Michel Chossudovsky


The URL of this article is:


This article is a follow-up on an earlier text entitled:   Bush

Administration "Guidelines" for Postponing or Canceling the November Presidential Elections, by Michel Chossudovsky, 10 July 2004,  



Based on so-called "credible" reports, Homeland Security Secretary Tom

Ridge has warned that Osama is now "planning to disrupt the November

elections." A large-scale attack on American soil is said to be planned by

Al Qaeda during the presidential election campaign:

"…Credible reporting indicates that Al Qaeda is moving forward with its

plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States in an effort

to disrupt our democratic process... This is sobering information about

those who wish to do us harm... But every day we strengthen the security

of our nation." (Quoted in AP, 8 July 2004)


"Possible targets" include the Democratic National Convention in July and

the Republican Convention in New York in August.


Barely a few days prior to Tom Ridge's spectacular announcement, a

spokesman of Northern Command Headquarters at Patterson Air Force Base in

Colorado confirmed that Northcom (which has a mandate to defend the

Homeland) was "at a high level of readiness" and was proceeding with the

(routine) deployment of jet fighters over major cities as well as the

posting of troops at key locations (Atlantic Journal and Constitution, 3

July 2004).


Cancelling or Postponing the Elections


This new terror warning by Homeland Security, not to mention the impending

military deployment, has served to create an aura of insecurity concerning

the November presidential elections.


Meanwhile, postponement of the election has become a talking point on

major news channels including CNN, following the release of a letter by

the Director of the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to Homeland

Security Secretary Tom Ridge, calling for so-called "guidelines" to cancel

or reschedule the election in the case of a terror attack

For details, see


Legal procedures for cancelling/rescheduling the elections are under

study, at the request of DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, by the Justice

Department's Office of Legal Counsel, which is examining the legal and

constitutional implications. (Washington Post, 14 July, 2004)


The Military and Intelligence apparatus working in liaison with Homeland

Security and the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) are

indelibly behind this process, pointing to the unthinkable: THE



Meanwhile, the cancellation / rescheduling of elections issue is presented

to public opinion as a mere technical question, as a means of "protecting

democracy," in the case of a terror attack. CNN has asked people "to vote"

on their website, on whether they think the elections should be held in

the case of a terror attack. It all sounds very democratic.


Crying Wolf on Terrorism. Who is the Wolf?


The terror alert level has been raised to orange (high alert) five times

since September 11, 2001. There have been numerous other terror warnings

since the "color coded" alert system was first established in the wake of



There is, however, evidence from police sources that AT LEAST TWO of these

five high profile post-9/11 code orange terror alerts WERE FABRICATED:

February 7, 2003, and December, 21, 2003.


For details and documentary evidence, see


There is also ample evidence that AL QAEDA IS A CREATION OF THE US

INTELLIGENCE APPARATUS and that the terror network is SUPPORTED BY the

BUSH Administration.



The most recent DHS announcement has all the appearances of yet another

fabricated report of an impending attack by an illusive "outside enemy."

It is already amply documented: Al Qaeda is a CIA sponsored "intelligence

asset," and the disinformation regarding the terror attacks emanates out

of US intelligence.




Details of the police/intelligence investigation regarding Secretary Tom

Ridge's July terror warning have not been provided. Officials have said

the USG "does not have specific knowledge about where, when or how such an

attack would take place," but the CIA, the FBI and other agencies are said

to be "actively working to gain that knowledge."


Code Red Alert and Martial Law


The possibility of a code red terror alert has been announced time and

again since September 11 2001, with a view to galvanizing public opinion

across the country in support of an emergency situation, if and when it

occurs. The terror alerts have become part of America's day to day life:

"at each threat condition [yellow, orange, red], federal departments and

agencies would implement a corresponding set of 'Protective Measures' to

further reduce vulnerability or increase response capability during a

period of heightened alert."




Supported by a barrage of media propaganda, these repeated terror alerts

have created an environment of fear and intimidation, a wait-and-accept

attitude, a false normality. US citizens are led to believe that a

military solution is required to protect democracy.

