War Plans Drafted To Counter Terror Attacks in
U.S. Domestic Effort Is Big Shift for Military
BRADLEY GRAHAM / Washington Post 8aug2005
COLORADO SPRINGS — The U.S. military has devised its first-ever war plans for guarding against and responding to terrorist attacks in the United States, envisioning 15 potential crisis scenarios and anticipating several simultaneous strikes around the country, according to officers who drafted the plans.
The classified plans, developed here at Northern Command headquarters, outline a variety of possible roles for quick-reaction forces estimated at as many as 3,000 ground troops per attack, a number that could easily grow depending on the extent of the damage and the abilities of civilian response teams.
The possible scenarios range from "low end," relatively modest crowd-control missions to "high-end," full-scale disaster management after catastrophic attacks such as the release of a deadly biological agent or the explosion of a radiological device, several officers said.
Some of the worst-case scenarios involve three attacks at the same time, in keeping with a Pentagon directive earlier this year ordering Northcom, as the command is called, to plan for multiple simultaneous attacks.
The war plans represent a historic shift for the Pentagon, which has been reluctant to become involved in domestic operations and is legally constrained from engaging in law enforcement. Indeed, defense officials continue to stress that they intend for the troops to play largely a supporting role in homeland emergencies, bolstering police, firefighters and other civilian response groups.
But the new plans provide for what several senior officers acknowledged is the likelihood that the military will have to take charge in some situations, especially when dealing with mass-casualty attacks that could quickly overwhelm civilian resources.
"In my estimation, [in the event of] a biological, a chemical or nuclear attack in any of the 50 states, the Department of Defense is best positioned — of the various eight federal agencies that would be involved — to take the lead," said Adm. Timothy J. Keating, the head of Northcom, which coordinates military involvement in homeland security operations.
The plans present the Pentagon with a clearer idea of the kinds and numbers of troops and the training that may be required to build a more credible homeland defense force. They come at a time when senior Pentagon officials are engaged in an internal, year-long review of force levels and weapons systems, attempting to balance the heightened requirements of homeland defense against the heavy demands of overseas deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Keating expressed confidence that existing military assets are sufficient to meet homeland security needs. Maj. Gen. Richard J. Rowe, Northcom's chief operations officer, agreed, but he added that "stress points" in some military capabilities probably would result if troops were called on to deal with multiple homeland attacks.
Debate and Analysis
Several people on the staff here and at the Pentagon said in interviews that the debate and analysis within the U.S. government regarding the extent of the homeland threat and the resources necessary to guard against it remain far from resolved.
The command's plans consist of two main documents. One, designated CONPLAN 2002 and consisting of more than 1,000 pages, is said to be a sort of umbrella document that draws together previously issued orders for homeland missions and covers air, sea and land operations. It addresses not only post-attack responses but also prevention and deterrence actions aimed at intercepting threats before they reach the United States.
The other, identified as CONPLAN 0500, deals specifically with managing the consequences of attacks represented by the 15 scenarios.
CONPLAN 2002 has passed a review by the Pentagon's Joint Staff and is due to go soon to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and top aides for further study and approval, the officers said. CONPLAN 0500 is still undergoing final drafting here. (CONPLAN stands for "concept plan" and tends to be an abbreviated version of an OPLAN, or "operations plan," which specifies forces and timelines for movement into a combat zone.)
The plans, like much else about Northcom, mark a new venture by a U.S. military establishment still trying to find its comfort level with the idea of a greater homeland defense role after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Military officers and civilian Pentagon policymakers say they recognize, on one hand, that the armed forces have much to offer not only in numbers of troops but also in experience managing crises and responding to emergencies. On the other hand, they worry that too much involvement in homeland missions would diminish the military's ability to deal with threats abroad.
The Pentagon's new homeland defense strategy, issued in June, emphasized in boldface type that "domestic security is primarily a civilian law enforcement function." Still, it noted the possibility that ground troops might be sent into action on U.S. soil to counter security threats and deal with major emergencies.
