November 11th, 2008
06:08 PM ET

Obama’s proposed civilian security force a good idea?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President-elect Obama has said he wants to establish a civilian security force to assist our already-taxed military. He described it as a national security corps that's as powerful and well-funded as the U.S. military, and it would take on the national security burden.

Obama made mention of this in a speech in Colorado in July. That speech has since circulated on the Internet. For some reason, the concept scares people. Republican Congressman Paul Broun from Georgia told the Associated Press, that such a move could lead to Marxism.

He said, "That's exactly what Hitler did in Nazi Germany and it's exactly what the Soviet Union did... When he's proposing to have a national security force that's answering to him, that is as strong as the U.S. military, he's showing me signs of being Marxist."

Broun also said he thinks Obama will move to ban gun ownership if he does build a national police force.

Here’s my question to you: Is President-elect Obama's idea for a civilian security force a good idea?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ryan from Sacramento, California writes:
A national civilian security force? "National" implies it's answerable only to the federal government, and that sounds abuse-able. Maybe Obama won't abuse it, but that doesn't mean future administrations won't. So I have to give this idea a resounding “No.”

Michael from Pensacola, Florida writes:
Actually it sounds like a militia. Not a bad idea when you consider our airports, trains and ports are just as vulnerable as they were on 9/11. Add unsecured borders, drug trafficking and gangs and we have a winner. As long as checks and balances existed.

Ann from Newton, New Jersey writes:
I remember the air raid wardens during World War II. I am sure that there would be enough volunteers willing to do their duty to help with the security of our country.

Micah from Canton, Ohio writes:
Sounds like the National Guard, doesn't it? Just shows how far off track the Bush Administration got us.

John from New Jersey writes:
If the security force is meant to help shore up our open borders and exposed ports, then absolutely. The National Guard is too thin with many states sending their forces overseas. We have seen how weak our response can be to natural disasters in recent years. This force will not only add security but also a helping hand in the face of a crisis. With the proper funding, this could be very effective.

Becky from Wilson, North Carolina writes:
I don't think the security force is a good idea, and not because it may or may not be Marxist. Any funds should be used for the existing military and National Guard. Why do we need another layer of security? Let's just concentrate on making what we do have the best it can be.

Filed under: Barack Obama • US Military
soundoff (242 Responses)
  1. James, New York

    The meaning of that statement seems a bit ambiguous to me. A civilian National Security Force could mean giving civilians assault rifles, and deploying them overseas, or it could mean getting people more involved in things like the Peace Corps., and The USA Freedom Corps. I think people should be getting more involved in these kind of things, and if enough people join, then it could be like a civilian Security force. It sounds like I good idea, but its never been done before, so who knows what it would really be like.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:00 pm |
  2. Nuria in Miami

    Isn't that what the police are?

    November 11, 2008 at 1:02 pm |
  3. paddie in Sturgis, Michigan

    YES! Look at what American's did during WWII. So much could have been done after 9/11, but W didn't trust the American people to be responsible. We were just told to go out and shop. American's WANT to be involved in their own country, helping to dig us out of this mess we're in. Most of us would do anything right now if we thought it would help our country. If Obama can tap into that, he can do amazing things for this country.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:06 pm |
  4. Mike, Cleveland, Ohio

    I'll reserve judgement until I hear more about this...

    November 11, 2008 at 1:06 pm |
  5. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    The task of national security is truly enormous. There is no way government can handle it all. Citizens need to be involved but with strong guidelines. Training, proper regulation and specification as to the duties and legal responsibilites needs to be in place. We don't need the "good ole' boys" patrolling our borders. We need to ensure that the many private agencies such as those emplyed at airports need to be motivated with improved effiency. Employers can be more alert and more diligent with background checks. I believe that much could be implemented without breaking our budget and could indeed create jobs. It is time that citizens become more involved in a realistic way.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:10 pm |
  6. John

    Jack: I have never heard President-elect Obama talk about a civilian security force like the police. I have heard him talk about allowing citizens to serve their country in other ways. Like allowing young people to serve as tutors in inner city schools for tuition and book money. This is a good idea. Service to ones community or nation are both good ideas. There older Americans who would be glad to serve in Volunteers In Service To America(VISTA) if there was some small fuunds to do so. VISTA 160 hours of volunteering for $500.00 a month. It would provide needed services to the community and help seniors supplement their small social security funds. Food for thought!!!

    John from Alabama

    November 11, 2008 at 1:11 pm |
  7. Doug - Dallas

    My understanding is the National Guard fills that role unless we have them fighting a war somewhere. What we need is a National Volunteer Force to address the poverty and other problems that exist in this country.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:16 pm |
  8. Diff from Maryland

    Jack – a great idea for securing our pourous borders and Ports and cities during times of disaster like Hurrican Katrina or IOWA floods. I dont think people realize that another 9/11 is not an if but when. This is a great job opportunity and education idea. I think the Minutemen proved the idea has merit.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:20 pm |
  9. Jackie in Dallas

    Define security, Jack.

    A civilian security force that isn't police or National Guard is a way to put people to work, but I agree with James of New York, that we'd better be darn careful about whose hands we put weapons into. Good article written about how gang members are enlisting in the armed services to get training for when they get back on the streets should be a cautionary tale. However, putting civilian workers on repairing roadways, bridges, working to rehabilitate inner city areas, all are good ideas.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  10. Lisa in Huntsville, Alabama

    You know, it kind of makes me think that the government is inadequate to protect us with the military, which is stupid. Can I have my taxes back if I have to defend myself?

    Let's just hope it's another crazed hippie trend-magnet, like the Peace Corps. I mean, that can be a good thing.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:23 pm |
  11. C in Belen, New Mexico

    NO !!!!! Unless you want another "responsible only to ourselves" armed gang running lose. I give you Blackwater as an example of a "private security force", and what can happen. Lots of taxpayer money spent, but no accountability.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:27 pm |
  12. Christine, Upstate NY

    Absolutely yes. Even if that means just restoring our National Guard to domestic duty. It's really a miracle that we have remained as safe as we've been with all our best trained people so far from our own shores.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  13. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Obama is absolutely right, there should be a civilian security force. Anyone who disagrees must already have a bunker in case of a national emergency like the President, Vice President and all the other important government officials.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:34 pm |
  14. Conor in Chicago

    I can only go by the title and the title alone scares me. Sounds like something that would get all of the nut-jobs of our country invovled in something that would back-fire on all of us.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  15. carson

    hopefully, everything will get better than the last 8 years.. that's the good news..

    November 11, 2008 at 1:35 pm |
  16. Scott - Wichita, Kansas

    I thought the we already had a fine police corps, Jack. they're so good at getting rid of the bad people that they even have time to pull over little old me for doing 60 in a 55.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  17. Jackie in Dallas

    Lisa in Huntsville, AL

    The Peace Corp is not just another "crazed hippie trend-magnet", it has been an invaluable resource to hundreds of thousands of people in disadvantaged countries and is still a quite active organization. It depends on the fact that no matter how cynical the average American is about public service, there are always some who put the general good above getting out there and making bunches of money to spend on countless high-tech toys or $5 coffee. And yes, that IS a good thing, not just "can be a good thing."

    November 11, 2008 at 1:37 pm |
  18. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    Someone needs to get Obama a dictionary, a Civilian National Security Force is a contradiction in terms. It also sounds like the beginnings of a Police State.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  19. Dee

    A civilian security force is the only unified way to reduce domestic violence and curb attacks on civilians. It will promote safety and security and secure the livelyhood of human society. It can only be a great step for President-Elect Obama (I can't help but to smile everytime I hear a pundit call Barack "President-Elect")

    November 11, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  20. Dave in MO

    Jack this sounds like the first step in the direction of Dictator!

    November 11, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  21. Dan, Maryland

    "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." Does that ring a bell to anyone? God forbid our president asks us to do more than shop and trust his unquestionable judgement. I personally hope that Obama will restore our national gaurd to be this "civilian security force." They could have a strictly domestic presence. They could then function as a higher level security force in our nation, a better equipped more prepared national disaster response team, and as leaders in their communities. Sounds reasonable to me.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:43 pm |
  22. Cori from Colorado

    We spend plenty on security as it is. This money will no doubt come out of the pocket of the middle class. Enough!

    November 11, 2008 at 1:44 pm |
  23. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Have heard nothing about this so have to wait until you explain
    it further.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  24. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA


    November 11, 2008 at 1:45 pm |
  25. james

    You will have to elaborate on your question a lot more than you did. I am like Palin when it comes to reading newsprint.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:46 pm |
  26. Frank in New York

    Sounds like another Stasi to me!

    November 11, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  27. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    I’d have to know more about it. But your standard “rent-a-cop” doesn’t perform very well in the clinches. When it comes to security, I’ll go with the pros.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:49 pm |
  28. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    Anything we can to for ourselves will take the pressure off of the police. Here in the California Central Valley, there are civilian posse's who patrol the roads in official vehicles. I think if it is thought through carefully, it could be an excellent way of giving our police departments some extra resources.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:50 pm |
  29. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Isn't that what it means to be a citizen, awareness? Therefore civilian security has always been in existence.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:52 pm |
  30. Dick B

    If it will put people to work – yes. I volunteer myself to watch a street corner for $100,000 a year like the private contractors pay in Iraq.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  31. Russ in Johnston, IA

    No. Increase the size of the National Guard and keep them from major combat duty in any more wars. Sounds like they're needed first on the southern border with all the drug cartel, Mexican military crossing into the USA whenever they feel like it. It would help with the illegal immigrant situation, too – 2 birds with one stone!

    November 11, 2008 at 1:54 pm |
  32. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Jack that sounds like a swell idea. While were at it why don't we let ditch diggers do brain surgery too? Seriously though. Leave the policing to the professionals. What would Obama Arm these fine volunteers with? What training will they have to go through to prove proficiency? What happens when they violate someone's rights? Can they then Sue the Federal Government? If so I will be the first to push the envelope. This idea is ridicules. It will get decent people hurt and then who has to pay for that?

    November 11, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  33. Howard M. Bolingbrook IL

    No Jack, the suggestion of a civilian security force is not a good idea. I believe that Obama statement was taken out of context.

    November 11, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  34. Jenna Wade

    Is President-elect Obama’s idea for a civilian security force a good idea?

    It is an excellent idea. After all the proposal is for a civilian reserve corps that could handle postwar reconstruction efforts such as rebuilding infrastructure.

    Even the Bush administration endorsed the plan..

    So what is the problem here? Because the work is no longer going to be offered to no bid contractors?

    Jenna Wade
    Roseville CA

    November 11, 2008 at 1:59 pm |
  35. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    I'm not certain exactly what you are proposing Obama wants to do. All Americans should always be aware of their surroundings and of course, report any suspicious activity to the proper authorities. I need more information before I can go any further.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  36. Allan Hanson Cameron Park Ca.

    NO NO NO. We have enough guns in the hands of civilians now. We need less of the idiots that are buying guns now at such a high rate.
    Look how many people are killed now because there are guns in the house, as young as 8 years old, it is insane.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:04 pm |
  37. mike spinks

    If "civilian security force" means something akin to Blackwater, then the answer is absolutely not. Further, president Obama should move post haste to disban blackwater and make the creation of any such entity a violation of the patriot act.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  38. Marie Ontario

    You can't give a definite answer to indefinite question Jack. There are areas where a civilian force would work perfectly by giving people an opportunity to earn credits for things like education etc.

    On the other side of the coin you can't have people going around armed to the teeth and taking the chance on them becoming vigilantes. The example would be the Texas incident where the guy shot and killed two unarmed men breaking into his neighbours house. The latter is a pretty heavy penalty for pretty minor offence.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:08 pm |
  39. Willow, Iowa

    Sure, give Gov. Palin a good pair of binoculars and have her watch to see if Putin rears his head.

    I don't know enough about this to comment intelligently.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:14 pm |
  40. Annie, Atlanta

    Not if it puts assault weapons in the hands of people who think Sarah Palin should run for President in 2012.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  41. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: If I were Obama, I would outsource the war to the private industry, with a "bonus" if their performance results in Victory. When money talks......positive results are often attained.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  42. Lenore in Kansas

    I never heard of this so-called "civilian security force." It sounds like some kind of police. I suspect this has been taken (way) out of context and misunderstood.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:21 pm |
  43. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    Costa Rica hasn't had an army since 1948. Look at the money they have saved heeding General Eisenhower's warning about Military-Industrial complexes.

    We could definitely divert some money to better outcomes. All these years after 9/11 we still have only 5% of shipping containers inspected for dirty bombs. It is time we wasted less money on war and spent more on security.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  44. Balanor

    Many of us, including retired seniors like me, are trying to figure out how to make a great success of the Obama presidency since he has earned and retains the Public Trust. A Civilian Corp is a grand idea. Roger from New Mexico offered a reasonable response to this question. The corps might be a mixture of Volunteers and paid members; Volunteers are a good thing as this Obama government needs to minimize its spending in all areas. We can reach out to communities in dire need who lack sufficient police forces. We should be unarmed except for pepper spray for vicious dogs. Our weapons would be cell phones with instant guaranteed response from the police department. Giving back to our country is so fulfilling...protecting our children on those mean streets is so important. Let's do it right this time since we have an administration that is transparent and full of real American leaders.+

    November 11, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  45. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    The best security might just be figuring out why people will go to extremes to harm America and then try to eliminate whatever policies you have that are creating this hatred.

    There may be some policies that America couldn't abandon but my guess is there a also some that could use elimination.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  46. Bob D of Morristown, NJ

    The very people who lauded and applauded "a thousand points of light" and "faith based initiatives" are now lambasting the same concept of governemnt sponsored and encouraged volunteerism with a different name, and focus because it comes from the other party. Cynics and hyypocrits unite.

    We already have the Peace Corps, Vista, AmeriCorps etc., and they do good work and have helped estabilsh the United States as a world leader in setting global social agendas (until the Bush Administration destroyed that status). We also have auxiliary police to serve as additional eyes and ears of the professional police forces; wouldn't it be nice to equip them with body armor?

    A good model for a civilian security force is in the nation most beseiged by terrorists, Israel. In that country everyone is effectively in the civilian security force. They are constantly on the lookout for unatended packages and baggage, people wearing unusually bulky clothing, and other suspicious sights and sounds.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  47. Mike S. New Orleans

    I thought it was a good idea until Bush endorsed it. Now I know it would fail.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  48. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    Without proper regulation this could be a dangerous thing. We have plenty of cops where i live with personality disorders, The last thing we need now is a bunch of pea brained thugs romeing the streets, with guns and the law on the`re side. Other than that it sounds great.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  49. Paul (Columbus, Oh)


    This is the first I'm hearing about it. And I am going to assume that we are going to need this if the economy continues to deteriorate. If I am thinking correctly, I think the idea is fantastic. Training, Jobs, PAY and real skills that can be applied in a variety of disciplines. It sounds like we may turn a corner in January if this kind of innovative thinking is what the president-elect is bringing to the table. GOBAMA! (if we can finance it).

    November 11, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  50. Jason, Koloa, HI

    If it improves the country and creates jobs then I'll say yes.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  51. Anne/Seattle

    It certainly is. A small experiment with citizen involvement in the Seattle area is proving very helpful. To reduce neighborhood speeding, one citizen at a time is provided with a speed gun. The citizen passes on information gathered on to the police who then can implememt an informed plan of speed enforcement. It saves time and dollars for the police force and gives citizens a sense of satisfaction in creating change that protects the safety of their children and neighborhood. Like the President elect so many of us want to be involved in positive change.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  52. Nancy, Tennessee

    The National Guard's role prior to heavy deployment to Iraq was to handle issues here at home. We called out the National Guard in the past to handle riots, help with natural disaster victims, and a long list of other duties. Expanding government with a newly name Civilian Security Force is not what we need now. It's time to look at what we have and make it work rather than create new that we think we can define better for the task at hand.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  53. Tony in Michigan

    Since it is unlawful for the military to be used as a domestic police force this may be a good idea, but too vague to judge yet.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  54. Dale, University Place, WA

    We don't need more bureaucracy. We don't need another entity to fund and administer. We have our military, we have multiple federal agencies and we have a well established, well trained police force.

    Those resources can obviously be expanded and certainly used more efficiently. Let's get the economic efficiencies in place first before we create another drain to watch dollars flow into needlessly.

    9/11 was successful for the 'bad guys' because we were not using our resources, failed to remain vigilant, and perhaps failed to respond to intelligence. We were asleep at the wheel. We need to fix the broken systems first.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  55. susan, pa

    we have the National Guard. We should not allow the National Guard to be sent on missions outside the country.
    We could use an update of Americorps, or a national peace corps type of service organization. Students could choose to serve for a year to offset costs of student loans.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  56. Dennis North Carolina

    Obama needs to put his plan to a vote of the people so that we would understand the purpose and the power of the security force.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:52 pm |
  57. David in Raleigh

    This sounds like the Hitler Youth in Germany during the 30s and 40s.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  58. Conor in Chicago

    For those of you who don't know it is in reference to the fact that our soldiers overseas are responsible for doing things that military doesn't normally do. For instance, when a school is being built in Iraq, often times it is soldiers who put down their weapons to lay mortar while other soldiers hold a perimeter. With the Civilian Force in place it would instead be non-military people doing the work allowing more soldiers to do the necessary solderiing. As far as I understand it this force is not meant to be deployed with in the United States. It is to accompany a military force into a conflict zone to assist in doing non military operations. With that in mind I like the idea.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  59. Debora I from Nauvoo, IL

    God knows our response to 911 has been disasterous and ineffective. Whatever comes out of this has to be better than the Bush lack of organization, fighting between the different national forces, and great waste of all that money for "security". Let's start over and combine our efforts. I have to admit, a little definition would be appreciated.

    November 11, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  60. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    I remember the air raid wardens during World War II. I am sure that there would be enough volunteers willing to do their duty to help with security of our country.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  61. John NJ

    If the security force is meant to help sure up our open borders and exposed ports then absolutly. The National Guard is too thin with many states sending their forces overseas. We have seen how weak our response can be to natural disasters in recent years. This force will not only add security with force but also with a helping hand in the face of a crisis. With the proper funding this could be very effective.

    The funding could in part be offset by raising the tariffs on imports. This in turn will be passed onto the consumer making labels with a "Made In The USA" that much more attractive and foreign products too expensive. By shifting the American consumer tastes the demand for home made products companies will be forced to keep their manufacturing plants here. Thus boosting the economy on its most fundamental level, the American worker.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  62. Honest John in Vermont

    Great idea. Why I have been single-handedly been Vermont's civilian security the past 6 years and not one single terrorist attack here has succeeded. I am confident this will work elsewhere.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  63. lynnej

    We did have the National Guard. But wait, most of them are in Iraq and the entity is so thin there was no one to send for help in the first days of Hurricane Katrina.

    So if it is true, I guess we really don't have a whole lot of choice since W has basically destroyed this country and it's defense.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  64. Caroline, Hamer SC

    Sounds good put them on our border.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  65. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    It's a great idea. Washington has allowed our infrastructure and public works to either languish or become money laundering routes for the corrupt for decades now. This plan would be akin to waging a peaceful war on that which ails our society and economy.

    The right-wingers will no doubt attack the idea, because they see no corporate profit margin. Beware the simplifiers.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  66. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    A civilian security force we already have in the volunteer "army." What we need to do is to reinstate the draft to get a larger trained force in place, but with the restriction of 2 years active service and then at least 6 years of reserve duty. That way, anyone serving in the service will also be eligible for the GI Bill after leaving active service.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  67. perry jones

    I know no one will read this but some one should remember . No!!!. Dose any one remember Hitler, Lennon, Stalin, This one more way to increase the government we have neighbor hood watch programs out there already we do not need a federal watch program spying on the daily lives of people. What is next we put in dunking pools in all the town squares so we can relive the days of the Salem Witch Trials . If there is any question about what is going on in your neighbor hood call the police if they knock on my door they can come in any time check things out and leave there is nothing here to hide but if some one walks around my house looking in the windows or my neighbor house they will leave with a head full of stare I don’t care who sent them. And this type of action has been tried in the past and has failed and IT IS A FORM OF socialism
    Perry Jones
    Council Bluffs Iowa

    November 11, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  68. Emerson in Mass.

    Let's see...
    Dept Homeland Security
    Secret Service
    National Guard
    State Police
    County Sheriff
    City Police
    Don't we have enough security organizations already??!
    What would a new organization do that isn't already being by two or three existing organizations??!

    November 11, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  69. Ginger H -- West Melbourne, FL

    I'm afraid if we give civilians too much power, they'll act the same as many do who belong to any local police force....look at the Guardian Angels. It was a great idea as these things always are ideally; however, the human ego singly or en masse will destroy an ideal as evidenced in political and religious history. President Obama has great ideas and pretty good advisors, but he'll have to be real careful with this one. The civilian security force will have to be well-policed itself and that would not be cost effective.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  70. Daniel Ambrose

    No! No! No! Just in case you didn't get it, No! It's a bad idea. There's too much guns as it is. Alot in which is in careless hands and people that shouldn't have guns. Let the police, national guard and our defense continue be our security. It has worked well and still is.

    Daniel Ambrose

    November 11, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  71. Bill, Quarryville. Pa

    Jack, it seems every time this country starts coming together as a people someone from the extreme right like the representative from Georgia, tries to throw a wrench into the machinery. They try to scare the people with words like Gestapo in trying to explain someone new ideas in a war that need some. They hope this fear will spread across the Internet and into American Homes for the sole purpose that their extreme right views will be the only views governing our nation. For those of us who do not believe McCarthyism is alive and well, you better look over your shoulder.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  72. Prosper(Lagos, Nigeria)

    It would be stupid not to have one especialy when you are face with freelance forces recruited by alqaeda.
    If you don't want to go into countries with your army, then you need "freelance" civilian forces.
    This is not world war two and the mighty Marines have proven useless for 8 years against the new enemy.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  73. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Even after reading your explanation, cannot make a decision
    as feel there has to be more information and detail.
    Cannot imagine President elect Obama going into anything
    such as this without it being well thought out.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  74. tom from Boston, MA

    Jack, absolutely not! A security brigade for what, to further police our own citizens? Am I missing something here or does this sound like martial law is coming? As the days pass the more I begin to feel that I have been duped by Obama and now I want my vote back. Wake up America!

    November 11, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  75. Jeff from Minnesota

    I suppose you could say the same things about the National Guard being a public militia. I think the concept is worth further discussion. But there's a lot to be filled in to make sure that it does not turn into either the US versions of WWII of 'Dad's Army' in the UK or 'Nazi Brown Shirts'.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  76. Dan, Chantilly VA

    An armed civilian force with as much power and funding as the military? Why not just expand the military? Here's my problem with any civilian-run armed force; lack of oversight. I must admit, though, that I am enjoying the hypocrisy of his opponents. On the one hand, he wants to ban all of our guns, but on the other, he's a Marxist for wanting to give guns to civilians. Why can't some of these guys ever offer constructive criticism without jumping straight to Hitler comparisons?

    November 11, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  77. Nelson

    We have one already, it's called the National Guard.

    Somerdale, NJ

    November 11, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  78. Lynn, CA

    It is an excellent idea if it is organized and used properly; the Coast Guard did have a very effective CG Auxillary, made up of ex-military, business, retired and active Law Enforcement men and women volenteers – but the stupidity of the Homeland Security turned it into a dress-up and rub shoulders do nothing group; that sort of organization won't help anyone.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  79. Liz in Towson, MD

    As much as I like, admire, and support Obama, I don't like this idea. I could understand possibly creating a "Border Security" type branch of the military or using one of our current branches to do that, but creating yet a militia of sorts just isn't necessary.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  80. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Comparing Obama to the insane Hitler is an insult to the American people. I'd rather see a draft than a civilian group trying to police our society. Being a Viet Nam vet and a person that was drafted which didn't set too well with me at the time turned out to be a good thing in the long run as I was able to go to college on the GI bill and get a good bit of training in the service that I never would have gotten otherwise. First and foremost though, I'd like to see us bring all of our military home from all countries around the world and use them to clean up our own country.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  81. CK, Connecticut

    I think we all need this explained further. And also, I feel I need to point out that the man mentioned it once at one speech and has said little of it since. I'd hardly call that grounds for assuming it's a solid policy position.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  82. Bruce St Paul MN

    Our border, port, and airport security needs to be more consistent and professional. Maybe we should bring Blackwater back from Iraq.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:33 pm |
  83. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I would like to see a detailed plan, including costs and benefits, before a massive civilian security force program is implemented. It would be best to start with one trial segement of the program to determine the best organizational structure, training requirements, specific goals and performance measurement to those goals. What we don't need are another ten organizations run like the Postal "Service".

    November 11, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  84. Marty

    It's no different than Bush's Blackwater security forces and neither one is a good idea. The only difference is Obama is being honest about it and Bush wasn't.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:34 pm |
  85. Mary Steele Yorktown VA

    If he was so smart on this subject of security, why has he and the rest not mandated and kept more military on our Mexican border? The majority leaders and this president are failing us miserably.

    Mary Steele
    Yorktown VA

    November 11, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  86. Matt CT

    Police at local, county, state and federal law already exist, if you have a civilan security force you are undermining law enforcement at these levels and will have what amounts to a police state

    November 11, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  87. paula

    dear Jack, banning guns and creating a national security force sounds suspect?? In fact this is the exact recipe for martial law. Americans should realize that we have already been warned about crises to come. Joe Biden discussing that Obama would be tested, and might do things the American people wouldn't like!! Colin Powell gave us dates on Meet the Press. I voted for Obama, being swept up in the idea of hope and change. The hope I was looking for was upholding the constituition and liberty for americans. Not continuing the scare tactics of the Bush administration. Even Georgie didn't implement a civilian police brigade. What do we need a brigade for??

    November 11, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  88. Beartrack Truckee,CA

    Not big fan of this idea. The National Guard is set up for those functions. Our overall defense posture should be to have a truly professional military for conflicts abroad, along with a strengthening of the National Guard and Reserve forces who be primarily used at home. No need for another team in this game.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  89. Robbin

    No, just increase the size of the military. As the the rep comparing Obama to Hilter, that is just ugly. If President Obama wants to have a kind of Peace Corp for the USA that I can live with but not the other. No way. If he wants to do a kinda of public works projects I would say yes to that.. No to a national police force. Color me clueless to what he wants.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  90. Mickey in Texas

    Isn't neighborhood watch a civilian security force?

    November 11, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  91. Deb in Lancaster, PA

    Given that our military is presently weak and strained, perhaps under certain circumstances it would be appropriate. However, the devil is in the details. I'm a die-hard Obama supporter, but this can only work if a system of checks and balances is in place and stringent control of this interior "militia" is established. All we need is a bunch of zealots packing guns, a far-right agenda and no one policing them.
    Sounds like the Bush Administration, doesn't it? Thanks, but no thanks.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  92. Annie Kraft Naples FL

    How about utilizing the forces we have now...dont any of them do any work?

    November 11, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  93. Sarah Louise

    Before anyone can make an informed decision on this we need much more information on this 'civilian security force'. Information like who would be in the force, how people apply, what they are trained to do and perhaps most importantly what role this 'security force' is to have within the country.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  94. Gary NC

    Absolutely not! We need no federal militia. The federal militia is the Army Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard. Their job is to protect the country from outside aggression, no to police the citizens. Policing is the job of the members of the federation( the states). We already have the FBI to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners. Don't need another militia!

    November 11, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  95. Jan from Delaware

    I have been suggesting this for years. I think we need to go back to the militia idea that we find in the constitution. The only problem is how it contradicts the purest definition of what we already have in our National Guard. I don't think any of those guys ever expected to go overseas to fight. By The way, I like Obama....he really knows, and plans to use, every aspect of that wonderful peace of paper.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  96. Janice Illinois

    We have a NATIONAL GUARD jack who are deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are husbands and wives < Mothers and fathers. The national guard has never been deployed until now. The word National means nothing, The only time National meant anything was when Bush, decided to join to go around Vietnam. Many of our dead soldiers have families that will need to be taken care of for the rest of their lives and rightly so. Our wounded will need the same care and they deserve it too. The price of Bush's war will be endless.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  97. Justin

    I guess the Republican smear campaign is still going, even a week after the election. It makes me sick that Broun is throwing this kind of language around after Bush Administration instituted spying on citizens, secret prisons and torture. I think he's watched "Birth of a Nation" too many times.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  98. Kay in WV

    No. Why would we need yet another agency when simply expanding already existing ones will cut down on the overhead?

    November 11, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  99. Sandra fromTexas

    I do not know enough about this to make an informed choice. I will not comment or make a decision on something I know nothing about.

    November 11, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  100. Frank, Connellsville, PA

    Sometimes what is wrapped in the prettiest paper isn't the best present. Sure everyone wants security, empowerment, safety, and a military that isn't over worked. But this thing is likely to roll out into some ugly to the degree we can't imagine. They might want George Orwell to head up this effort, after all he wrote the book.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:00 pm |
  101. Michelle, Florida

    As a former member of the military, I can attest to the fact that it is neither as powerful or well-funded as we may think. That being said, good luck with that plan.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  102. Charlie, Illinois

    Jack, you're old enough to remember Gestapo & SS. Need I say more.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  103. Eric

    All I can say if Obama keeps this up , I smell a new president elect republican in the White House in 2012!

    November 11, 2008 at 4:09 pm |

    I think Marxism is a bit of a stretch but he will see an awful lot of opposition if he wants to tie it to a ban on gun ownership.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  105. Carl in South Carolina

    Yes of course. However it depends on their mission. I have always thought the National Gaurd should be for just that. We need them along Our border with Mexico.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  106. James in Trubble Again

    no no no no no no

    November 11, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  107. garrick

    hi jack
    yes its a good idea,we the people dont trust our goverment,look how Bush sold us all on the war in Iraq,he should have been impeached for that lie but our troops were already in danger and we need to that responsibility in our own saftey and we can,look at all the noisey old folks out here they would be good for our security.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  108. Paul in LA

    Granted there is not a lot of information but i don't see why people are assuming that a national "security force" would be building bridges and schools. If that were the goal wouldn't be called a national engineering corps or something like that? I think everyone should do a google search on "Securitate" We already have police

    November 11, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  109. mitchell ,arkansaw

    it's a great idea, until our troops are brought home and restored to strength. border patrols,security for targets like nuclear plants and other potential targets. monitors for our ports. neighborhood watches.disaster relief and rescue and protection for those citizens affected. all these things the homeland security dept. is 'supposed' to be doing, but, aren't capable of handling,may be well served by such a group. with proper monitoring and leadership, they could go a long way to doing a lot of good, when times are desperate.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  110. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    Wow, this is the first I've heard of this. I'll have to find out more, but my first reaction is horror.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  111. Natalia, Albuquerque, NM

    I am open to this idea, IF it is done properly. As the economic woes in our country growing, the crime rates seem to be on the rise. I know in my city alone, crimes such as car jacking, purse snatching, home robberies are on the rise. This could create jobs within an individual community with their own members responsible for the safety of its residents.

    Maybe having a civilian security force will be like having an extension of the Neighborhood Watch Programs, with slightly greater authority. One neighbor looking out for the other and in the process bringing people together who would otherwise not even know the other. This sounds like a community organization technique, because I see this as leading to the empowerment of community members in their own community!

    Is this what Obama meant in his speeches about US taking personal responsibility for OUR country?

    November 11, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  112. Dan

    Civilian Militia is a part of our history. The fact is that our military is stretch to the limits, and with 2 wars going on, there are not enough people volunteering to maintain the troop levels overseas, and still protect us on US soil. A Civilian Security force will allow us to increase our security on US soil, and there will be far more people willing to volunteer for this service, knowing they will not be shipped overseas and away from their family. Our national security is not something to be politicized, and for Repulicans to criticize President-Elect Obama's plan to strenthen national security is parisan nonsense. They criticized him for being too soft, and now they are criticizing this!

    November 11, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  113. Nathan A. of Las Vegas

    From my understanding, this is the job of the National Guard. But, lately, the Guard has been deploying overseas. Some still back fill our Active Duty and Reservists. SO, my point is, this might be a good idea if only there's not much marxism is included. This might not be a bad thing, like dictatorship. If the conditions are right, such as, the Senate can take a part of this. Not all power should go to Pres. Elect. Obama, so that it doesn't seem like he's becoming Hitler.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  114. gail Centre, Al.

    That really sounds like something Obama, would think of.
    Can't wait to hear what else he has in store, I'M sure it will be something else stupid.
    The Media wanted him, now deal with him, I just hope he doesn't get us all killed.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  115. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    That sounds like Republican progaganda to me, like something he meant in a 'Guardian Angel' way and has been twisted to sound like a 'Blackwater' way. We have a National Guard and they do a great job. They're doing it for someone else right now, which is probably not at all what they signed up for, but I expect Obama to follow through on his promise and bring them home. Besides, we already have a National Security force; the Second Amendment.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  116. Jim/Fresno Ca

    Jack we can't find enough men and women to man our Military, why not specially train our police. Many of the local Police forces can merge into county or regional forces to cover more ground.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  117. a Rose from Iowa

    Lots of ideas are being thrown around and the ones that do the most good will take off first and the others may need more input. At least we're informed and asked to participate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 11, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  118. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Bring back the draft. Everyone, and I mean everyone, should be required to serve their country in return for enjoying its rewards. The lessons of duty, honor, and country are fading away. We must end the 'free lunch' mentality before it's too late.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  119. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    Leave it to a republican to try and scare people away from another great idea by a democrat! The military needs all the help it can get right now. Scare tactics did not work during the campaign, but the republicans just don't get that fact! Civilians can certainly help as long as they are carefully trained and restricted to only what they're supposed to do. Everybody needs to help right now.....there has been a real lack of citizens being allowed to do anything with Bush in charge.Maybe this country will open up a little and not be so secretive as it has been for 8 years. We all need to be involved in getting our country back on its feet.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  120. Louise L.Gallone

    Jack, Broun is full of nonsense!! This National Security Force is another name, or is an addition to our National Guard. Such a force was badly needed after hurricanes did so much damage and so many people were in need of desperate help.

    Louise IN

    November 11, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  121. Paul in LA

    To Janice,

    National Guard troops served even WWII, this isn't a first. Also, historically you can trace the Nat. Guard back to militias which were created because of the founding fathers dis-trust of a standing army.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  122. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    We already have a national civilian security force force. It is called the police department,sheriff's department,highway patrol,state troopers and the like. This idea will just create another underfunded,unnecessary and misguided government agency.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  123. Michael from Greenfield, Wi.

    Why not, we already have Blackwater. It's called competition I guess.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  124. Ken in NC

    An unarmed organized National Security Force of citizens and their eyes would give the US Government the added view of the nation to help guard us against attacks from within by those that would do us harm and could also help police in reducing crimes. Both of these could and would help to make this a better nation. Organizing such a force must be done using extreme caution so as not to give the implication that it is a special snoop force to find those that may voice displeasure at the status quo. Rights of the individuals must be maintained.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  125. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    Surely there are more reliable "experts" than Republican Congressman Paul Broun from Georgia. I hope Republicans will realize that if Obama succeeds, America succeeds, and act accordingly.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  126. don in naples florida

    would this be like the texas vigilantes who were guarding the border not too long ago. these guys came under a lot of scrutiny... I can only imagine what kind of scrutiny a larger group of vigilantes would face. I think its best to avoid this altogether. Our military is overburdened because of poor decision making in the white house.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  127. andrea from MA

    abolish the age for the national guard and enrollment will increase no need for another civil defence !!!!!!!!!!

    November 11, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  128. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    It's called the National Guard and the Army Reserve, but right now all of them are overseas.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  129. Bill Summerfield Fl

    If we are going to use our national guard to fight wars in other countries because we don't have sufficient volunteers in the military, then maybe we should consider a well trained unit to protect our borders and cities. Let us at least explore the idea!

    November 11, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  130. Kenneth Pont

    Isn't this what the National Guard used to do, before Bush dragged them all over to Iraq because it was cheaper to send them and the reserves over full-time military off to war?

    November 11, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  131. Joe, Atlanta

    This has been my biggest worry since Obama was elected– it a page right out of Hitler's playbook. A very dangerous idea! A move toward Marxism. Heck, we are already living under socialism with the govt bailout of banks and corporations. Obama scares me!

    November 11, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  132. Charlie (Bethpage, NY)

    We need to do something. At least he has an idea. If not that, let's bring back the draft. You'll see how fast these rich Republicans and blind-faith flag wavers around the country change their tune about going to war or continuing the current war when their kid has to go.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  133. Brady

    I'm not sure about this. I need more information on the topic, but from what I understand, this seems a little too overboard for my tastes. It depends on where this "civilian security force" would be deployed. But we already have the FBI, CIA, NSA, DIA, DEA, DHS, and DOD. Are we really gonna add one more?

    Brady from Columbus, Ohio

    November 11, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  134. yolonda from Memphis

    I need more details. I will say Obama is already scaring me. I voted for him only because McCain/Palin were not a good representation for the Republican party. I am already afraid of the changes that will come under the next administration.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  135. Jasmine in Germany

    Yes, it's a great idea. Not too many people are interested in joining the armed services these days. Such an institution is a way to have more trained professionally to defend our country.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:38 pm |
  136. kenneth sibbett

    Why not Jack? Solve the unemployment problem by hiring more cops and making more guns. Everyone knows you just can't have enough guns.

    Kenneth Chadbourn N.C.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  137. ED

    It depends on what circumstances the civil force will be deployed.
    Will they be used to obstruct martial law from mercenaries against US citizens; or, will they replace the mercenaries, like Hitlers' youth, who actually turned against their own parents?

    November 11, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  138. Anna, Missouri

    I can't believe the Republicans don't like this idea. The National Guard are not allowed to secure our borders, just build roads and fences or keep look out. This would be a National unit that would be trained to do the things that the Republicans want done, like securing our borders and ports, but because it would be National, it could be moved around and go to where it is needed. Most border patrol agents live in the area where they patrol, and are not moved to other areas as needed. I guess that the Republicans would rather spread fear than actually do something that would actually make us safer at home.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  139. vern-t anaheim,ca

    i don't know much about this and want to wait until i know more,howeveri will volunteer for the organization if it's explained to my satisfaction.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  140. Christie, South Carolina

    Having civilians trained to help out during national disasters seems like a good idea to me if this is what it is intended for. I can't imagine what else the purpose would be.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  141. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    It depends! Has to have a clear mission, mandate and statement of roles and responsibilities and reporting authorities.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  142. Will K from San Jose

    Isn't this the role of the National Guard? I'm not sure we need an additional force on top of that, although expansion of the Guard and additional training for things like hurricane recovery efforts wouldn't be a bad plan.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  143. Roy

    Speech in July?? C'mon that was a political lifetime ago!
    Maybe someone should ask Obama about it now that he has had the secret PDB briefings!!

    November 11, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  144. Allene --Leawood, Kansas

    No, it is not a good idea. What is a good idea is bringing all the National Guard troops home now and use the money that would go to a national police force to recruit troops to take the place of the National Guard overseas. Enact legislation that would preclude Natinal Guard troops from serving overseas in the future. Allocate more federal funds to local police departments WITH the requirement that the money be used only to put more police officers on the street. This would require oversight and strong penalties for those police departments who attempt to siphon off the funds for other uses.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  145. Steve

    I think people would be a lot more interested in serving on a national security force if it wasn't so regimented and authoritarian as the military. Honestly, the idea doesn't go far enough... why not treat members of the military like human beings instead of robots?

    November 11, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  146. Christine from El Paso Tx

    Isn't that the National Guard? Just a question..

    November 11, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  147. Jeff in Stratford

    It's stupid redundant and not constitutional.
    Just toss all that funding at the miltary we have NOW. that will work just fine.
    I seriously doubt he is considering that one any more...
    I expect that this was one of his many trial balloons.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  148. Paula (Indiana)

    He's calling upon people to help just like FDR did during WWII. Obama isn't a Nazi or a Socialist, or a Communist. What's wrong with the President asking the people who elected him to help him in this time of great need. Look at the great things FDR did. He's not asking us to form a vigilante group... he wants to "enlist" people in serving their country... Geez, the Republicans did such a good job of using propaganda during the election that they've actually started to believe it! Is this Republican modeling bi-partisanism or just trying to prolong the campaign propaganda?

    November 11, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  149. Darren

    Doesn't the president already have a national security force answering directly to him ... I believe they are called Blackwater USA and pillage through Iraq, above the law, and paid quite handsomely?

    November 11, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  150. Purnell K3 IL

    This along with the Patriot Act, will lead to the Secret Police, that will be the down fall of America!

    November 11, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  151. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    We have that already. It's called Blackwater, and they are a national and international disgrace. Armed mercenaries roaming the streets of America, and operating with immunity, is the brain child of Eric Prince and Dick Cheney. Cheney and Rumsfeld sent our National Guard out to fight on foreign soil so that Blackwater could be deployed in the U.S., all the while lining their pockets with the profits. Out law Blackwater, bring our National Guard home, and we wouldn't have this problem.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  152. Tom from Bancroft, Iowa

    Jack, It has already happened. The supreme court has ruled that anyone who carrys a hand gun belongs to a well regulated malitia. They are already registered and are easy to call up.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  153. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    The 20-second video clip is being taken out of context. He wasn't talking about creating another military force. He was talking about civilians getting involved in the govt. in ways OTHER than fighting-and that's a good idea. It's much better than telling people to go shopping.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:56 pm |
  154. Daniel, Indiana

    No. We have too much priority on militarism and police forces already. I have no desire of being a police state. We need to regain rights lost due to the Partiot Act and other Bush Administration actions. We need to regain the lost freedoms or Al-Qaeada has won.

    November 11, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  155. Tedd in NJ


    In short-Dunno without more details.

    First reaction, this should not have been necessary but "W" sent too many National Guard members to Iraq. Something has to augment the local and state police forces if it becomes necessary.

    So, increase the size of the National Guard? Would anyone still join after the Bush fiasco? Maybe give some help to the states to increase the size of the state police?

    Sooooo, again I say, dunno yet. I look forward to the arguments on that one.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  156. Joe in VA

    No. Bring most of the troops home and let them help keep us safe from within. We have the national guard, state police, FBI, local police and specialized security forces. Most of these folks are dedicated professionals, there are enough to be reorganized to meet our collective needs. Besides, who pays for this?

    Chatham, VA

    November 11, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  157. Jay in Texas

    No, Jack, it is a scarey idea. And, yes, it does sound like what Nazi Germany did. If Obama fulfills the promises he made during the campaign to withdraw our troops from Iraq and to reconcile our differences with some countries who Bush never tried to negotiate our differences with, then our National Guard will be home where it belongs. I will feel much more secure when these fine soldiers are home doing the job they signed on to do – protecting our citizens within our own borders – than with a bunch of civilians toting guns on our streets.
    Brownwood, Texas

    November 11, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  158. pat from Polson, MT

    I think we have a good national security force in our state National Guard units. We don't need a whole bunch of civilians r unning around with guns pretending they are policemen. Too, too risky.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  159. Jim, from Las Vegas

    This is a truly scary idea. First, I thought the police and FBI are supposed to fullfil this role. Second, do you really want something like the TSA to have resources that rival the military's? Third, even if Obama cuts the military budget by a third, to equally fund this new service would incread the budget by twice that amount.

    And last, but not least, why are you just now asking this question instead of back in July when this first came up?

    November 11, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  160. Erik from Golden, CO

    Wait a second... isn't a "civilian security force" pretty much the same as a "National Guard"—only without sending them overseas on a presidential whim?

    Perhaps this is just a way to say, "I want to bring our National Guard troops home where they belong... but I do not want them to think I will re-deploy them like my predecessor."

    November 11, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  161. arlene rannfeldt

    bad idea, bad idea, bad idea...

    November 11, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  162. Mariaelena Raymondw

    Didn't we have a national security force called the National Guard and the Coast Guard until they were ordered to the Middle East?

    November 11, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  163. Mike, Ontario Canada

    Nazis and communists did it mainly for practical reasons: they were either preparing for, or already involved in large confrontations requiring huge military costs, and this was a way of bringing down these costs. I don't think that the civilian population would enjoy combining everyday life and defense activities, but it could be a cost efective way of implementing military measures when the threat is real, wide spread and difficult to neutralize.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  164. Sonoran Desert DT

    In the long list of bad ideas to come out of Washington, this is a new one to add to the top..

    November 11, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  165. SAM in NH

    You can't be serious.

    There is no way, no how, the US needs a paramilitary group stomping through our cites and streets.
    There are some many legitimate issues to tackle. Stay home, fix the broken parts.

    If does the job right, you will not need any additional soldiers or exploding toys.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  166. Andi Anderson

    Adding a high tax to the price of gasoline will only hurt the poorer people who can only afford to live 30-60 minutes and more from where they work every day. I work with people who had to look for a part-time job so they could off set the high cost of gas to get to there full time job. This is not good. Lower taxes and raise gas prices, Hmmmm.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  167. Fred May WA

    What is the National Guard used for? Isn't it supposed to be our home security force? Aren't they suppose to guard our borders? Lets use the forces for what they were designed for. Yes they are used in emergencys, like hurricanes, tornados and floods, and riots, but what do they do besides that.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  168. Chris

    Lets remember a few things. We have a huge deficit and national debt. So creating another agency or group that is as well funded as the US military is not economically sound. Plus we have law enforcement agencies that are charged with domestic security. Most Americans do not feel the existing law enforcement agencies are put to good use. States and localities use police forces to patrol highways to write citations for revenue instead of solving crime. So another force that can be used to impinge on our freedoms is not necessary, plus how can we pay for such a force? Instead of expanding government we need to figure out what to cut in order to get this budget deficit and debt under control.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  169. bobt

    NO!!!!! Sounds like the rumblings of another Hitler.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  170. Ann,Virginia

    Jack,It's a great idea!We need some way to control our borders,protect our country from terror cells within & support our military in many ways.Republicans will say anything to scare Americans & criticize President-Elect Obama.Where is their patriotism?Shouldn't the protection of our nation at home come first?

    November 11, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  171. Jim Conn

    Jack, Abuse of power is already out of control. Why not throw some more kindling into mix?

    November 11, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  172. Carolyn in Houston

    I need to know more about this before commenting. This is the first I've heard about it.

    Obama has spoken about community service at least in terms of offering college students tuition relief in exchange for community service after graduation.

    He has also talked about rebuilding our nation's crumbling infrastructures. This would create new jobs at home. So would federal green energy projects. FDR threw an economic life line to the desperately unemployed during the Great Depression through similar programs such as the CCC and the WPA. I think any measure that will create new jobs during tough economic times is a good thing.