In other words, the possibility of an impending attack on America by this

"outside enemy" has been accepted by the American public; this tacit

acceptance has set the stage for the adoption of "the highest threat

level": code red alert.


What the US public is not aware of, is that a CODE RED ALERT SUSPENDS

CIVILIAN GOVERNMENT; it triggers a whole series of emergency procedures;

it is TANTAMOUNT TO A COUP D'ETAT -- although in many regards the coup

d'etat has already taken place under the post-9/11 anti-terrorist

legislation and the rigging of the 2000 elections which brought George W.

Bush into the White House.


Preparing for Code Red


Homeland Security (DHS) has in fact been contemplating a code red alert

"scenario" -- using Al Qaeda as a pretext -- for more than a year. In May

2003, the DHS conducted a major "anti-terrorist exercise" entitled TOPOFF

2. The latter was described as "the largest and most comprehensive

terrorism response and homeland security exercise ever conducted in the

United States." The exercise was based on code red assumptions involving a

simulated terrorist attack.


See: A code red alert,

according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), would create

conditions for the ("temporary" we are told) suspension of the normal

functions of civilian government, implying the cancellation or

postponement of federal and State elections.


According to FEMA, code red would:

Increase or redirect personnel to address critical emergency needs; Assign

emergency response personnel and pre-position and mobilize specially

trained teams or resources; monitor, redirect, or constrain transportation

systems; and close public and government facilities not critical for

continuity of essential operations, especially public safety.  (FEMA, )


Northern Command would take over. Several functions of civilian

administration would be suspended; others could be transferred to the

jurisdiction of the military. More generally, the procedure would disrupt

government offices, businesses, schools, public services, transportation,



A secret "Shadow Government" under the classified "Continuity of

Operations Plan" was installed on September 11, 2001.  (See:

). Known internally as "Continuity of Government" or COG, the secret

shadow government would become functional in the case of a code red alert,

redeploying key staff to secret locations.


Code red alert would, according to FEMA, also preclude and repress any

form of public gathering or citizens' protest which questions the

legitimacy of the emergency procedures and the INSTALLATION OF A POLICE

STATE. The emergency authorities would also exert tight censorship over

the media and would no doubt paralyze the alternative news media on the



Code red alert would trigger the "civilian" Homeland Emergency response

system. The latter is already in place including DHS Ready.Gov

instructions, the Big Brother Citizen Corps, not to mention the USA

onWatch or Neighborhood Watch Program which has a mandate to "identify and

report suspicious activity in neighbourhoods" across America.


The Role of the Military


What would be the involvement of the Military in a code red emergency


In theory, The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 prevents the military from

intervening in civilian police and judicial functions.


In practice, the Posse Comitatus Act is dead (see Frank Morales at ).


The existing legislation inherited from the Clinton administration, not to

mention the post 9/11 Patriot Acts I and II, "blurs the line between

military and civilian roles," it allows the military to intervene in

judicial and law enforcement activities EVEN IN THE ABSENCE OF AN



The 1996 legislation allowed the military to intervene in the case of a

national emergency (e.g., a terrorist attack). Clinton's 1999 Defense

Authorization Act (DAA) extended those powers by creating an "exception"

to the Posse Comitatus Act, which permits the military to be involved in

civilian affairs "regardless of whether there is an emergency." See ACLU



In other words, the Clinton era legislation had already laid the legal and

ideological foundations of the "war on terrorism."


In the context of the war on terrorism, the so-called "exception"

contained in the 1999 DAA legislation nullifies the provisions of the

Posse Comitatus Act:


"The new proposed exception to the Posse Comitatus Act would further

expand a controversial measure adopted by Congress in 1996 that permitted

military involvement in 'emergencies' involving chemical and biological

weapons crimes.


