Sierra Vista Az, 2009 -A new study by the RAND Arroyo Center looks at the need for a Special Police Force to be funded by the American people for either foreign or domestic policing in the event of large-scale critical situations. Interestingly, it seems that they may be looking at this initially as a way to supplement their military forces overseas and to provide long-term security options outside of normal military operations. In many cases as can be seen in some of our last "interventions," there remains an aspect that is severely lacking. The U.S. Military is unfortunately not set up to handle long term policing, as it is an organization primarily focused on military action, which will not work in a civilian atmosphere.
According to the RAND study, "The absence of security makes it difficult to rebuild political, economic, and other sectors. It also makes it difficult to repair and construct basic infrastructure such as water, oil, transportation, or electricity systems, as the U.S. experience in Iraq makes clear." As can be seen in Iraq military force is not trained to deal with the civilian population in the same manner as a civilian police force may be. After all most military forces are not trained to provide security rather they function by overcoming other force with superior force. A large part of this report directly address's the question regarding inclusion of additional foreign agencies and militaries in the formation and training of this force in the United States.
According to the RAND study, "The SPF could be used for missions such as: shaping an environment before a conflict; law enforcement duties in an active conflict environment; or security, stability, transition and reconstruction (SSTR) operations after a conflict." The study has concluded that the logical organization to house this new potential policing organization would be the U.S. Marshals service. The reason for this is the U.S. Marshals Service current role in high end policing here in the United States, of course the question should be raised is this an organization that is Constitutional, and will it be used within our own borders.
Given that some of the duties would be intelligence gathering on potential "terrorist" or other threats which could include organized crime as well, one should assume that due to the recent publication of descriptions of what is a Domestic Terrorist by the Department of Homeland Security, would affect the decisions made by this organization. According to recommendations, it is primarily meant for foreign interests where the need for a true police force exists. It is this authors understanding however; that most of the rest of the world does not utilize our Constitution hence utilizing a U.S. Hybrid Police Force would in fact be forcing this decision on other portions of the world where the various social differences may cause problems beyond what we see now. It should also be noted however, that the authors of this study were clear in that they agree and understand that a foreign nation must be able to establish their own law enforcement over time as well. According to the RAND study, "a major U.S. or international role could undermine a population's confidence in their government, since it suggests that the government is too weak or incompetent to provide for the country's security."
The author is not necessarily against the use of better planning in military operations or in potential crisis locations however, is it necessary to use military in a domestic police force and would this not counter the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878? This act prohibits the use of military personnel inside the United States in the role of civilian law enforcement authorities. It is this authors understanding that by having the U.S. Marshals service heading this organization whether it be used domestically or not would remain irrelevant; after all the simple reality is that by using military personnel to supplement a United States civilian law enforcement agency we are in fact countering the Posse Comitatus Act.
It is this author's opinion that either we use civilian contracted police forces specifically trained for each theater of operation or we train military police in civilian methodology to shape a more beneficial outcome. Obviously, this would and could still become and issue should insurrection or other potential national security "problems" occur however, it does allow for a Constitutional approach to a modern problem. While this report does not specifically mention the use of such a force within our nation's boundaries, the idea is inherent given the reasoning behind it. Just as our Congressmen and Senators promised that the Patriot Act would not be used within this nation (and it has been several times against non-terrorist citizens.) we should take into account what recourse we would have if it was decided to use a force such as this within our borders. For this author a force like this is reminiscent of the Nazi Special police and the Communist Russia Special police units who were in effect shock troops specially designed to react regardless of potential innocence or guilt.
Therefore, do we allow this to occur, or is it something we really need?
Reference:Kelly, Jones, Barnett II, Crane, Davis, Jensen, T, S, J, K, R, C. "A Stability Police Force for the United States Justification and Options for Creating U.S. CapabilitiesRAND Arroyo Center ISBN 978-0-8330-4653-6. (2009),