August 8, 2005

Pentagon plans response for homeland attacks -paper

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military has developed war
plans to counter terrorist attacks in the United States in
shift from the Pentagon's reluctance to engage in domestic
operations, The Washington Post reported on Monday.

The documents lay out plans for handling 15 potential
crisis scenarios and anticipate simultaneous strikes in
different parts of the country, the newspaper said, citing
officers who drafted the plans.

Quick-reaction forces of as many as 3,000 ground troops per
attack would be deployed initially to respond and their numbers
could grow, depending on the extent of the damage, the
newspaper said.

The Post said the possible scenarios envisioned range from
low end, such as crowd control, to high end, disaster
management after catastrophic attacks.

The war plans represent a historic shift for the Pentagon,
which is restricted by law from using troops in domestic law
enforcement, according to the Post.

Defense officials said the troops would play a supporting
role in emergencies, backing up police, firefighters and other
civilian response groups, the newspaper reported.

The strategies were devised at the military's Northern
Command headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in response
to a Pentagon directive to plan for multiple, simultaneous
attacks, it said.