"Under that new measure, which was proposed by the Defense Department, the

military would be authorized to deal with crimes involving any chemical or

biological weapons -- or any other weapon of mass destruction --

regardless of whether there is an 'emergency.' In addition, the new

proposal would lift requirements that the military be reimbursed for the

cost of its intervention, thus likely increasing the number of requests

for military assistance.


"'Under this new provision,' Nojeim said, 'the mere threat of an act of

terrorism would justify calling in military units. That represents a

loophole large enough to drive a battalion of army tanks through.'


"The defense authorization bill would also require the Pentagon to develop

a plan to assign military personnel to assist Customs and the Immigration

and Naturalization Service to 'respond to threats to national security

posed by entry into the U.S. of terrorists or drug traffickers.'"


Despite this 1999 "exception"" to the Posse Comitatus Act, which

effectively invalidates it, the Pentagon and Homeland Security, anxious to

remove all ambiguities, are nonetheless actively lobbying the US Congress

for the outright repeal of the 1878 legislation.


"New rules are needed to clearly set forth the boundaries for the use of

federal military forces for homeland security. The Posse Comitatus Act is

inappropriate for modern times and needs to be replaced by a completely

new law...


"It is time to rescind the existing Posse Comitatus Act and replace it

with a new law... The Posse Comitatus Act is an artefact of a different

conflict-between freedom and slavery or between North and South, if you

prefer. Today's conflict is also in a sense between freedom and slavery,

but this time it is between civilization and terrorism. New problems often

need new solutions, and a new set of rules is needed for this issue.

President Bush and Congress should initiate action to enact a new law that

would set forth in clear terms a statement of the rules for using military

forces for homeland security and for enforcing the laws of the United

States." --John R. Brinkerhoff, former associate director for national

preparedness of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),


Senator Joseph Biden (a Democrat), former Chairman of the powerful Senate

Foreign Relations Committee, has also being waging, since the mid-1990s, a

battle for the repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act.


The Patriot Legislation


In turn, the Bush administration Patriot Acts have set the groundwork of a

police state. In minute detail, they go much further in setting the stage

for the militarization of civilian institutions.


The various provisions are very detailed and precise. The USA PATRIOT ACT

of 2001 entitled "Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and

Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001" as well as the "Domestic Security

Enhancement Act of 2003," (PATRIOT Act II) create the conditions for the

militarization of justice and police functions.


Even under a functioning civilian government, the PATRIOT Acts have

already instated several features of martial law. The extent to which they

are applied is at the discretion of the military authorities.


The 2003 Patriot Act II goes much further in extending and enlarging the

"Big Brother functions" of control and surveillance of people. It vastly

expands the surveillance powers, providing government access to personal

bank accounts, information on home computers, telephone wire tapping,

credit card accounts, etc. For further details, see at


The Northern Command (Northcom)


The Northern Command (Northcom) (based at Peterson Air Force Base,

Colorado) was set up in April 2002 specifically in the context of the

pre-emptive war on terrorism.

The creation of Northcom is consistent with the de facto repeal of the

Posse Comitatus Act. In fact, the position of a "Homeland Defense Command"

leader "in the event of a terrorist attack on U.S. soil," had already been

envisaged in early 1999 by Clinton's Defense Secretary William Cohen.




Following the Bush Administration's decision to create Northcom, the White

House instructed Justice Department lawyers "to review the Posse Comitatus

law in light of new security requirements in the war on terrorism." The

1878 Act was said to "greatly restrict the military's ability to

participate in domestic law enforcement." (National Journal, Government

Record, 22 July 2002)


The role of Northern Command is defined in the Pentagon's "Joint Doctrine

for Homeland Security (JP-26)." The latter constitutes a blueprint on how

to defend the Homeland. Even in the case where the enemy is fabricated,

and this is known at the highest levels of military-intelligence, a

military coup d'etat would become operational in terms of the detailed

command military/ security provisions contained in this document (click

here to consult JP-26).


Figure 1. Excerpt from J-36 "Joint Doctrine for Homeland Security"

(declassified public document) [graphic not included in this Dove Report]


According to Frank Morales,"the scenario of a military take-over of

America is unfolding." And Northern Command is the core military entity in

this takeover and militarization of civilian institutions.


