Army Unit to Handle Threats on US Soil

Deployment sparks concern that military is taking police role
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 4, 2008 6:41 PM CDT
A U.S. Army soldier from Ironhawk Troop, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, patrols in Mosul, 360 kilometers (224 miles) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq, Friday, Oct. 3, 2008.   (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
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(Newser) – A new US Army combat unit will focus on domestic threats like terrorist attacks and natural disasters, raising questions about the role of the military on American soil, CNN reports. The mission is a new assignment for a combat team that was the first to enter Baghdad in 2003. Based in Georgia, the unit will concentrate on logistics and backing local police.

The team has trained with crowd-control equipment that seems to run counter to its stated humanitarian mission. The Army says the training is for foreign assignments, but it’s fueling concerns that the military is being used as a “Swiss Army knife” to solve problems both abroad and at home. A military official has countered that “we don't have the luxury” to wish away domestic threats.