"Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the United States Coast Guard, the smallest of America's armed forces, was given massive new homeland protection responsibilities. Unfortunately, the service struggles to fulfill these duties due to aged equipment, insufficient personnel strength, and inadequate funding. This paper analyses the Coast Guard's place in government and proposes moving the service to the Department of Defense (DoD). A close examination of the growing Coast Guard mission set shows how the service has gained major new responsibilities in recent years without a corresponding increase in resources. A review of relations between the Coast Guard, the executive branch, and the Congress sheds light on the systemic problems that hamper the Coast Guard's ability to field the forces needed to carry out its mandated missions. Next, the most commonly heard arguments against shifting the service to DoD are evaluated and countered. The paper then highlights the important efficiencies that a move of the Coast Guard to DoD would make to national defense, homeland security, and the service's own operational capabilities."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/