Northcom has a mandate to "defend the homeland" against this illusive

"outside enemy" which is said to be threatening the security of America.

As indicated above, however, it has been amply documented that this

outside enemy, Al Qaeda, is in fact a CIA "intelligence asset." There is

an extensive bibliography on this subject. See for instance;;


The Northern Command Mission includes a number of non-military functions,

including "crisis management, consequence management, and other domestic

civil support." See:


This implies "military support to federal, state and local authorities in

the event of a terror attack." See:


Northcom has what David Isenberg describes as "a Creeping Civilian

Mission." Since its inception, it has been building capabilities in

domestic intelligence and law enforcement1. It is [through the DoD] in

permanent liaison with the DHS and the Justice Department2. It has several

hundred FBI and CIA officers stationed at its headquarters in Colorado. It

is in permanent liaison, through an advanced communications system, with

municipalities and domestic civilian law enforcement agencies around the

country3. (See Isenberg, op. cit.).


Meanwhile the CIA, which has a unit operating out of Northcom, has

extended its mandate to issues of "domestic intelligence."


According to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge (22 December 2003): "If

we go to [code] Red ... it basically shuts down the country." In which

case, a national emergency is declared. Northern Command deploys its

forces on air, land and sea. Several functions of civilian government are

transferred to Northcom headquarters, which already has the structures

which enable it to oversee and supervise civilian institutions.


In other words, Northcom's "command structure" would be activated in the

case of a code red terror alert. But Northcom does not require, in

accordance with the provisions of the 1999 DAA, a terror alert, an attack

or a war-like situation to intervene in the country's civilian affairs.


To prepare for new "law enforcement" missions for the military within

America, overseen by the Northern Command, the Center for Law and Military

Operations, based in Charlottesville, Virginia has published a "useful"

handbook entitled “Domestic Operational Law for Judge Advocates”.

According to Frank Morales, the handbook:

"attempts to solidify, from a legal standpoint, Pentagon penetration of

America and its 'operations other than war,' essentially providing the

U.S. corporate elite with lawful justification for its class war against

the American people, specifically those that resist the 'new world law and

order' agenda." (Frank Morales, "Homeland Defense and the Militarization

of America," Global Outlook, No. 6, Winter 2004, )


According to Morales, "the 'war on terrorism' is the cover for the war on

dissent." (Ibid)

The jurisdiction of the Northern Command now extends from Mexico to

Alaska. Under ("bi-national") agreements signed with neighbouring

countries, Northern Command can intervene and deploy its forces and

military arsenal on land, air and sea in Canada (extending into its

Northern territories), throughout Mexico and in parts of the Caribbean.

(See: )


Taken together, the existing legislation grants the military extensive

rights to intervene in any "emergency situation," in practice, without the

prior approval of the Commander in Chief.


Concluding Remarks


America is at the crossroads of the most serious crisis in its history.

An Al Qaeda sponsored terrorist attack is being contemplated as a "trigger

mechanism" for carrying out a coup d'etat.


Whether it is going to be carried out is another matter. The statements of

the Bush administration regarding the possibility of a red code alert

must, nonetheless, be taken seriously.


The coded terror alerts and "terror events" which have been announced by




US intelligence is not only involved in creating phony terror warnings, it

is also firmly behind the terror groups, providing them with covert


( See: )


Documented by official police sources, at least two of the DHS's high

profile post 9/11 terror alerts were fabricated.

( )


Media Disinformation


A coup d'etat which suspends civilian institutions is not only

contemplated, it has become a talking point on network TV; it is openly

debated as a "solution" to "protecting American democracy" which is said

to be threatened by Islamic terrorists.


The implications of a red code alert are trivialised. Through media

disinformation, citizens are being prepared and gradually conditioned for

the unthinkable.


This ongoing militarization of America is not a project of the

Republicans.  The "war on terrorism" is part of a bipartisan agenda.

