Accession Number:

ADA523864

Title:

The Posse Comitatus Act and the United States Army: A Historical Perspective

Descriptive Note:

Occasional paper no. 14

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS COMBAT STUDIES INST

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2006-01-01

Pagination or Media Count:

89.0

Abstract:

This study, designed as a short, concise monograph, provides fundamental information for those who may find themselves involved in supporting domestic law enforcement actions. Chapter 1 provides a brief overview of the US Constitution as it relates to civilian rule over the military as well as a succinct examination of the use of the Army in civil law enforcement until the Civil War. Chapter 2 offers an overview of Reconstruction and investigates the true origins of the Posse Comitatus Act. Chapter 3 discusses the 1973 Wounded Knee incident and the resulting court cases related to the PCA, along with the bewildering array of exceptions applied to the PCA in the war on drugs. Chapter 4 offers a historical vignette designed to demonstrate how the PCA created controversy during and following the 1992 Los Angeles riots, possibly slowing efforts to quell the uprising and permitting the violence to escalate and spread. Equally important, Chapter 5 examines the controversial 1993 Branch Davidian fiasco, which narrowly avoided a flagrant violation of the PCA. Finally, Chapter 6 examines the future of the Posse Comitatus Act and potential alternatives open to policy makers.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE