Posse Comitatus: Some Thoughts on Loosening its Restrictions within the Department of Defense
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI
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Posse Comitatus law andor service policies have prohibited DoD forces from becoming involved in domesticcivil law enforcement since the late 1870s. Focus upon the war on drugs during the 1980s generated new laws that significantly changed DoDs role in this long-term battle. Current National Security Strategy NSS and National Drug Control Strategy NDCS indicate ongoing involvement by DoD forces in the strategy to decrease demand, reduce availability of drugs, and reduce the number of young people who experiment with drugs. Posse Comitatus law does not apply outside of the United States, and the law only applies to the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force however, Department of Navy officials have crafted their service policy to mirror Posse Comitatus restraints. 10 USC 375 1988 provided clarification and restricted all DoD forces from becoming directly involved in law enforcement search, seizure and arrest. Its time for another look at partially increasing DoD involvement in counterdrug operations CD OPS. This paper presents a case for authorizing U.S. Navy combatants to board foreign vessels upon the high seas. Appendix A includes a detailed summary of Posse Comitatus law and its changes over the past century.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics