Leadership: July 10, 2002


Senator Lieberman, among others, has suggested that the National Guard should give up its heavy mechanized combat role and be used as an internal security force that would also handle natural disasters and terrorist attacks (particularly with weapons of mass destruction). The National Guard Bureau isn't going to give up combat without a fight, although it would graciously accept money for more units which could be assigned to those roles. The concept of fighting a major ground war is not that antiquated, and it would be hard to do that without Guard combat units. Moreover, Guard combat units amount to huge local payrolls, patronage appointments, and contracts for fuel and other things which bring serious money to congressional districts. --Stephen V Cole


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