Tuesday, February 10, 2009

At a preparedness site, there has been some discussion about martial law.

Clearly, this may be a concern in some countries. In the USA, it's less of a concern.

In the book, The Military Commander and the Law 1998 references, in detail, the Posse Commitatus Act of 1978. This is a publication of the Air Force Judge Advocates General School.

The Act, an outcome of the American Civil War, prohibits the use of Military in the support of Civilian Law Enforcement.

- Prohibitions
The Armed Services are precluded from assisting local law enforcement officials from enforcing civilian laws, except where authorized by the Constitution or act of Congress.

--- Only the Army and Air Force are mentioned in the statute
--- The Navy follows Posse Comitatus by policy
--- The Act applies to the Reserves and to the National Guard while in Federal (Title 10) service but not to the Guard while in 'Title 32 (state) status.
--- The Act does apply to the Coast Guard
-- The act does not apply to off-duty conduct unless "induced, required, or ordered" by Military officials.

Emergency managers can tell you the guidelines it takes to get troops to engage, even in Civilian humanitarian efforts.

If you have concern about Civilian use of Military resources, please visit with your local emergency manager.

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