Department of Defense's Preparation to Support Domestic Emergencies as a U.S. Vital Interest [open pdf - 1MB]
Emerging threats of terrorism and WMD pose the greatest danger to U. S. vital interests at home over the next 20 years. DoD is actively engaged in military assistance to civil authorities (MACA) and its role is growing. The frequent use of military forces in supporting domestic operations and the growing probability of asymmetrical threats directed against the territory and citizens of the United States requires a significantly increased emphasis on the military's role to support MACA. Despite recent changes to improve DoD structure and control of MACA, DoD remains unprepared to respond to domestic disasters and the emerging threats to our homeland. This paper examines emerging threats to U. S. vital interests at home, reviews current policies, describes the complex and fragmented procedures for providing MACA, and makes recommendations to improve DoD's ability to provide MACA in order to enhance security at home. This paper recommends transferring executive agency responsibility to CINCUSJFCOM as the single agency to coordinate MACA policy, planning and response; that DoD adopt MACA as a core mission in order to program and resource requirements, that the National Strategy address both conventional and asymmetric threats to our nation, and that the National Guard adopt this larger role for MACA.