Purdue University Hurricane Katrina Command Relationships Paper Can you please make adjustments based on the following feedback?
three research questions
Introduce the command relationships (Federal Military, State Military and Civil Agencies) that were established during Hurricane Katrina.
How did those command relationships effect the outcome of Hurricane Katrina? Did they establish unity of command? What is the importance of establishing unity of command during natural disasters/emergencies?
Provide examples and elaborate, using Hurricane Katrina, to support your main point
Individual Research Paper Thesis & Outline
-Ensure that you are able to answer the three research questions for your topic within your paper.
-Take your case study name out of the running head, just have your topic there.
-Ensure that you are tying your supporting topics in with your case study
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-Your supporting topics will be your level one headings and your supporting ideas will be the paragraphs that feed the topic. United States Army Sergeants Major Academy
Master Leader Course (MLC)
William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal
Volume 15 | Issue 1
In Katrina’s Wake: Rethinking the Military’s Role in
Scott R. Tkacz
Scott R. Tkacz, In Katrina’s Wake: Rethinking the Military’s Role in Domestic Emergencies, 15 Wm. &
Mary Bill Rts. J. 301 (2006), http://scholarship.law.wm.edu/wmborj/vol15/iss1/11
Copyright c 2006 by the authors. This article is brought to you by the William & Mary Law School Scholarship Repository.
IN KATRINA’S WAKE: RETHINKING THE MILITARY’S ROLE
IN DOMESTIC EMERGENCIES
Scott R. Tkacz
I. LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL RESPONSE TO THE KATRINA DISASTER
Hi. HISTORY OF THE LIMITATION ON THE USE OF THE MILITARY IN
DOMESTIC ARENAS …………………………………….
A. Posse Comitatus Act ………………………………..
B. Exceptions to the Posse ComitatusAct ……………………
I. HISTORICAL APPLICATIONS OF THE EXCEPTIONS TO THE POSSE
A. PresidentialPower in Federalizingthe National Guard ………..
IV. OVERCOMING THE BARRIERS TO EXPANDING PRESIDENTIAL
AUTHORITY IN THE USE OF FEDERAL TROOPS DOMESTICALLY ………
A. The Need for CentralizedDecision-Makingby a Single Individual
Is Critical in Emergency Situations ………………………
B. “TraditionalNotions” of Domestic Military Action Are Not
Supported by History ………………………………..
C. FederalMilitary Forces Can Receive Adequate Trainingfor
Effective Execution of Domestic Law Enforcement ……………
D. Active Military Participationin Domestic Law Enforcement
Does Not Necessarily Mean PermanentDomestic Deployment …..
E. The PresidentPossesses BroadDiscretion in MattersAuthorized
by Congress ………………………………………
F. Use of the Military in Domestic Affairs Would Serve to Protect
Civilians’ ConstitutionalRights, Not to Abrogate Them ………..
The massive devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and
Mississippi in August 2005′ left behind shattered communities that will be left to pick
up the pieces for months and years to come.2 The alarming number of hurricanes
See infra notes 6-12 and accompanying text. On June 23, 2006, 1 visited New Orleans and
witnessed the destruction firsthand. The severity of the damage is truly difficult to put into words.
2 See, e.g., Eric Lipton, FEMA Calls 60,000 Houses in Storm Area Beyond Repair,N.Y.
TIMES, Nov. 5, 2005, at A14; Eric Lipton, HurricaneEvacuees Face Eviction Threats at
Both Their Old Homes and New, N.Y. TIMES, Nov. 4, 2005, at A20; Adam Nossiter et al.,
New OrleansIs Still Grapplingwith the Basicsof Rebuilding,N.Y. TIMES, Nov. 8,2005, at Al.
WILLIAM & MARY BILL OF RIGHTS JOURNAL
to strike the United States coastline in 2004 and 2005′ suggests that history can, and
likely will, repeat itself. Significant breakdowns in communication and confused
emergency and law enforcement responses from local, state, and federal officials in
the hours and days after Hurricane Katrina led to chaos and panic in the affected
areas, endangering citizens’ property and lives.4 The delayed reaction to this crisis
suggests the need for an expansion of existing presidential authority to use active
military forces to rapidly secure the disaster area and rescue survivors.5
This Note will argue that Congress should supply the President, and by extension, the military, authority to engage in domestic law enforcement when circumstances dictate rapid action to prevent widespread loss of life and property,
such as in the case of Hurricane Katrina. Part I examines the failure of the local,
state, and federal response in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Part II explores
the history and legality of presidential authority to deploy federal troops in domestic theaters. Part IH examines previous instances in which the President has
used existing statutory authority to use federal troops in domestic emergencies.
Part IV examines the arguments made against weakening the posse comitatus
doctrine, and how they translate to modem American policy and values. Finally,
Part V concludes with recommendations to modify the federal structure to give the
President more flexibility in ordering federal troops into active duty in times of
As of June 2006, the most heavily affected areas of New Orleans remained deserted, and
rebuilding is only in the preliminary stages. Many community services, including electricity,
water, healthcare, and police protection are sporadic and unreliable.
‘ Six hurricanes struck the United States in 2004, including four which made landfall in
Florida. ERIC S. BLAKE ET AL.,
NAT’L OCEANIC & ATMOSPHERIC ADMIN., THE DEADLIEST,
COSTLIEST, AND MOST INTENSE UNITED STATES TROPICAL CYCLONES FROM 1851 TO
app. A (2005), http://www.nhc
.noaa.gov/pdf/NWS-TPC-4.pdf. In 2005, several powerful hurricanes developed in the
Atlantic basin. Hurricane Dennis made landfall near Navarre Beach, Florida, as a Category
3 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale. National Hurricane Center, Monthly Tropical Weather
Summary (Aug. 1,2005), http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2005/tws/MIATWSAT-jul.shtml.
