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Military's Role in Domestic Crises

This article is more than 17 years old.
photoIf there's one lesson Americans have learned in the last few years, it's that big disasters — man-made like 9/11 or natural disasters like Katrina can happen here. Now Hurricane Rita is a Category Four rumbling through the Gulf of Mexico.

Last week, President Bush took responsibility for the government's failure in response to Katrina and said next time, the military should be called in. Many Americans, including many inside the Pentagon itself, wondered what the President had in mind: was this a call for the military to take over from civilian authorities?

The proposal is raising a lot of questions. Are we talking just filling sandbags or law enforcement? When is the disaster big enough for the military to step in to restore order?


Tom Bowman, Military Affairs correspondent for the Baltimore Sun.

David Mosher, Senior policy analyst at the Rand Corporation.

Richard Kohn, Chair, Curriculum in Peace, War, and Defense at the University of North Carolina and author of "Eagle and Sword: The Federalists and the Creation of the Military Establishment in America, 1783-1802."

Don Snyder, Professor of Political Science at West Point Military Academy.

This program aired on September 21, 2005.


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