    That said I have deep concerns about the notion of a domestic security force until I at least learn more details.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  173. Art Garland

    This is the way Hilter started, Germans thought it sounded like a good idea also, then it was to late.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  174. hannah from Florida

    Easy does it Mr. Pres. elect. First things first. You have enough on your plate ,do some of those things firs. Also, careful with this idea. Maybe just a bit too much Government empowerment. Too far to the right no good and too far to the left no good.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  175. dave walker,n. dartmouth,ma.,02747

    It is a good idea. Anything to protect the American people in any form nowadyas is a no-brainer.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:36 pm |
  176. Jim Conn

    Every time we add another agency we create more problems at the cost to the taxpayer. Logansport, In.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  177. Joe Honolulu

    No, I think we need to use our current forces more efficiently and strategically. But I do think we need more, better trained, physically fit Border and Coast Guard security forces, now.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  178. Michael, Pensacola, FL

    Actually it sounds like a militia, not a bad idea when you consider our airports, trains and ports are just as vurnerable as they were on 9/11. Add unsecured borders, drug trafficking and gangs and we have a winner. As long as checks & balances existed, I'd only worry if we elected a Guilianni type President who congratulated the cops every time they were shown to do something wrong.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  179. Jane Mitchell

    Jack, we already have a civilian security force ... It's called the National Guard.

    From the U.S. Code Title 32
    "For purposes of other laws relating to the militia, the National Guard, the Army National Guard of the United States, and the Air National Guard of the United States, the term “Territory” includes Guam and the Virgin Islands. "

    November 11, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  180. Robert Cerrato

    Civilian Security Force? I thought he was trying to cut taxes? That shows me that he wants to create more governmently paid positions. where is that money going to come from? Creating jobs is good but people still need to be taxed to pay them.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  181. Gerry from Canada

    It seems to make sense to turn a combination of homeland security, FEMA , the National Guard and others into one civilian security group which would be better trained, organized and responsive.

    Makes perfect sense to me. Of course like normal the GOP are trying to make people scared of a good idea. Guys like Paul Broun should not be allowed to run for politics and should be censored. Of course what am I thinking, America allows a conficted felon to be a Senator.

    November 11, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  182. Ryan from Sacramento

    A national civilian security force? "National" implies it's answerable only to the federal government, and that sounds abusable. Maybe Obama won't abuse it, but that doesn't mean future administrations won't, so I have to give this idea a resounding NO.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:00 pm |
  183. Tim in Texas

    Jack, we shouldn't jump to conclusions about the full meaning or implications of a possible policy that was mentioned one time during a campaign. And the republicans shouldn't spout off their 'facts' about what Obama is going to do unless they have some kind of credentials as psychics. I mean, really, what's Broun using Tarot cards, tea leaves, a crystal ball, a magic eight ball, or what?
    Tim in Texas

    November 11, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  184. Joseph

    Isn't that what the FBI is for. . . change yeah right.... secret courts(like Bush has)with added secret police (obama's Plan)

    November 11, 2008 at 6:11 pm |
  185. dave in woodlawn, va

    I thought, we already have one.. Duh.. The National Guard...

    November 11, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  186. T E - from OIK

    I think Obama's idea of a Security Force is a good idea and should be considered. Especially since all of our military is overseas fighting. Who is left to protect us here in America.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:13 pm |
  187. James

    We already do it's called the local and state police force

    November 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  188. Christi in Maryland

    Imagine that...a President-Elect who understands and upholds the rule of law and the Constitution. The Posse Comitatus Act limits the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement...something the Bush Admin seems to have forgotten. I'd have to hear more about this civilian force, but it seem to me that integrating current efforts (FBI, ATF, etc) makes sense and would professionalize disaster response and provide badly needed security in the event of mass casualty events or a pandemic. It's worth looking at...but not jumping into without due consideration.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  189. Jim Necci

    Sounds like a bad idea to me. We certainly do not need the Executive Branch to have its own police force. If the military is insufficient in the present state maybe an all volunteer force is not the answer. When I was in the service the draft worked fine. Why not go back to some type of conscription? Works for Israel.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  190. Alan, Buxton Maine

    What is this continuous associating Obama with communism and Nazism? He is trying to find a way to create jobs and get the economy going again. I think there is a lot of paranoia left over from the last eight years.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  191. Clint

    I'm as liberal as they come and an Obama supporter, but this is a truly chilling step toward facism! It cannot be allowed to happen!
    Clint from Butler, Georgia

    November 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm |
  192. Judi

    If Obama has mentioned this exactly once, why not wait until he offers further details before we fan the flames of a fire that may not have ever been lit.

    JD in Lake Forest

    November 11, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  193. Mike

    Hey, he could call it "Whitewater!"

    November 11, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  194. jack

    Taking a page right off the Fidel Castro's playbook. Just what was done in Cuba in 1959.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:15 pm |
  195. Dan Rodriguez


    All I can say is don't blame me I voted Ron Paul!

    Dan San Benito Tx

    November 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  196. Marc Taylor in Kansas City


    A little research easily shows that Obama was simply trying to find an alternative method for taking care of issues the military is not trained or equipped to deal with. He never said that it would report to him any more than the military already does (will). This would also open up a peaceful way for more to serve our country to qualify for advanced education. Let's get past the demonizing and listen to the man... he has some really good ideas!

    November 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  197. george german

    jack im sure you remember germany in the ....30's 40's............NO BROWN SHIRTS. i still have faith in the local police,im probobly one of the few,but i do. not enough ntnl. gaurd troops? looks like it's time to time to hire more people.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  198. Denise D. (Montréal)

    Hi Jack!

    Depending of the use of this civilian security force, it could be a great idea. Americans need to work and to feel secure. I don't get the marxist thing. If more people have jobs the more they spend and make the economy working. This is capitalism at his best!

    Denise (Montréal)

    November 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  199. T E - from OIK

    I don't think we have any of the National Guard here to protect us. All of our men our overseas.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:16 pm |
  200. Lynne Greenwell

    Hi Jack:

    We have in Canada "The Royal Mounted Police" They are a national police Force who are responsible for policing towns and provinces that do not have provincial or civic police. They are well regarded and they have many responsibilities such as assisting with our national security. We are grateful for their presence.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  201. Jack Ohio

    Sounds to me like a result of the predicted event Joe Biden was talking about on the campaign trail.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  202. Sharon Matter

    As long as our troops are stretched thin overseas, yes, we need something here. Americans are ready to chip in to help our homeland. Paul Broun, despite the the MD behind his name (someone should investigate whether that's real or not.....god help our healthcare system with the likes of this mental giant) is a fear-mongering moron. Anything to stir up animosity, fear, lies rather than to look at reality and facts. What's his solution? Continue to allow the U.S. to wallow in the mire and mess we're in now? Are there any sensible Republicans left? Do they have any new, positive ideas? Maybe they just need to disappear for the next 8 years to give this country a chance to recover.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  203. Terry Greene Harvey

    God help us if he does get a Gestapo Force, for that's what it sounds like and I don't like the sound of it. That is what Hitler did, took away the guns from the population, then it was easy to control the people.
    Just the thought gives me the heemy-jeemies. I say no to a Security Force and I say yes, we have the right to carry and bear arms. I say this and I'm an 83 year old woman.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  204. Craig in Palm Springs

    It's a great idea! The Republicans will get over it.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  205. Zach, Westfield NJ

    What could this possibly been used for? We have never encountered a situation in which the police or national guard were insufficient, so any 'civilian security force' seems like overkill.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  206. Mike the Unemployed

    I think any jobs created by the government would benefit our country. It would open up civilian jobs, and would stimulate our economy naturally through job creation.

    The same goes for allowing gays to serve in the military. It would boost our military, employ people who are unemployed, and give them money to spend on things, that would in the end, create more civilian jobs.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:18 pm |
  207. Claire Holmes

    It sounds like Obama wants his own little army – what is wrong with the military we have – is he afraid he can't control it? Why does he need his own militia? This idea has red flags all over the place.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  208. Mike from California

    I don't even trust the cops to be cops.
    Just what we need... more psychos with a gun and a badge.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  209. Bob in Indiana

    I voted for Obama, but that scares me

    November 11, 2008 at 6:19 pm |
  210. Catherine

    This would be no better than George Bush's use of Blackwater. If the government would simply return the power over the National Guard to the governors of each state (which Bush took away from them) there wouldn't be any need for a private security force. Look at the corruption in Blackwater....this is a bad idea!