Successive US administrations since Jimmy Carter have supported the

Islamic brigades and have used them in covert intelligence operations.


"Triggering Civilian Casualties"


In 1962, the Joint Chiefs of Staff had envisaged a secret plan entitled

"Operation Northwoods," to deliberately trigger civilian casualties to

justify the invasion of Cuba:

"We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," "We could

develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other

Florida cities and even in Washington" "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers

would cause a helpful wave of national indignation." (See the declassified

Top Secret 1962 document titled "Justification for U.S. Military

Intervention in Cuba"16 (See "Operation Northwoods" at ).


Both "the war on terrorism" as well as the domestic war on terrorism are

consistent, from the point of view of military planning, with the logic of

Operation Northwoods. Civilian casualties are used as "a war pretext

incident," to galvanize public support for a military intervention.


Mentioned time and again by DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, a "second 9/11

attack" is contemplated; Al Qaeda, we are told, is preparing

"a large-scale attack in the United States in an effort to disrupt our

democratic process."

What we are not told is that Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA, and that

Al Qaeda remains a US sponsored "intelligence asset."


"Useful Crisis"


The assumptions and rhetoric behind Homeland Security are nothing new.

They echo an earlier statement by David Rockefeller to the United Nations

Business Council in 1994:

"We are on the verge of global transformation. ALL WE NEED IS THE RIGHT



Similarly, in the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski in his book, The Grand


"…it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus [in America] on

foreign policy issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and

widely perceived direct external threat."


It is worth mentioning that Zbigniew Brzezinski, who was National Security

Adviser to President Jimmy Carter, was one of the key architects of the

Islamic brigades created by the CIA at the onslaught of the Soviet Afghan

war (1979-1989). (See Brzezinski at )


More recently, General Franks, the CENTCOM general who led the military

campaign into Iraq, pointed in an October 2003 interview to the role of

what he called a "massive casualty-producing event." (See "General Tommy

Franks Calls for Repeal of US Constitution" November 2003, , see also


Franks identifies with cynical accuracy the precise Homeland Security

scenario whereby military rule might be established in America using, as

in Operation Northwoods, civilian casualties as a trigger mechanism:

"a terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event [will occur] somewhere in

the Western world - it may be in the United States of America - that

causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to

militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass,

casualty-producing event." (quoted in Ibid, emphasis added)


General Franks' statement seems to accurately reflect the mood within the

US Military and Homeland Security as to how events ought to unfold. The

"war on terrorism" is to provide a justification for repealing the Rule of

Law, ultimately with a view to "preserving civil liberties."


This statement, from an individual who was actively involved in military

and intelligence planning at the highest levels, suggests that the

"militarization of our country" is an ongoing operational assumption. It

has become part of the broader "Washington consensus." It is a "talking

point" not only in the corridors of the Pentagon, Langley and Homeland

Security, but also in the mainstream media.


Democrats and Republicans


Some people think that a change in direction will occur if the Democrats

win the 2004 presidential elections. Yet the Democrats are not opposed to

the illegal occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Nor are they opposed to

the militarization of civilian institutions, as evidenced by their

initiative to repeal the Posse Comitatus Act.


While there are substantive differences between Republicans and Democrats,

Bush's National Security doctrine is a continuation of that formulated

under the Clinton Administration in 1995, which was based on a "strategy

of containment of rogue states."

In Fall 2003, the Democrats released their own militarization blueprint,

entitled Progressive Internationalism: A Democratic National Security

Strategy. It calls for "the bold exercise of American power, not to

dominate but to shape alliances and international institutions that share

a common commitment to liberal values."

(See Mark Hand,



with significant divisions within the corporate establishment on how it is

to be achieved.


The corporate establishment, with its associated think tanks and

semi-secret societies (The Bilderberg, Council on Foreign Relations,

Trilateral Commission, etc.), is by no means monolithic.


