Role of the Military in a Civil Defense Emergency   [open pdf - 1MB]

"I think it would be advisable to clarify the meaning of the term civil defense emergency at the outset. This, as you probably know, is a condition which exists when the President, by proclamation, or the Congress, by concurrent resolution, finds that an attack upon the United States has occurred or is anticipated and that the national safety therefore requires an invocation of the provisions of Title III of the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, otherwise known as Public Law 920. Title III concerns emergency authorities for civil defense purpose, and includes the utilization of Federal departments and agencies. A civil defense emergency and a national emergency are essentially the same. Both require extraordinary measures to ensure national safety and welfare...In this framework there is no question what the Armed Forces would be doing. If an attack is anticipated, we would be getting ready for it. Numerous readiness measures would be implemented to insure optimum preparedness for military defense and the employment of our strategic retaliatory forces. Our civil defense activities would be very limited because we are not precommitted to the postattack civil defense mission. However, working relationships in the field would be intensified, specifically with respect to attack warning and the functions of the Regional Civil and Defense Mobilization Boards, which I will discuss in a few minutes."

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