"For the Pentagon to acknowledge that it would have to respond to catastrophic attack and needs a plan was a big step," said James Carafano, who follows homeland security issues for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank.
William M. Arkin, a defense specialist who has reported on Northcom's war planning, said the evolution of the Pentagon's thinking reflects the recognition of an obvious gap in civilian resources.
Since Northcom's inception in October 2002, its headquarters staff has grown to about 640 members, making it larger than the Southern Command, which oversees operations in Latin America, but smaller than the regional commands for Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific. A brief tour late last month of Northcom's operations center at Peterson Air Force Base found officers monitoring not only aircraft and ship traffic around the United States but also the Discovery space shuttle mission, the National Scout Jamboree in Virginia, several border surveillance operations and a few forest firefighting efforts.
Pentagon authorities have rejected the idea of creating large standing units dedicated to homeland missions. Instead, they favor a "dual-use" approach, drawing on a common pool of troops trained both for homeland and overseas assignments.
Particular reliance is being placed on the National Guard, which is expanding a network of 22-member civil support teams to all states and forming about a dozen 120-member regional response units. Congress last year also gave the Guard expanded authority under Title 32 of the U.S. Code to perform such homeland missions as securing power plants and other critical facilities.
But the Northcom commander can quickly call on active-duty forces as well. On top of previous powers to send fighter jets into the air, Keating earlier this year gained the authority to dispatch Navy and Coast Guard ships to deal with suspected threats off U.S. coasts. He also has immediate access to four active-duty Army battalions based around the country, officers here said.
Nonetheless, when it comes to ground forces possibly taking a lead role in homeland operations, senior Northcom officers remain reluctant to discuss specifics. Keating said such situations, if they arise, probably would be temporary, with lead responsibility passing back to civilian authorities.
Military exercises code-named Vital Archer, which involve troops in lead roles, are shrouded in secrecy. By contrast, other homeland exercises featuring troops in supporting roles are widely publicized.
Civil liberties groups have warned that the military's expanded involvement in homeland defense could bump up against the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which restricts the use of troops in domestic law enforcement. But Pentagon authorities have told Congress they see no need to change the law.
According to military lawyers here, the dispatch of ground troops would most likely be justified on the basis of the president's authority under Article 2 of the Constitution to serve as commander in chief and protect the nation. The Posse Comitatus Act exempts actions authorized by the Constitution.
"That would be the place we would start from" in making the legal case, said Col. John Gereski, a senior Northcom lawyer.
But Gereski also said he knew of no court test of this legal argument, and Keating left the door open to seeking an amendment of the Posse Comitatus Act.
One potentially tricky area, the admiral said, involves National Guard officers who are put in command of task forces that include active-duty as well as Guard units — an approach first used last year at the Group of Eight summit in Georgia. Guard troops, acting under state control, are exempt from Posse Comitatus prohibitions.
"It could be a challenge for the commander who's a Guardsman, if we end up in a fairly complex, dynamic scenario," Keating said. He cited a potential situation in which Guard units might begin rounding up people while regular forces could not.
The command's sensitivity to legal issues, Gereski said, is reflected in the unusually large number of lawyers on staff here — 14 compared with 10 or fewer at other commands. One lawyer serves full time at the command's Combined Intelligence and Fusion Center, which joins military analysts with law enforcement and counterintelligence specialists from such civilian agencies as the FBI, the CIA and the Secret Service.
A senior supervisor at the facility said the staff there does no intelligence collection, only analysis.
He also said the military operates under long-standing rules intended to protect civilian liberties. The rules, for instance, block military access to intelligence information on political dissent or purely criminal activity.
