Posse Comitatus, the Army, and Homeland Security: What is the Proper Balance?   [open pdf - 75KB]

"Within a few months of the September 11th terrorist attacks upon our nation, the Office of Homeland Security was created and, ultimately, a 'National Strategy for Homeland Security' was written. In 'The National Security Strategy' of 2002, President Bush formalized the protection of the homeland as the military's highest priority mission. Protecting the homeland often requires military capabilities to manage crises and mitigate the consequences of an attack or natural disaster. The United States National Security Strategy addresses the complexities and challenges our military faces in its role securing the homeland. The two viable options that will be explored in this paper are the status quo, which can be maintained with respect to the Army's role in homeland security--with its attendant risks--or revisions can be made to the Posse Comitatus Act and the Army's force structure in order to deal more effectively with an increased role in domestic emergencies. This paper will document the historical background and legal parameters of the PCA along with its impact on Army domestic operations, and offer realistic recommendations for modifying the Act and changing Army force structure to help achieve part of the overall vision set forth in the National Security Strategy."

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