Homeland Security: Taking the Lead - Issues and Concerns for the Operational Commander [open pdf - 752KB]
In response to the horrific terrorist events of September 11, 2001, America needs to reexamine what organization it charges to be the Lead Federal Agency (LFA) in Homeland Security. Currently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are the lead agencies in dealing with terrorism. The Office of Homeland Security is the coordination element established by Executive Order. The United States Military, specifically the United States Joint Forces Command, is only allowed to play a supporting role, not one of leadership. The reason most often given for not allowing the Military Operational Commander to take the lead is the Posse Comitatus Act which in general prohibits the active military forces from conducting civilian law enforcement activities. The role of the Department of Defense and that of the United States Joint Forces Command in Homeland Security should be one of leadership and not of support. USJFCOM and that of any Commander of a Joint Task Force in charge of Homeland Security provides a better trained force equipped for dealing with this national crisis. Legal and traditional obstacles can be overcome to give the American people the security and safety they need and deserve by allowing USJFCOM to take a leadership role during this national crisis of fighting and countering acts of terrorism against the United States.