Soldiering on the Homefront
“The increase in terrorist attacks and natural disasters has expanded the requirements on security forces throughout Europe. States have been hard-pressed to develop and equip security forces that can perform the multitude of tasks required to maintain a high level of homeland defense, while standing ready to respond to natural and manmade catastrophes. At a time of severe budget limitations, political leaders often seek creative ways to leverage existing organizations to do new things. In many instances, European leaders have looked to their armed forces to carry out key tasks.1
This article examines the range of domestic tasks to which military forces in many European countries have been assigned and highlights some observations on operational trends and the impacts they may have on armed forces and their public image. It is, perhaps, understandable that decision-makers turn to the military. Military forces bring many assets to these challenges: They are well-organized, trained, mobile, well-equipped — and available. In many countries, there is a well-established tradition in using military forces to support civil authorities, particularly law enforcement, a tradition that includes a broad range of homeland security and civil support tasks...”
Excerpt from John L. Clarke, “Soldiering on the Homefront,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 1, No. 4, 2010: 18-23.
This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.