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Homeland Defense Preliminary Observations on How Overseas and Domestic Missions Impact DOD Forces
The way in which the federal government views the defense of the United States has dramatically changed since September 11, 2001. Consequently, the Department of Defense (DOD) is adjusting its Cold War strategic focus (of defending against massed combat forces) to better encompass defense against the asymmetric threats that small terrorist cells represent to U.S. territory. GAO was asked to review DOD's participation in domestic missions. This testimony represents our preliminary work in response to the request. It addresses (1) the primary differences in military and nonmilitary missions; (2) how DOD evaluates requests for nonmilitary missions; (3) how the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act impacts DOD's nonmilitary missions; (4) whether current management organizations, plans, and forces are adequate to support DOD's domestic missions; and (5) the impact of overseas and domestic missions on military personnel tempo. GAO is making no recommendations in this testimony.
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