The closer we look at this country in all its manifestations, the more we realize how little it resembles its original design. This is more than just a matter of modernizing government, or 21st century technology. We are talking about fundamental and major alterations to government itself, its structure, its actions, its reach.
A combination of rewriting or ignoring the constitution and the loss of federalism have contributed to a steady but systematic dismantling of the founders’ creation. It certainly wasn’t perfect and has benefited from improvements here and there. Unfortunately, much more has been done to tear down core elements built into fledgling republic.
The Metamorphosis of the Militia
One of those is the extensive use and control of what was originally called the militia and has metamorphosed into the modern national guard. It isn’t what it appears to be to the uninitiated. And, it most definitely is not what it originally was or was intended to be. Once again, the federal government has become the behemoth throwing its weight around, bending the states to its will. What the Pentagon wants, the Pentagon gets.
Here is some background and explanation of the current state of affairs and how we got here.
“Today’s National Guard is nothing like the independent state militias that existed throughout the nineteenth century up until the adoption of the Militia Act of 1903. Prior to the 1903 act, state militias were primarily state funded, and were not integrated into the federal government’s military structure except in times of declared war.
“The Militia Act created a new type of ‘militia’ which replaced the old decentralized model with a new system in which state National Guard units were to receive federal funding and were to be integrated into the national military as a permanent reserve force.By 1986, the idea of an independent state National Guard was all but dead. As we have seen, some governors briefly tried to revive the idea, but it was struck down by the courts, and by the Pentagon's immense power. Click To Tweet
“But even after 1903, the state National Guards retained a high degree of independence compared to today. That was further eroded with the National Defense Act of 1916 which allowed National Guard United to be deployed outside their own states — and even outside the country — for much longer periods of time than had been previously allowed. The 1916 Act further increased federal funding — and thus federal control — over National Guard units.
“Another major change came in 1933. At that time, new amendments to the National Defense Act were passed which made members of the National Guard units members of both their state’s National Guard, and the federal military.
“Further integration occurred throughout the following decades, culminating with the adoption of the ‘Total Force Policy’ in 1970. According to Burgess, et al., this meant National Guard units became fully ‘woven into the fabric of the Defense establishment.’
“By 1986, the idea of an independent state National Guard was all but dead. As we have seen, some governors briefly tried to revive the idea, but it was struck down by the courts, and by the Pentagon’s immense power over military resources within each state.”
Read the whole thing at When State Governors Tried To Take Back Control of the National Guard. Be sure to check out some great comments at the end of the article too.