Even so, the center's lawyer is called on periodically to rule on the appropriateness of some kinds of information-sharing. Asked how frequently such cases arise, the supervisor recalled two in the previous 10 days, but he declined to provide specifics.
source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/07/AR2005080700843_pf.html 10aug2005
Pentagon Devising Scenarios for Martial Law in US
PATRICK MARTIN / WSWS 9aug2005
According to a report published Monday by the Washington Post (above), the Pentagon has developed its first ever war plans for operations within the continental United States, in which terrorist attacks would be used as the justification for imposing martial law on cities, regions or the entire country.
The front-page article cites sources working at the headquarters of the military’s Northern Command (Northcom), located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The plans themselves are classified, but “officers who drafted the plans” gave details to Post reporter Bradley Graham, who was recently given a tour of Northcom headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base. The article thus appears to be a deliberate leak conducted for the purpose of accustoming the American population to the prospect of military rule.
According to Graham, “the new plans provide for what several senior officers acknowledged is the likelihood that the military will have to take charge in some situations, especially when dealing with mass-casualty attacks that could quickly overwhelm civilian resources.”
The Post account declares, “The war plans represent a historic shift for the Pentagon, which has been reluctant to become involved in domestic operations and is legally constrained from engaging in law enforcement.”
A total of 15 potential crisis scenarios are outlined, ranging from “low-end,” which Graham describes as “relatively modest crowd-control missions,” to “high-end,” after as many as three simultaneous catastrophic mass-casualty events, such as a nuclear, biological or chemical weapons attack.
In each case, the military would deploy a quick-reaction force of as many as 3,000 troops per attack—i.e., 9,000 total in the worst-case scenario. More troops could be made available as needed.
The Post quotes a statement by Admiral Timothy J. Keating, head of Northcom: “In my estimation, [in the event of] a biological, a chemical or nuclear attack in any of the 50 states, the Department of Defense is best positioned—of the various eight federal agencies that would be involved—to take the lead.”
The newspaper describes an unresolved debate among the military planners on how to integrate the new domestic mission with ongoing US deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan and other foreign conflicts. One major document of over 1,000 pages, designated CONPLAN 2002, provides a general overview of air, sea and land operations in both a post-attack situation and for “prevention and deterrence actions aimed at intercepting threats before they reach the United States.” A second document, CONPLAN 0500, details the 15 scenarios and the actions associated with them.
The Post reports: “CONPLAN 2002 has passed a review by the Pentagon’s Joint Staff and is due to go soon to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and top aides for further study and approval, the officers said. CONPLAN 0500 is still undergoing final drafting” at Northcom headquarters.
While Northcom was established only in October 2002, its headquarters staff of 640 is already larger than that of the Southern Command, which overseas US military operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
About 1,400 National Guard troops have been formed into a dozen regional response units, while smaller quick-reaction forces have been set up in each of the 50 states. Northcom also has the power to mobilize four active-duty Army battalions, as well as Navy and Coast Guard ships and air defense fighter jets.
The Pentagon is acutely conscious of the potential political backlash as its role in future security operations becomes known. Graham writes: “Military exercises code-named Vital Archer, which involve troops in lead roles, are shrouded in secrecy. By contrast, other homeland exercises featuring troops in supporting roles are widely publicized.”
Military lawyers have studied the legal implications of such deployments, which risk coming into conflict with a longstanding congressional prohibition on the use of the military for domestic policing, known as posse comitatus. Involving the National Guard, which is exempt from posse comitatus, could be one solution, Admiral Keating told the Post. “He cited a potential situation in which Guard units might begin rounding up people while regular forces could not,” Graham wrote.
Graham adds: “when it comes to ground forces possibly taking a lead role in homeland operations, senior Northcom officers remain reluctant to discuss specifics. Keating said such situations, if they arise, probably would be temporary, with lead responsibility passing back to civilian authorities.”
A remarkable phrase: “probably would be temporary.” In other words, the military takeover might not be temporary, and could become permanent!