    November 11, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  211. Cheri Lahue (Layhew)


    Better yet, why not reinforce our military by bringing back the draft! My father served in three wars and I am very grateful for his service to our country. I feel that mandatory service in the military is the least we can do to receive the blessings of being a citizen of the United States of America. I also feel that rich AND poor should serve and that the wealthy should not be able to buy their way out of the draft! Don't we owe our country – our freedom – that much!

    Cheri Lahue
    Auburn, WA

    November 11, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  212. Enos Flores

    A National Security Force is not necessary. We have a National Guard and FBI. Why would we need to create a National Security Force? I think it seems meaningless and not well thought out. The resources should be given to the States for National Guard and state police.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  213. Mary

    If civilians need to take over for the Military here at home, in any capacity, then it is time to reinstate the Draft. Like it or not. Every man and woman should serve their country if needed. When legal immigrants become citizens, they take an oath to bare arms for this country. It is only right that natralized citizens should do the same. The Draft worked years ago and would work today.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  214. Brandon Jones

    Jack, Being vetern of the war in Afghanstan, I know first hand how thin US Forces are spead. If this National Security Forces could take the place of gate and tower guards in FOBs and also Vechile checks points would help the troops in Iraq and Afghanstan. But their must be over site of this force. I support the creation of a National Secirty Force.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  215. Joseph..... Fayetteville, NC

    Isn’t that what the FBI is for. . . change yeah right…. secret courts(like Bush has)with added secret police (obama’s Plan)

    November 11, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  216. Al From Ft. Myers

    Just what we need more busy body's running around trying to earn points with the man by going and spying on everybody for their own self importance. Leave the security work to the educated trained authorized security professionals.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:20 pm |
  217. Jean

    Yes, let the man implement his plans and move us progressively forward!!!

    November 11, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  218. Sunil

    Just don't understand why in the USA we are so paranoid about words like Marxist and Socialist. The German and Soviet experiences were at a time when there were no checks and balances in place. Here in America we have checks and balances and our military is overtaxed. I think it is a very good option as long as there are enough controls put in place.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  219. Eric

    Jack, I am a life long Democrat and a supporter of Barak Obama. This is one of the most outrageous ideas that I have heard by member of either of the two major parties. This suggestion has reinforced my belief that the number one priority of the 111th Congress should not be to address our economic problems, but to limit executive power.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  220. Diane, Houston TX

    We already have a national security force, it's called the National Guard. It's supposed to be under the control of the governor of each state to which those units belong. Unfortunately, Bush has deployed so many of them and much of their equipment to Iraq that they can't do their job here at home. Have a natural disaster? Good luck in getting help from your Guard units. Good luck with getting help from FEMA either but that's another issue.


    November 11, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  221. Tony

    It would be a good idea if it would be used as immidiate help without guns like the able taking care of the needy

    November 11, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  222. Dominique - Philippines

    Oh, sure. And just to distinguish them from the military, give them brown shirts for uniforms.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  223. E Brooks

    No – this sounds exaclty like the governmental control displayed by dictatorships; disarm your people and implement a national watchdog. His ideas are communist and marxist. And why are you asking this question now after the man was elected? Are you not supposed to be the government watchdog for the peopel?

    November 11, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  224. steve

    No, we need to restart the draft. That would give people jobs and increase our military.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  225. kcblogger

    It is not a good idea. I have no problem with it if just democrats controled it. But, someday republicans will probably control the White House again and I cannot imagine what someone like Bush would do with it. So, no. I am against it.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  226. Ray

    It's a terrible idea! Don't we ever learn from history? A nation who cannot learn form history is doomed.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:24 pm |
  227. Angelo

    I dont know if a civilian army is a such a great idea. Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from other men who wanted and got a civilian army. Men like Adolph Hitler and Fidel Casto. Look what they did with their armies. Makes you wonder why Obama wants one.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  228. John in MN

    Sure, another security force answering to the President. A palace guard, so to speak........or Brown Shirts or the SS. No, we do not need a security force that answers to the President and only the president. If it occurs, who would want to speak against the President? A steep slippery slope to abuse of power and a police state.

    BTW, if George Bush had even hinted at this, the Left would have gone nutz.....

    November 11, 2008 at 6:25 pm |
  229. Brian


    I think that comparing Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro, or Joseph Stalin before he's even been inaugurated is a rational, intelligent reaction to this news story.

    Brian from Davenport, Iowa

    November 11, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  230. Lori From Virginia

    We have a national guard, we have too many police officers. What is he talking about? I think we need clarification. I hope this is an idea that he will let go. The lack of forthcoming definitions leaves everyone a little nervous.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:26 pm |
  231. Deon Ashford

    jack, I thought Democrats generally believed the U.S. spent too much on the military. How is it possible President-Elect Obama seeking to create some kind of massive but secret national police force that will be even bigger than the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force put together?

    November 11, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  232. Nevonne, Berkeley CA

    Jack, I am not a republican and in fact voted for Obama. I can see how employing a civilian security force may seem to be an attractive prospect with the nations job market being in the shape it's in now but what would prevent some deranged future "leader" (president, general or other) help this group morph into something that would turn against the American people, i.e., secret police or something similar?

    November 11, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  233. Rich

    No, I don't think Obama's "Civilian" Corp is a good idea–sounds a little too much like the Brown-shirts to me.

    Mpls, MN

    November 11, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  234. Griff Williams

    It's obvious that Congressman Broun is either an idiot or is attempting to incorporate more scare tactics....the military is already answerable to the President...that's why he's called the Commander in Chief. Hasn't he gotten the memo, the American public chooses not to be scared into making decisions. And as for such a decision being a good idea...it's all in the details.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:28 pm |
  235. Brandon from Ohio

    I am 15 years old and I have been following the presidential campaigns of both McCain and Obama from the beginning. Obama' s idea on the civilian security force is a bad idea because we already have law enforcement agencys for the same reason as this civilian security force, such as the FBI and local law enforement. Why would you add more to a deck of cards when you already have 52?

    November 11, 2008 at 6:32 pm |
  236. gilbert

    How can a civilian corp relieve the current Armed Services here in this country. I'd like to know just how much work our Armed Services do IN this country. I bet most of the budget is spent on duties and obligations overseas. Why would the civilian corp have to be as well funded as the current Armed Services if they will only do work IN our country? This doesn't add up at all. Obama must have some other reason for starting such a monster.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  237. Clare

    Civilians policing their neighbors? Hasn't Obama studied history?!

    November 11, 2008 at 6:34 pm |
  238. pat

    no I do not think it is a good idea to have a separate national secutity force under obama. So far he is an unknown entity. Let's see how he governs before we give him more power. I thought our govenment is broke. This would surely cost too much. Where would he get the funds?

    November 11, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  239. Rick Ramos

    Wow...we really have one track minds in this country. Obama didn't say anything about an "armed" security force. He said a national security force which to me implies people trained to do something to enhance our security: neighborhood watch is a security force; unarmed security guards at gated communities or high rise condos/office buildings are security forces; even Red Cross disaster assistance is a security force. None of those are armed or empowered with "police powers." People, can we say PARANOIA? People need to chill out, wait, watch and keep your congressperson's address handy if you don't like what really starts to unfold.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  240. Bruce

    The era of conventional warfare is over. We can't continue to fight our enemies using WW II tactics and we need to find new ways. New tactics are needed to keep people from hijacking jetliners and crashing them into whatever buildings they choose.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  241. Bill from Michigan

    Bad idea. We only have a handful of soldiers now to protect America because of all of these contracted civilians. And the civilian contractors that are trained to fight are companies like Blackwater. Very bad idea and very dangerous.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  242. Wilson from Michigan

    The whole concept of a national civilian security force sounds like a good idea...that’s why its already been done. Homeland security, FEMA , the Coast Guard, the National Guard, the ATF, and then there's, or I don't know, the police? They exist for that precise reason, to protect the homeland. I guess I don't see the point in having more people doing the same thing. That said, I highly doubt that Obama is plotting anything aside from a big happy tax party... but I have been fooled before.

    November 11, 2008 at 6:38 pm |