In an article penned by Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General Raymond T. Odierno
, the CFR would see the Army used to address “challenges in the United States itself” in order to keep the homeland safe from domestic disasters, including terrorist attacks. Odierno writes:
Where appropriate we will also dedicate active-duty forces, especially those with niche skills and equipment, to provide civilian officials with a robust set of reliable and rapid response options.
That’s right. Should the sheriff suspect that a particular citizen in his county poses a threat to security and feels he doesn’t have the proper “skills and equipment” to deal with the situation, he can just call out the U.S. Army and bring a “rapid response” force that is robust enough to eliminate the problem.
These are not the musings of an unknown academic written in an obscure journal of little importance. These are the black-and-white plans for “building a flexible force” as laid out by the man in charge and published for all the world to read by the people who may have put him there.
In order to justify this new (and illegal) mission for the Army, General Odierno points to three “major changes”
that have precipitated the re-tasking of the troops: First, “declining budgets
due to the country’s worsened fiscal situation; second, “a shift in emphasis to the Asia-Pacific region
; and third, a “broadening of focus from counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, and training of partners to shaping the strategic environment
, preventing the outbreak of dangerous regional conflicts, and improving the army’s readiness to respond in force to a range of complex contingencies worldwide.”
There are so many things wrong with every one of these points that each deserves its own article focused solely on its deconstruction. Unfortunately, there is only so much space and each of these considerations has one critical flaw in common: no constitutional authority for any of it.