July 6, 2005

Pentagon plan calls for domestic role -W.Post

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new Pentagon strategy for domesticsecurity calls for expanded tasks for the military that couldcarve out a greater role for combat troops at home, theWashington Post reported on Wednesday.

The new strategy recommends greater military activity notonly in the air and sea, where the armed forces havehistorically guarded the country, but also on the ground and inother potentially more problematic areas such as intelligencesharing with civilian authorities, the Post said.

The document, approved last month, marks the Pentagon'sfirst attempt since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to present acomprehensive plan for domestic defense.

The plan raises the likelihood that combat troops will takeaction in the event that civilian and National Guard forces areoverwhelmed, though primary authority will continue to restwith civilian agencies, the Post said.

Some of the provisions could draw concern from civilliberties groups that have warned against an erosion oflong-established barriers to military surveillance and combatoperations in the United States, the Post said.