Influential voices within the elites would prefer a "softer" police state

apparatus, a "democratic dictatorship" which retains the external

appearances of a functioning democracy.


The Democrats' "Progressive internationalism" is viewed by these sectors

as a more effective way of imposing the US economic and military agenda

Worldwide. For instance, the Kerry-Edwards ticket is supported by

billionaire George Soros, who has waged a scathing denunciation of George

W. Bush and the Neocons.


While the US Congress and the bi-partisan consensus constitutes the

facade, the Military (and their Intelligence counterparts) are, from the

point of view of the corporate elites, mere foreign policy "pawns," to use

Henry Kissinger's expression, acting on behalf of dominant business



The Wall Street financial establishment, the military-industrial complex

led by Lockheed Martin, the big five weapons and aerospace defence

contractors, the Texas oil giants and energy conglomerates, the

construction and engineering and public utility companies including the

biotechnology conglomerates, are indelibly behind the militarization of



Elections or no Elections


The "war on terrorism" is a war of conquest, which supports American (and

British) economic and strategic interests. Its underpinnings are supported

by both Democrats and Republicans.


While a coup d'etat triggered by a code red alert is a distinct

possibility in the months ahead, we must understand that the

militarization of civilian institutions in America is an ongoing process.


The coup d'etat entrenches the militarization process. It suspends civil

liberties and the antiwar movement outright. It makes any form of reversal

back to civilian forms of government much more difficult to achieve.


Militarization, however, as distinct from an outright military coup

d'etat, does not exclude the electoral process.


Under a Kerry-Edwards administration, the military-intelligence apparatus

- which constitutes the backbone of the "war on terrorism" and of the

police state - would remain functionally intact. So would Northern Command

and the various Big Brother functions of the Department of Homeland



One can indeed speculate on what might happen from now until the November

presidential elections.


Whether the elections take place or not, the contours of a functioning

police state under the facade of Constitutional government have already

been defined:

* the militarization of justice and law enforcement,

* the disinformation and propaganda network,

* the support to terrorist organizations,

* political assassinations a" the Big Brother surveillance apparatus,nd

torture manuals, concentration camps,

* extensive war crimes and the blatant violation of international law.


On the economic front, we can expect militarization to accelerate the

gamut of neoliberal economic reforms both nationally and internationally

(in the later case, they would be implemented under the auspices of the

IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organisation).


Militarization will be accompanied by a new deadly wave of privatization

of public services, urban infrastructure would be transferred to private

companies, local economies including small scale enterprises and

agriculture would be further destabilized and deregulated, etc., LEADING




Militarization is an integral part of the neoliberal agenda.

Related articles at the Centre for Research on Globalization:


Bush Administration "Guidelines" for Postponing or Canceling the November

Presidential Elections by Michel Chossudovsky, 10 July 2004,


The Criminalization of the State, by Michel Chossudovsky, February 2004,


Homeland Defense: The Pentagon Declares War on America by Frank Morales,

Global Outlook, Issue 3, Winter 2003,


"Homeland Defense" and the Militarization of America by Frank Morales, 15

September 2003,


Will the 2004 Election Be Called Off? Why Three Out of Four Experts

Predict a Terrorist Attack by November, by Maureen Farrell, April 2004,


Bush Regime working out Procedures for postponing November Election by

Webster Griffin Tarpley, 10 July 2004,


Rumor Becomes Fact as Bush Administration Asks for Authority to Suspend

the Election by Michael C. Ruppert , 13 July 2004,


Bush backers discuss canceling elections, Emergency Rule and Martial Law,

by Webster G. Tarpley, 12 July 2004,


FBI points finger at the CIA: Terror Alert based on Fabricated

Information, 14 February 2003,


Bush's Christmas Terror Alert, by Michel Chossudovsky, 24 December 2003,


Manufacturing Hysteria: Bogus Terror Threats and Bush's Police State, by

Kurt Nimmo, 31 December 2003,


Orange Code Terror Alert based on Fabricated Intelligence, by Michel

Chossudovsky, 3 January 2004.


