Role of the Army National Guard in the 21st Century: Peacekeeping vs. Homeland Security   [open pdf - 1MB]

In this thesis I examine the role of the National Guard in supporting current National Security and National Military Strategy. I argue that the global security environment has changed drastically since the end of the Cold War making "Homeland Security" a primary mission for the military, specifically the National Guard. Concurrently, the unprecedented number of overseas deployments to perform peacekeeping missions has severely affected the active Army's combat capability. I argue that the US Army has not embraced the requirements for "Homeland Security," focusing instead on maintaining its 10 active division force structure. To meet the needs of National Military Strategy, the active Army has instead relied on the reserve components to perform overseas peacekeeping missions. I argue that the National Guard has also looked to performing these missions as a method of institutional survival. Together, both components have undermined the Constitutional underpinnings of the Reserve Component as a strategic reserve, to be mobilized in cases of "war or national emergency." I argue that making "Homeland Security" a primary federal mission of the National Guard, along with restructuring current combat, combat support, and combat service support ratios will allow the National Guard to support National Military Strategy and "Homeland Security."

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