29.May.2014 | SCG
What you may find particularly shocking is the conditions under which those forces can be deployed.
First of all, I would assert that it's never ok to use the military to crush internal unrest. Such measures are the hallmark of dictators and failed states. Some people however, might be inclined to justify the use of military force if the stakes are high enough. Trouble is once you open that door, who is to say where that line gets drawn?
Well, we don't actually have to ponder that question. The U.S. government has already given us their answer. Unfortunately according to a 2010 Department of Defense document entitled Directive 3025.18, the military is authorized to deploy within the U.S. to quell civil disturbances "when necessary to protect the Federal property or functions."
That's very broad, especially considering that the document discusses the conditions under which lethal force may be used. Soldiers are trained to kill. That's what they are good at.
You can download the document directly from the U.S. military's own website here. You can also view an embedded version at the bottom of this page. Believe it or not, this document is not classified at all.