Thursday, September 29, 2005

Natural Disasters and the U.S. Military

President Bush is pushing Congress for "robust discussion" regarding a potentially larger roll for the U.S. military in the case of a terrorist attack or natural disaster (Guardian). The goal is to prevent a lackluster response in the case of such an event as was seen last month in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. However, there are many reasons to be against this plan. The Posse Comitatus prohibits the military from being a law enforcement authority in the U.S. Some oppose the plan because of possible violations of states' rights and questions about whether the large federal bureaucracy will be able to handle the aftermath of catastrophes with more success than first responders. Further, the authority to designate the military for assignment under a new law would probably be up to the President. However, legislators may be unwilling to grant this type of power to the President.

Bureaucratic organizations nearly always fall due to scandal or massive failure. The relief effort from Katrina was a disaster. The President is under a lot of pressure to do something to make sure next time won't be worse. I'm just not sure this plan will be effective or politically feasible. Thoughts?

No comments: