The Military in the Public Eye: Esteemed but Not Understood

  • Lieutenant Colonel Andrew M. Clark

United States civilian law enforcement agencies (LEAs) are largely ignorant of the capabilities and limitations inherent to our nation's armed forces. Specifically, they are unaware what assistance Active Duty (Title 10) forces can and can't offer when they approach capability or capacity limits. Consequently, there is a certain amount of friction between the military and the interagency communities, as well as a lack of adequate contingency planning on the part of both. This is due in no small part to the very limited exposure that most LEAs have to military operations. This research project explores the military-civilian relations problem and attempts to identify a means of bridging the knowledge gap. The ultimate goal of this work is increased exposure and a baseline of common understanding at the federal, state, tribal, and local levels.