In his article, Graham describes the Northern Command’s “Combined Intelligence and Fusion Center, which joins military analysts with law enforcement and counterintelligence specialists from such civilian agencies as the FBI, the CIA and the Secret Service.” The article continues: “A senior supervisor at the facility said the staff there does no intelligence collection, only analysis. He also said the military operates under long-standing rules intended to protect civilian liberties. The rules, for instance, block military access to intelligence information on political dissent or purely criminal activity.”
Again, despite the soothing reassurances about respecting civil liberties, another phrase leaps out: “intelligence information on political dissent.” What right do US intelligence agencies have to collect information on political dissent? Political dissent is not only perfectly legal, but essential to the functioning of a democracy.
The reality is that the military brass is intensely interested in monitoring political dissent because its domestic operations will be directed not against a relative handful of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists—who have not carried out a single operation inside the United States since September 11, 2001—but against the democratic rights of the American people.
The plans of Northcom have their origins not in the terrible events of 9/11, but in longstanding concerns in corporate America about the political stability of the United States. This is a society increasingly polarized between the fabulously wealthy elite at the top, and the vast majority of working people who face an increasingly difficult struggle to survive. The nightmare of the American ruling class is the emergence of a mass movement from below that challenges its political and economic domination.
As long ago as 1984—when Osama bin Laden was still working hand-in-hand with the CIA in the anti-Soviet guerrilla war in Afghanistan—the Reagan administration was drawing up similar contingency plans for military rule. A Marine Corps officer detailed to the National Security Council drafted plans for Operation Rex ’84, a headquarters exercise that simulated rounding up 300,000 Central American immigrants and likely political opponents of a US invasion of Nicaragua or El Salvador and jailing them at mothballed military bases. This officer later became well known to the public: Lt. Colonel Oliver North, the organizer of the illegal network to arm the “contra” terrorists in Nicaragua and a principal figure in the Iran-Contra scandal.
As for the claims that these military plans are driven by genuine concern over the threat of terrorist attacks, these are belied by the actual conduct of the American ruling elite since 9/11. The Bush administration has done everything possible to suppress any investigation into the circumstances of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon—most likely because its own negligence, possibly deliberate, would be exposed.
While the Pentagon claims that its plans are a response to the danger of nuclear, biological or chemical attacks, no serious practical measures have been taken to forestall such attacks or minimize their impact. The Bush administration and Congress have refused even to restrict the movement of rail tank cars loaded with toxic chemicals through the US capital, though even an accidental leak, let alone a terrorist attack, would cause mass casualties.
In relation to bioterrorism, the Defense Science Board determined in a 2000 study that the federal government had only 1 of the 57 drugs, vaccines and diagnostic tools required to deal with such an attack. According to a report in the Washington Post August 7, in the five years since the Pentagon report, only one additional resource has been developed, bringing the total to 2 out of 57. Drug companies have simply refused to conduct the research required to find antidotes to anthrax and other potential toxins, and the Bush administration has done nothing to compel them.
As for the danger of nuclear or “dirty-bomb” attacks, the Bush administration and the congressional Republican leadership recently rammed through a measure loosening restrictions on exports of radioactive substances, at the behest of a Canadian-based manufacturer of medical supplies which conducted a well-financed lobbying campaign.
Evidently, the administration and the corporate elite which it represents do not take seriously their own warnings about the imminent threat of terrorist attacks using nuclear, chemical or biological weapons—at least not when it comes to security measures that would impact corporate profits.
The anti-terrorism scare has a propaganda purpose: to manipulate the American people and induce the public to accept drastic inroads against democratic rights. As the Pentagon planning suggests, the American working class faces the danger of some form of military-police dictatorship in the United States.
source: http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/aug2005/mart-a09.shtml 10aug2005
U.S. Northern Command
On April 17, 2002 Defense officials announced the establishment of U.S. Northern Command as part of the changes in the Unified Command Plan. At a Pentagon press briefing, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called the plan the most sweeping set of changes since the unified command system was set up in 1946.
