Accession Number:

ADA413494

Title:

The Posse Comitatus Act: A Harmless Relic from the Post-Reconstruction Era or a Legal Impediment to Transformation?

Descriptive Note:

Corporate Author:

ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2003-04-07

Pagination or Media Count:

49.0

Abstract:

The Secretary of Defense should seek repeal of The Posse Comitatus Act PCA. This Act presents a formidable obstacle to our nations flexibility and adaptability at a time when we face an unpredictable enemy with the proven capability of causing unforeseen catastrophic events. The difficulty in correctly interpreting and applying the Act causes widespread confusion at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of our military. Given that future events may call for the use of the military to assist civil authorities, a review of the efficacy of the PCA is in order. This paper will document the historical context of the PCA, clearly explain the parameters of the law, and provide an analysis of the PCAs value in todays security environment. An analysis of the PCA will reveal that although the policy goals behind the Act are generally sound and desirable, Congress could better implement their intent through other means.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE