Plan to Make U.S. “Policeman of the World”…Literally

Thursday, September 09, 2010
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated the ability of the U.S. military to take control of a foreign nation, but not necessarily the ability to maintain order once large-scale fighting concludes. With soldiers unable to properly police an occupied people, the RAND Corporation last year produced a study for the U.S. Army arguing that the government should establish a special law enforcement unit whose sole mission would be to keep the peace once the military has done its part in a foreign land.
What RAND proposed is a “stability police force” that “engages in a range of tasks such as crowd and riot control, special weapons and tactics (SWAT) and investigations of organized criminal groups.” The police force also would train indigenous police forces so they could eventually take over the task of maintaining security.
The RAND report estimated the cost of creating such a paramilitary police force, which would have about 6,000 personnel, at $637 million annually.
But instead of having the military in charge of it, RAND recommends that the U.S. Marshals Service oversee the new police force.
The whole concept has unnerved many observers who fear that the U.S. will be viewed as the “policeman of the world” and that Americans will end up training security forces controlled by dictators or corrupt regimes.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
U.S. Military Forces and Police Assistance in Stability Operations: The Least-Worst Option to Fill the U.S. Capacity Gap (by Dennis E. Keller, Peacekeeping & Stability Operations Institute-U.S. Army) (pdf)
A Stability Police Force for the United States (by Terrence K. Kelly, Seth G. Jones, James E. Barnett II, Keith Crane, Robert C. Davis, and Carl Jensen, RAND) (pdf)


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