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Pentagon Beta Tests Tighter Military Control of Disaster Response

Tuesday 30 August 2011

‘Over the weekend, the Pentagon appointed “dual-status commanders” to direct both active-duty troops and guardsmen assisting civilian officials in New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island. In the past, the chain of command was split between federal and state authorities.

Under the cover of fixing supposed delays, duplications and gaps after Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in August 2005, the Pentagon has further crippled Posse Comitatus – restricting military involvement in domestic law enforcement – and limited the participation of the state in disaster and emergency response.

This is the first time so-called dual-status commanders have been used for a natural disaster. In the past, they were used at international summits, but not for domestic response to a hurricane.’

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