The Militarization Of The Police

Civil Disobedience Series #2

The recent protests have once again illustrated the military force that the local police departments have……how did it come to this?

How did the police, the champions of the local protect and serve, become just another arm of the Pentagon?

When did the police need to be an extension of the force and power of the military?

It’s easy enough to buy tactical gear in the US, and the Homeland Security Grant Program has funneled billions of dollars to law enforcement agencies to acquire military-grade equipment. But for decades, a primary driver for why it can be so hard to tell a National Guard troop from a local cop has been the Department of Defense itself, through a program that has parceled out everything from bayonets to grenade launchers to precincts across the country.

Created as part of 1997’s National Defense Authorization Act, the 1033 program allows the Department of Defense to get rid of excess equipment by passing it off to local authorities, who only have to pay for the cost of shipping. (A precursor, the slightly more restrictive 1208 program, began in 1990.) According to the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO), which oversees the process, over $7.4 billion of property has been transferred since the program’s inception; more than 8,000 law enforcement agencies have enrolled. Much of that inventory is perfectly ordinary: office equipment, clothing, tools, radios, and so on. But the haul also includes some of the so-called controlled equipment—rifles, armored vehicles, and so on—that have helped create such a spectacle of disproportion.

There are attempts to try and roll back this militarization program…..

That year alone, some 500 million pieces of military equipment were transferred to the country’s police services under the 1033 program.

But the recent anti-police protests have recharged efforts to stop it.

This week around 200 lawmakers in Congress, mostly Democrats, sponsored a bill, the “Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act”, to again reel in the program.

The bill, in the House of Representatives, would strictly limit the transfer of guns, ammunition, grenades, explosives, certain kinds of vehicles, and drones and other aircraft designed for the battlefield.

Not to worry…this should go nowhere in the Senate.

It is time for Biden to step up and make this a campaign issue….but sadly he is just as guilty as anyone in DC over this overuse of police military force….but now is the time to come out JOE!

But how do we fix this? Remedies are not easy to find or implement. One avenue to mitigate these defects in our society is to limit the capacity of the state to perpetrate this violence on its own people.  Despite some tepid attempts to control it after the events in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014, the events of the last few days unequivocally show that police militarization continues apace — materially, culturally, and conceptually. Addressing militarization cannot fix the scourge of racism, but it could limit the tools by which racists can realize their goals. Slowing police militarization is not enough. It is time to roll it back.

Demilitarizing local police forces across America should be a central part of the Biden campaign’s platform. It seems unlikely at this juncture that the Trump administration would ever seriously consider such measures, leaving this to his successor, whether it is Joe Biden or someone else in 2024. Police militarization is both ineffective and widely unpopular across the political spectrum. If elected, Biden would have a significant mandate to fundamentally change the relationship of the police with the citizens they are ostensibly sworn to protect.

How to Get Started on Rolling Back Police Militarization

But Biden is worried that if he steps up the opposition will paint him as someone who wants to “de-fund” the police…so he may steer clear of this and continue to throw crap at a problem that needs leadership to repair.

1033 Program…what is it?

I agree that PDs need a SWAT to handle these sensitive situations but the whole department does not need to be snipe qualified.

This is where to begin the reform of police departments….then move on to training and community relations…..but military equipment should be sparingly shared.

If there is too much excess equipment then maybe dial back the orders that only make more profit for the makers…..maybe someone should look into the DoD and 1033 Program in depth.

The biggest obstacle to any reform or change will be those groups that call themselves a union….police unions……

Advocates argue that moderate reforms like enhanced training and greater community oversight have failed to curb police violence and misconduct.

But there’s a major, and usually insurmountable, obstacle to reform: police unions. Research suggests that these unions play a critical role in thwarting the transformation of police departments.

Union officials like John McNesby in Philadelphia, where I live and work as a scholar of law and the criminal justice system, do not deny this. Over the course of his 12-year career as president of the local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police, he has derided the city’s civilian review board and predicted in 2010 that beefed-up misconduct procedures would wind up “… at the bottom of the litter box.”

Personally, I do not consider so-called “police unions” as actual unions they are more like an association that does not work for labor at all but rather the hierarchy of the PDs.

Just a thought

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Must It Be Endless?

I have made it a lifetime endeavor to study conflict (war) and analyzing cause and effect…..and since 9/11 it seems that the US is in a cycle of endless wars……most of which had little to do with the actual attacks on 9/11…….and those that defend the endless nature of conflict…..

A continuous and repetitive thread in the commentary on the decade since 9/11—one might almost call it an endless and open-ended theme—was the plaintive observation that the struggle against al-Qaida and its surrogates is somehow a “war without end.” (This is variously rendered as “perpetual war” or “endless war,” just as anti-war articles about the commitment to Iraq used to relentlessly stress the idea that there was “no end in sight.”)

I find it rather hard to see the force of this objection, or indeed this description. Was there ever a time when we involved ourselves in combat, or found ourselves involved, with any certain advance knowledge about the timeline and duration of hostilities? Are there two kinds of war, one of them term-limited? A bit like that other tempting but misleading separation of categories—between “wars of choice” and “wars of necessity”—this proves upon closer scrutiny to be a distinction without much difference.

Personally observation…..endless wars benefit NO one but those that supply the implements of war….it is about the profits not the reason for the war.

