by Monica Davis
Homeland Security sees the role of the military as a subset of its own mission. A right wing position paper from a think tank noted how the Army has taken critical steps to broaden its mission to include homeland security tasks. But the thinking was that the Army needs to redirect its focus and broaden its nission to augmenting its capacity to operate in the “Homeland” and broaden the reach of DHS.
In s sort of “hedging strategy”–read that; a way to bypass posse comitatus, the Army, under the authority of the Deputy chief of Staff For Operations and Plans (G3) sponsored a RAND Corporation study to explore the idea. The study noted that the nation places primary and immediate homeland security operations with civilian organizations and the National Guard and proposed a hybrid model to blend military support with civilian authority structure.
According to this report, the the military has taken steps to hedge against an inadequately prepared civilian “civil defense” model. This response is a hybrid aproach which focuses on dealing with competing requirements of foreign wars and domestic security issues. In this approach, the military undertakes to improve National Guard inadequacies by providing funding and asset sharing through DOD Title 32 funding.
This is one of the reasons our police forces have been militarized. After all, you do not give big boys toys without expecting them to play with them. And so we have small town cops ridiing around in armored personnel carriers, big city cops trying to fake out drug dealers by putting tanks with police logos on them in “high crime” areas.
Some of you may be having a problem wrapping your minds around the idea that Homeland Security is absorbing the military in the US, but look at the way the DHS has spread military funding aroundn to local and state police agencies. Look at the way DHS is carving an empire out of federal law enforcement and reaching out to other agencies, via funding, grants, and equipment giveaways.
But, as the old saying goes, beware of Trojan horses. The military equipment comes with a price, namely fostering a militaristic mindset in our police forces, an US vs. them mentaility which is not compatible with community policing, or domestic law enforcement.
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