Friday, January 23, 2009

Plans to Use Military During 'Civil Unrest'

Persistent stories about deploying the U.S. military on American soil. If I didn't know better, I would say it almost feels like the rollout of a product, or floating an idea to get the public's reaction.

The stories have been published , or based, in the border regions of the South West - and often center around Mexico's spiraling drug war and its potential for spillover. Yet their origin, an Army College report titled "Known Unknowns", places a military deployment in the context of civil unrest. That sounds more like protests, or rioting, not crime. Incidentally, crime in U.S. is way down now, on a per capita basis, from the early 1990's.

AP: "Feds Plan 'Surge' If Mexican Drug War Spills Over"

If Mexican drug violence spills across the U.S. border, Homeland Security officials say they have a contingency plan to assist border areas that includes bringing in the military. "It's a common sense extension of our continued work with our state, local, and tribal partners in securing the southwest border," DHS spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said Friday. Link
El Paso Times: "Unrest caused by bad economy may require military action, report says"

A U.S. Army War College report warns an economic crisis in the United States could lead to massive civil unrest and the need to call on the military to restore order. Retired Army Lt. Col. Nathan Freir wrote the report "Known Unknowns: Unconventional Strategic Shocks in Defense Strategy Development," which the Army think tank in Carlisle, Pa., recently released. Link

Arizona Business Times : "Ariz. police say they are prepared as War College warns military must prep for unrest; IMF warns of economic riots"

Nick Dranias, director of constitutional government at the libertarian Goldwater Institute, said a declaration of marital law would be an extraordinary event and give military control over civilian authorities and institutions. Dranias said the Posse Comitatus Act restricts the U.S. military’s role in domestic law enforcement. But he points to a 1994 U.S. Defense Department Directive (DODD 3025) he says allows military commanders to take emergency actions in domestic situations to save lives, prevent suffering or mitigate great property damage. Link

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