U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) stood up Oct. 1, 2002, at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. The NORTHCOM commander is responsible for homeland defense and also serve as head of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a U.S.-Canada command. The current NORAD commander also is the commander of U.S. Space Command, also at Peterson. NORTHCOM's area of operations includes the United States, Canada, Mexico, parts of the Caribbean and the contiguous waters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The commander is responsible for land, aerospace and sea defenses of the United States. He will command U.S. forces that operate within the United States in support of civil authorities. The command will provide civil support not only in response to attacks, but for natural disasters. NORTHCOM takes the homeland defense role from the U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM). JFCOM's Joint Task Force-Civil Support and related activities report to NORTHCOM. The NORTHCOM headquarters has established liaisons with the homeland security directors of each state, and has working ties with related federal and state agencies.
The planned full strength of Northern Command is fewer than 1,000 military and civilian personnel regularly assigned. The command´s annual budget is expected to be about $70 million.
As of March 2002 plans called for establishing a new Northern Command, headquartered in the Washington vicinity, with responsibility for homeland security. NORAD transfered all command and functional responsibilities, including Operation Noble Eagle, to Northern Command by 01 October 2002. The command's area of responsibility covers the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and surrounding water out to 500 miles. The new command is tasked with defense planning and security cooperation for other nations in its area of responsibility. US Southern Command remained responsible for contingency planning, operations, security and force protection for Cuba, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, and the Turks and Caicos.
The command's mission is the preparation for, prevention of, deterrence of, preemption of, defense against, and response to threats and aggression directed towards U.S. territory, sovereignty, domestic population, and infrastructure; as well as crisis management, consequence management, and other domestic civil support.
In early April 2002 it was reported that a proposal was under consideration to shift elements aligned with US Pacific Command to the new Northern Command. Under the plan, the Navy's 3rd Fleet, the First Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, CA, and the Army's I Corps at Fort Lewis, WA, could be placed under the administrative control of the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, VA.
Providing for the common defense was so crucial and basic a government obligation that the framers explicitly said so in the Preamble of the Constitution. When George Washington became president in 1789, "common defense" primarily meant two things: defeating a foreign invasion and defending against Indians.
Military forces -- and this included the various state militias -- were raised to defend the country against England, France and Spain. With the Revolution fresh in their minds, American leaders considered Britain the main enemy and a second war and possible invasion their greatest threats. France, though a Revolution ally, claimed ownership of a huge tract to the west that posed a potential threat to American interests. Spain held Florida and virtually all the lands to the west not claimed by the French. French and British naval ships both preyed on American merchantmen. In the interior of the United States, settlers confronted American Indians as the boundaries of the country pushed west.
The Army and the Navy were the homeland defense. Congress authorized the Army to build or strengthen fixed harbor defenses and the Navy to build blue-water ships to defend America's right to the sea lanes. The USS Constitution, berthed in Boston, is a material example today of this building program. Fort Monroe, Va., Fort Washington, Md., and Fort McNair, Washington, D.C., are also remnants of these homeland defense efforts. This does not mean the defenses were successful. During the War of 1812, neither Fort Washington nor the one that is now McNair stopped the British from capturing Washington and burning it. Seems the forts were in place, but not the manpower to adequately garrison them. A bit later in the war, the British wanted to burn Baltimore as they had Washington. Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor withstood a British naval onslaught that inspired eyewitness Francis Scott Key to pen "The Star-Spangled Banner."
After the war, Congress appropriated more money to harbor defense. The best and brightest graduates of the U.S. Military Academy became engineers, and many were assigned to work on these fortifications. Robert E. Lee worked all along the East Coast building brick forts to defend the United States from foreign enemies. Fort Pulaski on the Savannah River in Georgia, Fort Totten in New York and Fort Jackson on the Mississippi were just some of the forts strengthened or built during this time.