To express your opinion on this article, join the discussion at Global

Research's News and Discussion Forum , at


The Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) at

grants permission to cross-post original CRG articles in their entirety,

or any portions thereof, on community internet sites, as long as the text

and title of the article are not modified. The source must be acknowledged

as follows: Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) at . The active URL hyperlink address of the original

CRG article and the author's copyright note must be clearly displayed. For

articles from other news sources, check with the original copyright

holder, where applicable. For publication of CRG articles in print or

other forms including commercial internet sites, contact:



1"As DoD reorganizes the civil support mission, it should consider carving

out a significant role for NORTHCOM in the planning, training, and

day-to-day management of operations. This would allow the assistant

secretary to focus more of his primary effort on policy issues, a more

appropriate role for the secretariat than managing field operations. In

addition, placing NORTHCOM in the routine business of coordinating these

missions, even when a large federal military presence is not required,

will allow the command to establish solid working relationships with the

other federal agencies and state and local governments with which it will

have to work intimately in responding to a large-scale disaster or

terrorist attack. Placing NORTHCOM in the routine civil support chain of

command will help its staff develop trust and confidence with other

agencies. This will be needed to operate effectively under the stressful

demands and pressing time-constraints of a major national response. In

particular, expanding NORTHCOM's responsibilities for planning support for

a range of operations, such as preparation for the annual forest fire

season where military forces support state fire fighting missions, might

provide important dividends in preparing to respond to more dramatic

future tasks."



[editor's note]

2The beauty of this de facto liaison is that its existence is expressly

forbidden, but just as expressly provided for: out of vestigial respect

for Posse Comitatus, Northcom is forbidden to liaise directly with

Homesland Security - but the Defense Department liaises with both, and in

this capacity is essentially a high-powered conduit between them. "DoD's

role in border security involves providing support, particularly to the

Department of Homeland Security, when appropriate. DoD maintains

quick- and rapid-reaction forces for this purpose, he added, and these

Army and

Marine forces would operate under NORTHCOM's command and control." Peter

F. Verga, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Of Defense For Homeland

Defense, quoted in "DoD Ready to Assist in Event of Homeland Attack," by

Gerry J. Gilmore, American Forces Press Service, April 12, 2004. See:

"NORTHCOM's relationship with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

runs through DoD. A DoD representative noted that NORTHCOM is not

intended, and lacks the capacity, to infringe on the role of local first

responders. This relationship is governed by the Federal Emergency

Response Plan." See:

Matthew Foley, "The Role of the Military in Securing the Homeland: A

McCormick Tribune Foundation Cantigny Conference Series Post-Conference

Report," National Strategy Review, Volume 13, Issue 2, Winter 2003.

[editor's note]

3"NORTHCOM has the primary mission of 'homeland security' with a focus on

coordinating with local, state, national and international agencies rather

than commanding large combat forces as the other nine unified commands do.

It will undertake the land, aerospace and sea defense of the continental

United States, as well as command U.S. forces operating in support of

civil authorities on 'homeland security' tasks. It is located at Peterson

Air Force Base, in eastern Colorado Springs, Colorado. Under NORTHCOM's

jurisdiction are the continental U.S., Alaska, Canada and Mexico, plus two

portions of the Caribbean, and the five hundred mile coastal area.

NORTHCOM provides assistance to civil authorities when directed by the

President or Secretary of Defense… Although the Department of Homeland

Security has been created with Tom Ridge as its director, a functioning

military 'homeland security' department is neatly tucked away inside

NORTHCOM. The Joint Force Headquarters Homeland Security, established in

January 2002, has 500 personnel assigned to NORTHCOM, but remains

stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. It coordinates the land and maritime

defense of the continental U.S. as well as military assistance to civil

authorities." Marti Hiken, "Military Reorganization: NORTHCOM - The New

Designer Military," Guild Practicioner, a publication of the National

Lawyers Guild (Volume 59, Number 4, Fall 2002).

archived at:

[editor's note]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~