Posted at LP.org:
Libertarian Party National Chairman William Redpath calls a plan by the federal government to deploy 20,000 uniformed soldiers inside the United States "further evidence of a disturbing trend of militarism in today’s society."
According to reports from the Washington Post, the federal government seeks to establish an emergency response team built on the Army’s 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, which just returned from more than a year in Iraq.
"This is not the proper role of active-duty soldiers, who have been trained and seasoned in combat," says Redpath. "When you have active-duty soldiers being substituted for National Guardsmen, you’re opening yourselves up to potential violations of civil liberties during their operations. American soldiers, the finest instruments of war in the world, do not need to be patrolling the streets of American towns after hurricanes or floods. That is not their purpose as soldiers."
"We’ve seen countless examples in modern history of how an atmosphere of militarism during a time of crisis can lead to an excessive use of force and widespread violations of even basic Constitutional protections," Redpath continues. "Inserting trained combat troops into these situations is an invitation for disaster."
"If there needs to be an emergency response team that can assist and supplement local emergency responders, it should be comprised of National Guardsmen—not active-duty soldiers," says Redpath. "The use of active-duty soldiers instead of National Guardsmen puts undue tension on an already strained military during a time of war."
For more information on this issue, or to arrange a media interview, please call Libertarian Party Director of Communications Andrew Davis at (202) 731-0002.
The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties. You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.LP.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.