In 1861, the Civil War broke out at Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, S.C. The masonry fort withstood Confederate pounding, but the Union garrison surrendered because food was running out. But technology was already passing these forts by. Conventional wisdom was that forts could withstand anything a ship could shoot. That wasn't true with the Union Navy's new rifled cannons. The weapons fired projectiles at higher speeds and with greater penetrating power than smooth-bore guns. Union ships pulverized Fort Pulaski in 1862 and ran past the forts on the Mississippi to take New Orleans. The forts built at such expense and with such effort were obsolete.
On the frontier, the U.S. Army patrolled. Soldiers protected settlers and trade routes. In many cases, the Army acted as "frontier cops." This mission would continue through the 1890s. After the Civil War, the Reconstruction Era saw changes in homeland defense. The Army occupied and policed the South. It propped up courts and protected former slaves, and soldiers had arrest powers. Reconstruction ended in 1876. The passage of the Posse Comitatus law in 1878 ended the military's having civilian law enforcement powers.
In the latter part of the 19th century came another era of ship building. While Americans still considered the Atlantic and Pacific oceans enough of a defense against foreign enemies, a strong Navy upon those waters was important. The U.S. Navy built larger all-metal steam ships that sported larger and larger guns. The theories of Alfred Thayer Mahan became current. Americans viewed the Navy as America's first line of defense. Mahan, who wrote "The Influence of Sea Power upon History" and retired as a rear admiral, was instrumental in persuading Americans that the United States needed a large "battleship Navy." By the time the Wild West was tamed, the Army was reduced to maintaining small garrisons in the West and now-obsolete forts in the East.
In 1898, the Spanish-American War broke out. During the six-month war, the Navy handily defeated Spanish fleets off Cuba and in Manila Bay, the Philippines. But Americans were shocked at what they perceived as thousands of miles of undefended coasts. In the years following the war, money poured into building new defenses around U.S. ports. Retractable guns and electric mines were the primary defenses. The coastal artillery branch of the Army manned these posts. They were never tested.
The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 was the first foreign strike against U.S. territory since the war of 1812. While coast artillery units continued manning their forts early in the war, none ever fired a shot in anger. When it soon became apparent that aircraft and ships would be the main line of homeland defense, the Army transferred coast artillery officers and NCOs into field artillery.
During the war, the Army Air Forces and the Navy defended the homeland. Aircraft patrolled the approaches to ports looking for German and Japanese submarines. Navy destroyers and corvettes patrolled the sea lanes and pursued enemy craft that aircraft could not engage. The Navy even launched anti-submarine blimps to patrol the East Coast. At least one blimp attacked a German U-boat and was shot down for its effort.
Air power entered the homeland defense equation during World War II. The Nazi bombing campaign against Britain and the U.S.-British campaign against Germany made real the threat from the air. The safety America felt by being separated from the rest of the world by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans evaporated.
The United States was first in developing intercontinental bombing platforms with the B-29 Stratofortress. If the United States could develop long-range bombers, so could other countries. Nazi war plans in fact called for an "Amerika Bomber."
Conventional bombs were scary enough for defense planners, but the atomic bomb totally changed homeland defense. The United States developed the atomic bomb and used two against Japan. The devastation and radiation dangers posed by the bomb caused the military to think of new means of defense. After the Soviet Union developed the bomb, the threat to America came from the skies.
The United States responded with the North American Air Defense Command. NORAD was a U.S.-Canadian organization charged with the missions of air warning and air control for North America. The command searched the skies for Soviet planes and would direct interceptors to shoot them down. Later, with the development of intercontinental nuclear ballistic missiles, NORAD became the early warning system. To this day, there is no defense against these missiles. The NORAD warning would give people a chance to take cover in the event of a nuclear strike.
In the minds of the average American, "homeland defense" became "civil defense." And civil defense programs consisted of urging families to take cover and build fallout shelters and directing the development of community air raid shelters. Air raid drills became as common at schools as fire drills -- children practiced hiding under their desks or sitting together in the hallways.
