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The Military and Homeland Security

PAM, Vol. 10 No. 2, (2005)

Since September 11, American citizens have witnessed an
expansion of the participation of the U.S. military in domestic
security (e.g., civil infrastructure protection, defenses against WMD
attack). Currently much of this activity remains limited to
activities only indirectly related to the monitoring, investigation
and apprehension of individuals and groups with suspected
terrorist ties. However, in the event of a new, large-scale attack (or
fear of one) politicians may be tempted to accept an even greater
role for the U.S. military in antiterrorism efforts--efforts that
border on ‘‘police work.’’ This essay argues against permitting an
expanded role on three grounds: military and police work are
fundamentally different activities, which require different training
and mindsets; expanding roles in internal security could politicize
the officer corps and undermine the fundamental premises of U.S.
civil-military relations; allowing the military an active role in
domestic security challenges important, historically grounded
societal and cultural values.

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