The Army tasks a brigade with a Homeland Security Mission.  Paul Watson – and 190 commentors-  promptly freak the f*** out and get their panties in a collective twist:

Ominously, the report states that, “The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said, referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.”

The unit would also be deployed to deal with hostile crowds of Americans in the aftermath of a massive economic depression, potential food riots and race riots, if one defines the term “crowd control” to match its reasonably applicable scenarios.

Calm down before you hurt yourself, please.

Stuff like this happens all the time – you just never notice.  Units get assignments like this like my Aunt Masie loads up on desert. It’s only news because of the novel command and control arrangement.

When you read about a battalion of Marines flying up to Yellowstone to help fight forest fires?  Secondary tasking.  The jarheads who deployed to support the National Guard in LA last time they had a riot?  Secondary tasking.  Those guys were already on call for that stuff and had a modest amount of training for the task.  Sometimes very modest but there you go.

And .. seriously.  So ‘they’ are planning an October Surprise.  What in the world is a brigade combat team going to do?  It’s a battalion of infantry, with guns and air support.  Call if 5,000 guys at the most.

It’s a big country.  If the entire place goes up in flame and smoke, a BCT is going to be a drop of water on a hot grill.

So the Army could send a brigade to take over … Tulsa.  And if they want Tulsa they can have it.

Cross posted to Space For Commerce.


  1. I tend to agree with the complainers.
    Crowd control by feds, even under the guise of a humanitarian mission, is a violation of Posse Comitatus, IMO.
    Spent lots of time considering it during many AD taskings to various fed LE ops. Training? Fine. Relief? Fine. Arresting or otherwise ‘managing’ citizens, for ‘their own good?’ Now yer’ diggin’ where there’s tyranny-taters.

  2. Crowd control by feds, even under the guise of a humanitarian mission, is a violation of Posse Comitatus, IMO

    18 U.S.C. § 1385
    Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

    It might be – in your view – morally wrong but it is legal.

    You don’t even need to hide it under a false flag like humanitarian missions: since Congress passed the Insurrection Act in 1807 the President has been allowed to to employ troops in case of insurrection, natural disaster, inability of state authorities to keep order, among other things.

    If my nearly twenty-year old training can still be relied upon – you can hit people, you can tear gas them, you can bayonet them while under orders in a crowd control situation. But you cannot arrest them, nor detain them for an unreasonable period of time. Mostly the expectation seemed to be that if you detained a rioter he’d be turned over to the local law enforcement as soon as practical.