The Militant (logo)  

Vol. 73/No. 2      January 19, 2009

War college: need troops
in U.S. for ‘civil unrest’
(front page)
A recent report from the U.S. Army War College discusses the need for the Pentagon to deploy U.S. troops on domestic soil to quell civil unrest as the economic crisis worsens. Titled “Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development,” the document was written by Nathan Freier, a retired army lieutenant colonel who is a professor at the college.

Freier emphasizes that the likeliest and most dangerous “future shocks” are “outside the realm of traditional warfighting.” They will be “nonmilitary in origin and character,” referring to the resistance the U.S. rulers know is coming by working people as economic and social conditions worsen.

“Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security,” the report states. It gives as examples cases of “unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies,” and “catastrophic natural and human disasters.”

The report further states, “An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home.”

The report fits into the line of march the U.S. rulers have been on over the past decade since the William Clinton administration set up the Joint Task Force-Civil Support in October 1999 as a “homeland defense command.” In 2002 the Pentagon established the U.S. Northern Command, charged with carrying out military operations within the United States.

Prior to this, under the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the U.S. armed forces had been barred from domestic operations, except in specific, limited circumstances. Pentagon officials are now projecting some 20,000 active-duty U.S. troops to be stationed in the United States by 2011.

In mid-December International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned of economic and social unrest spreading “in various global markets if the financial crisis is not addressed and lower-income households are hurt by credit constraints and rising unemployment,” reported the Phoenix Business Journal. The Journal reported that state and local police in Arizona have plans to respond to such unrest, including that resulting from the economic crisis.

In 2003 Arizona governor Janet Napolitano sent National Guard troops to the Palo Verde nuclear power plant. Her office released a statement at the time saying the action was in response to a U.S. Department of Homeland Security request. Napolitano is president-elect Barack Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security.  
Front page (for this issue) | Home | Text-version home