In the traditional military sense, "homeland defense" meant forward deployment. U.S. forces stationed everywhere from Europe to Korea were America's line in the sand against the Soviet Union. Engaging the Soviets and their allies overseas precluded having to fight them in the United States.
With the exception of NORAD, a direct military connection to homeland defense eroded. Many Americans came to perceive the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps as assets to defend U.S. interests in distant lands, but not actively defending U.S. shores. Wars in Korea and Vietnam reinforced this attitude, as did operations in the Dominican Republic in 1965, Lebanon in 1958 and the Berlin Wall crisis in 1961.
Historians view the 1970s as the age of détente. President Nixon recognized the People's Republic of China. He and President Gerald Ford met with Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev. The Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972 resulted, and the two superpowers moved to relax tensions. Through this period, homeland defense was seen mainly as a function of civil defense.
In the late 1960s, terrorism in the form of plane hijackings and assaults on innocent civilians grabbed public attention. U.S. aircraft were hijacked and diverted to Cuba or Mexico City or Rome. The U.S. response was not military, but centered on law enforcement. Sky marshals appeared. FBI agents investigated hijacking crimes and threats. Justice Department counterterrorism programs appeared.
So, the U.S. version of homeland defense meant the FBI was the lead federal agency for investigating or preventing terrorist incidents and the Federal Emergency Management Agency was the lead for remediation. The military stood by to help if called.
The events of Sept. 11 seem to be bringing homeland defense full circle. From the halls of Congress to New York street corners, Americans are calling for more military involvement in homeland defense. Sept. 11 changed the world just surely as the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki did. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said that the people of the United States need to debate this issue long and hard. President Bush appointed former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge as his director of homeland security. Ridge must see how the Defense Department fits in with all the other federal agencies and coordinate responses to threats to homeland security.
In the forefront of the crest is the eagle, symbolizing our great nation and our alertness; ready to defend our homeland. Its right talons hold an olive branch and its left clutch a group of 13 arrows, the symbols for peace and war and representing the first 13 states. The eagle's head is turned toward the olive branch, indicating our desire for peace.
On the eagle's chest is a shield, a warrior's primary piece of defensive equipment. The 13 alternating red (courage and fortitude) and white (peace and sincerity) bars on the shield represent the 13 original colonies. The chief, in blue, represents their strength, vigilance and perseverance. The chief holds 13 six-pointed stars, a reference to the six-pointed design from General George Washington's personal flag. This flag was flown during his winter encampment at Valley Forge. General Washington had a personal protection guard, which consisted of a few hand picked men from each of the colonies. This special guard carried these colors. The symbols from the Washington flag are a reminder of the efforts of the Continental Army, which served as our Nation's first military organization to free and protect the homeland, and relate their great undertaking to the task set before us in the defense of North America.
A depiction of Northern Command's area of responsibility (AOR) is in the background, shielded by the eagle. On the AOR are three stars, a remembrance of each of the sites of the attacks on 11 September 2001. These attacks gave impetus to the formation of U.S. Northern Command. The stars are gold, a symbol of those who lost their lives. During the early years of World War I, a service banner was hung in the window of homes where there was a family member in the war. A blue star on the banner represented each family member. As the war progressed and men were killed in combat, wounded in combat and died of their wounds or disease, there came to be accepted usage of the gold star. This gold star was substituted and superimposed upon the blue star in such a manner as to entirely cover it. The gold star accorded the rightful honor and glory to the person for his offering of supreme sacrifice for his country.
The five stars at the top of the crest represent the five services: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. The stars are eight-pointed, representing the eight points on a compass and symbolizing our mission to counter the global threat of terrorism The stars are lined up over the AOR, depicting the umbrella of protection that USNORTHCOM will provide North America.
The outside rings of red, blue and red with the white lettering of the command's name are representative of the colors of the nation and the national flag.
source: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/dod/northcom.htm 10aug2005
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