Investigating the Benefits and Drawbacks of Realigning the National Guard Under the Department of Homeland Security
Army War College -Strategic Studies Institute Carlisle United States
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The 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review QDR designates homeland defense HD as one of the three core pillars of the nations current and future defense strategy.1 Defending the homeland from external threats and aggression requires a robust military capability. In this sense, both the federal Armed Forces active and reserve components, as well as state National Guard forces play important roles in the defense of the nation. Further, HD often overlaps with civil support CS and homeland security to form a triad of domestic military operational domains. Where the roles, responsibilities, and limitations of the active and reserve components of the Armed Forces are relatively clear in this triad, the National Guard is a unique military entity capable of serving in either a state-controlled or federally controlled status during domestic operations. Whether the Guard operates in a state-funded, state-controlled status State Active Duty SAD a federally funded, state-controlled status Title 32 or a federally funded and controlled status Title 10 is a topic of ongoing debate during CS missions. Regardless of their duty status in such situations, the National Guard contributes to the security, protection, and well-being of the population. As such, it is important to continually assess the roles, responsibilities, and organizational orientation of the National Guard during domestic operations in support of civil authorities, and to ensure the states and federal government maximize the utility of this unique military capability when it matters most.