We saw it during every phase of the Occupy Movement. We’ve seen it in the tanks on the streets of St. Louis and the skies over Manhatten, this Military presence, this patrolling, and/or drilling in joint exercises with local police in America.
“Marines have been increasingly taking on the role of a street cop along with their combat duties over the past decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they have been in charge of training both countries’ security forces. Those skills now can be used as a permanent part of the Marine Corps” (Read Military Times Article Here)
Is the goal, both at home and abroad, to obliterate any distinction between the two entities? Are the police and military gradually merging to become a single entity?
Diane Weber spoke of the dangers of this melding of the two, in her CATO Institute paper entitled “The Ominous Growth of Paramilitarism in American Police Departments”
“What is clear — and disquieting — is that the lines that have traditionally
separated the military mission from the police mission are getting badly
blurred. Over the last 20 years Congress has encouraged the U.S. military to
supply intelligence, equipment, and training to civilian police. That
encouragement has spawned a culture of paramilitarism in American police
departments. By virtue of their training and specialized armament, state and
local police officers are adopting the tactics and mindset of their military
mentors. The problem is that the actions and values of the police officer are
distinctly different from those of the warrior. The job of a police officer is
to keep the peace, but not by just any means. Police officers are expected to
apprehend suspected law breakers while adhering to constitutional procedures.
They are expected to use minimum force and to deliver suspects to a court of
law. The soldier, on the other hand, is an instrument of war. In boot camp,
recruits are trained to inflict maximum damage on enemy personnel. Confusing the
police function with the military function can have dangerous consequences. As
Albuquerque police chief Jerry Glavin has noted, “If [cops] have a mindset that
the goal is to take out a citizen, it will happen.” (Read the entire article)