From the thesis abstract: "As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Coast Guard continue to evolve and adjust to a post-9-11 world, it has caused some to question the Coast Guard's need to continue as an active member of the armed forces. Although the multi-mission aspects of the Coast Guard are still respected and valued, in an environment where mission requirements outnumber available resources, the Coast Guard's non-Homeland Security-centric missions can appear to compete with or distract the agency from the core missions and interests of the Department. Yet there are distinct and specific advantages that DHS realizes by having the Coast Guard serve as an active member of the armed forces. The benefits, authorities, and advantages gained by DHS in support of national interests by supporting and maintaining the Coast Guard's status as a member of the armed forces is worth the additional costs and burdens born by the Coast Guard and Department to maintain that status, even during the current decremental and austere budget environment. "
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/