a specially trained force to be utilized in case of major catastrophies. It would be hard and redundant to do this in the NG structure.

There is a very good chance we will get hit with a WMD attack in the next few years.

It’s just a fact the active duty military can deploy to hot spots more rapidly than reserve and NG troops.

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