Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks... After 1st BCT finishes its dwell-time mission, expectations are that another, as yet unnamed, active-duty brigade will take over and that the mission will be a permanent one...Some people feel that this is a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits the uniformed services from intervening on non-federal (state, private) property. The Insurrection Act was modified for this purpose in 2007, but the amendments to it were supposedly repealed in 2008.
Here's what is envisioned as the role of this military unit:
They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack...The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” ... referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them...The CBRNE (chem, biol, rad, nucl, explos) acronym explains the larger "sea-smurf" acronym:
The brigade will not change its name, but the force will be known for the next year as a CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF (pronounced “sea-smurf”).I don't think any civilians argue with the appropriateness of deploying the manpower of the armed forces in times of crisis. This has been done before, and would be fully appropriate if, for example, the New Madrid fault line were to rupture. What is most interesting is that this is being done next week; the timing - right before the presidential election - has many people upset.
One of the ?paranoid scenarios envisioned by the radical left as an explanation for this deployment is that civil unrest might follow a McCain victory (whether normally achieved or engineered via electronic ballot box manipulation).
A second (and more frankly paranoid) explanation is that someone in the administration foresees with some certainty that a terrorist attack is imminent and cannot (or will not) prevent it, and thus this is being done to cope with the aftermath.
The third (and most paranoid) suggestion is that in order to enhance the chance of a McCain victory, a "terrorist attack" will occur and will be interrupted or ameliorated by the effective action of this task force, frightening the population, who will then elect the candidate with the greatest war experience and most belligerant foreign policy attitude.
Thus the almost humorous comment that the rallying cry on Reddit has now changed:
January 2008: "Bring our troops home now!"
September 2008: "Send Troops back!"
September 2008: "Send Troops back!"
The simplest and most reassuring explanation is that offered by ArmyTimes:
“I can’t think of a more noble mission than this,” said Cloutier, who took command in July. “We’ve been all over the world during this time of conflict, but now our mission is to take care of citizens at home ... and depending on where an event occurred, you’re going home to take care of your home town, your loved ones.”Choose for yourself. TYWKIWDBI has an opinion, but we'll leave it unexpressed for the moment, while waiting to see what happens. For now we'll just write this to let everyone know that the deployment is scheduled to happen next week...