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Partnering with the Department of Defense for Improved Homeland Security (From Homeland Security Law and Policy, P 159-174, 2005, William C. Nicholson, ed. -- See NCJ-212315)

NCJ Number
Gregory M. Huckabee
Date Published
16 pages
This chapter examines various issues pertinent to the U.S. Department of Defense's (DOD's) role in providing improved homeland security.
In examining the role that DOD fulfills in the National Response Plan (NRP) and the Federal Response Plan (FRP), the chapter notes that DOD is a provider of resources, but virtually never the primary or lead Federal agency in responding to emergency incidents that call for Federal help. The chapter also discusses when DOD is authorized to respond to a WMD or terrorist event. It states that local military commanders may always provide an immediate response for civil support to State and local authorities when there is insufficient time for approval from higher authority. Further, when time allows the State Governor to request support from the President or the FBI, DOD will respond to any assignments given. The President may also declare a national emergency on his/her own initiative and direct DOD to respond to the situation. Also, when an emergency involves a primary Federal responsibility, the President may direct the use of DOD armed forces. The DOD performs its civil support mission by following the NRP/FRP and supporting the Primary Agency/Lead Federal Agency procedures in completing all assigned and properly approved tasks. The chapter also discusses how State and local civil support authorities partner with DOD to obtain DOD assistance, followed by cooperation with DOD forces. This is followed by a discussion of the restrictions Congress has placed on DOD under the Posse Comitatus Act, which specifies that U.S. Armed Forces may not be used to conduct law enforcement activities. Nine exceptions under this law are outlined. 70 notes and discussion questions