We can make peace profitable if we truly wanted to….there is the rub….there is NO WILL!


This is the post where I bring all this history together……the 4 parts of this post can be read here if the reader needs to get caught up…….

In today’s world war is an ever day occurrence ….and as usual these conflicts create  massive refugee problems and since the world, most of the world, tries desperately to ignore the problem that it helped create……..the people congregate in camps with little resources and even less aid the people turn to what has been called the “world’s oldest profession”….prostitution.

Now as the conflicts rage across the Middle East many refugees have made it to safety in Europe in countries like Germany and once there they find that all is not as they hoped for in the beginning and they have to try and make ends meet…..

Migrant women are being forced to become €10-a-time prostitutes in German refugee camps, it has been reported.

The country – which is braced for around one million asylum seekers this year – has seen a spike in violence at registration centres in recent weeks as conditions deteriorate and tempers boil over.

Sex attacks are now said to be an ‘everyday event’ while in one state alone there are understood to have been 100 cases of violence in just the last three months.

Keep in mind the term “forced”…….

The conflict in Burma (Myanmar) between the state and the Muslim population have caused a humanitarian crisis….the Rohingya Muslim female population have been driven into prostitution to buy survival supplies like food…….

As Rohingya women struggle to access even the very basics such as food and water in Bangladesh’s overcrowded camps, a flourishing sex trade offers cash in times of desperation.

Four women entered the clean-swept mud hut, took off their black shawls and sat cross-legged on the floor. When asked if they sold sex, the women stirred uncomfortably and were silent.

Later, after cups of tea, the question came up again. The women caught each other’s eyes. Slowly one of them walked across the room to shut the door, another blocked the window. Darkness fell in the small, humid hut and voices turned to whispers.

“If anyone finds out what we do, they will kill us,” murmured 26-year-old Romida.

Then we turn to the civil war raging in Syria that has created about a million plus refugees many on the borders of the country like in Jordan……..

Walk among the plastic tents in one corner of this sprawling, dust-swept desert camp packed with Syrian refugees, and a young woman in a white headscarf signals.

“Come in, you’ll have a good time,” suggests Nada, 19, who escaped from the southern border town of Daraa into Jordan several months ago. Her father, sporting a salt-and-pepper beard and a ……..traditional red-checkered headscarf, sits outside under the scorching sun, watching silently.

My point in all that I have written is that no matter where these charities go or where the peacekeeper go there are those that are driven to prostitution to make ends meet….then why not use these women to satisfy any carnal desires these men may have……once again this is what I posted about a report of sexual abuse by MSF

Doctors Without Borders

My look into the military and prostitution was a bit of an eye opener…..again I am not advocating the use of force in ny way shape or form…..but it there is a solution to the amount of reported attacks on women by soldiers and/or peacekeepers……this is NOT a perfect world and there is NO perfect solution to the problems I have described.

As always I try to give a solution to problems instead of just bitching about them……those “solutions” are not always popular.

Side Note:  There has been a debate raging for decades on whether to legalize prostitution or not…..for those interested I have posted a link to that debate… interesting debate and a debate that needs to be had at the highest levels…….there are many aspects to the subject and most have been debated on referenced site…….read what has been said and let me know you thoughts……..

Thanx for bearing with me on this trip through history…….chuq

Solutions–Part 4

This is a continuation of my series on prostitution…….the first 3 parts here….

Now we look at the Vietnam War and prostitution…….Everyone in Vietnam was permitted ONE R&R during their one-year (13 months for the Marines) tour of duty. You had to complete 30 days in-country to be eligible.  Since I was there for 2 and half years I got 3 chances for R&R…actually I got 4 but one was because no one was left to take the allotted trip.

There were certain cities that were on the approved list of cities for R&R….

  • Hawaii
  • Sydney, Australia
  • Bangkok, Thailand
  • Hong Kong
  • Kuala Lampur (later changed to Penang), Malaysia
  • Manila, Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Taipei, Taiwan
  • Tokyo, Japan

The first two were seven days (extra travel time), the others were five days.  When I was there in country Hawaii was for married troops only so they could be reunited with their spouse for a week of happiness.

Now when one got to the city of choice they were sent to an approved hotel to begin their days of relaxation.

My destinations of choice were Singapore, Manila, Bangkok, Kuala Lampur……At each of these hotels there were women lounging around ready to service those horny GIs….now were they on the payroll of the US…I cannot say for sure but they were there and available thanks to the management of the hotel.

Back in country there were the usual “chippies” that hung around the bases looking for a good time……they were not encouraged but they also were not discouraged from servicing American GIs……price was negotiable…..and mats available.

Then there were the “Donut Dollies”…Red Cross volunteers (female) that would visit units and meet and greet the men that were not immediately in combat.  They would offer games and things as a distraction.

At my base camp in My Tho the “Dollies” had their own compound (for their protection) with 24 hour guards and an open door policy for captain and above……sometimes even the high ranking NCOs could enter the “gardens of paradise” as we grunts started calling their compound.

Now was the compound sanctioned by the government….again it was not official but word got out that our lovely “Dollies” were tricking behind closed compound doors.

Again the military basically turned a blind eye to prostitution…but retain plausible deniability.  These girsl were not coerced into their chosen profession.

Now part 5 will look at the costs of conflict and what lengths some must go to just to survive…..