Posse Comitatus Act Post-9/11: Time for a Change?   [open pdf - 178KB]

"'We are today a Nation at risk to a new and changing threat.' With these opening remarks to the National Security Strategy for Homeland Security, President George W. Bush simplified the terrorism problem facing the United States (U.S.) today - - a problem that intensified after the 11 September 2001 attacks. The demand to find solutions to this problem, and make the U.S. more secure from terrorist attacks, may result in an increased domestic security role for the U.S. military. However, the Posse Comitatus Act (PCA) limits the domestic use of the military. In light of the recently activated U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Northern Command, should the Posse Comitatus Act be repealed or amended? This paper will examine the debate concerning the PCA by explaining the founding origins of the PCA; the current PCA and its amendments focusing in particular on what the PCA specifically permits and prohibits; implementation problems for the U.S. military; the arguments for and against changing the PCA; examining the people and process involved in the debate concerning the PCA; and lastly providing a proposal for change."

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Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/
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