Hurricane Katrina, before coming ashore near the border of Louisiana and Mississippi,
became the fourth most intense hurricane ever recorded. National Hurricane Center,
Monthly Tropical Weather Summary (Sept. 1, 2005), http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/
2005/tws/MIATWSATaug.shtml. Hurricane Rita, in the days before striking Texas and
Louisiana, was measured as the third most intense hurricane ever recorded. National Hurricane
Center, Monthly Tropical Weather Summary (Oct. 1, 2005), http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/
archive/2005/tws/MIATWSAT-sep.shtml. Hurricane Wilma became the most intense hurricane
ever recorded in Atlantic waters on October 19, 2005, five days before plowing across the
Florida peninsula. National Hurricane Center, Monthly Tropical Weather Summary (Nov.
1, 2005), http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/archive/2005/tws/MIATWSAToct.shtml.
4 See infra Part I.
5 See infra notes 13-33 and accompanying text.
(AND OTHER FREQUENTLY REQUESTED HURRICANE FACTS)
IN KATRINA’S WAKE
I. LOCAL, STATE, AND FEDERAL RESPONSE TO THE KATRINA DISASTER
Hurricane Katrina crashed ashore near the border of Louisiana and Mississippi
on August 29, 20056 with 145-mile-per-hour winds7 and a twenty- to thirty-foot storm
surge.’ The wind and rain from the hurricane caused the levees protecting the city
of New Orleans from Lake Pontchartrain’s waters to fail,9 engulfing over eighty
percent of the city in up to twenty feet of water.’ ° The flooding stranded 20,000 New
Orleans residents at the Louisiana Superdome, which was intended only to be a “shelter
of last resort.”” Thousands more were stranded on building rooftops for over two days
without food or water, trying desperately to stay out of the flood-water. 2
Local and state authorities struggled to respond to the overwhelmingly massive
rescue and relief effort brought on by the breach of New Orleans’ levees.13 Louisiana
National Guard troops evacuated their headquarters to the Superdome, and communications were nonexistent among the troops leading the rescue effort.14 Governor Bill
Richardson of New Mexico stated that 200 National Guard troops were packed and
ready to go to New Orleans, but two days passed before state officials responded to
National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Katrina Advisory Number 27 (Aug. 29, 2005),
” Joseph B. Treaster &Kate Zemike, HurricaneSlams into GulfCoast;DozensAre Dead,
N.Y. TVEs, Aug. 30, 2005, at Al.
s Don Hammack, Documenting Surge Surveyors: Storm Water Topped atLeast 28 Feet,
SUN HERALD (Biloxi, MS), Oct. 16,2005, at Al. The National Hurricane Center defines storm
surge as “[a]n abnormal rise in sea level accompanying a hurricane or other intense storm, and
whose height is the difference between the observed level of the sea surface and the level that
would have occurred in the absence of the cyclone.” National Hurricane Center, Glossary
of NHC/TPC Terms, http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutgloss.shtml (last visited Aug. 21,2006).
9 John M. Barry, After the Deluge, Some Questions,N.Y. TIMEs, Oct. 13, 2005, at A27.
B. Treatser & N.R. Kleinfield, New Orleansis Inundatedas2 Levees Fail;Much
of Gulf Coast is Crippled; Toll Rises, N.Y. TIMEs, Aug. 31, 2005, at Al.
” Robert D. McFadden & Ralph Blumenthal, Bush Sees Long Recovery for New Orleans;
30,000 Troops in Largest U.S. Relief Effort, N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 1, 2005, at Al. Underlining the
desperate situation at the Superdome, Marty Bahamonde, the sole Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) employee in New Orleans before Katrina arrived, stated that he was
told the Superdome would be equipped with a FEMA medical team, 360,000 ready-to-eat
meals and fifteen water trucks before the storm arrived. Eric Lipton, Worker Tells of Response
by FEMA, N.Y. TmIES, Oct. 21, 2005, at A20. In fact, only five water trucks and 40,000 readyto-eat meals had arrived before the storm. Id. The FEMA medical team did not arrive until
one day after New Orleans flooded. Id.
McFadden & Blumenthal, supra note 11.
” Scott Shane & Thom Shanker, When Storm Hit, National Guard Was Deluged Too,
N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 28, 2005, at Al.
14 Id. Most cellphones,
telephone land lines, and satellite phones were disabled because
of the storm, and radio frequencies were often jammed from overuse. The conditions forced
some National Guard commanders to use “runners, like in World War I,” to transfer
information back and forth. Id.
WILLIAM & MARY BILL OF RIGHTS JOURNAL
Richardson’s offer of assistance. More than 250 members of the New Orleans Police
Department abandoned their duties in the days following the flooding, and reports
indicated that some officers even looted homes and businesses.’
In the absence of law enforcement in the city, many stranded residents looted
local stores, carrying away electronics, clothing, shoes, and firearms. 7 Property owners
defended themselves on their own using shotguns and small firearms.’ 8 By August 31,
two days after the storm’s landfall, the Mayor of New Orleans had ordered the city’s
police to abandon search and rescue efforts and return to their traditional duties of
law enforcement.’ 9 Supply trucks were delayed entering the city because drivers
refused to proceed without a police escort, and Baton Rouge abandoned its offer to send
riot-trained officers to New Orleans after its chief administrative officer decided
he did not want to place so many of his officers in harm’s way.2′ More than 20,000
evacuees gathered at the New Orleans Convention Center, which had no food, water,
medical care, or security personnel.2′ Thirteen of the sixteen hospitals in greater New
Orleans were closed due to extensive storm damage and fear of looting.22
Communication among Louisiana officials broke down after the storm. Louisiana
Governor Kathleen Blanco asked President George W. Bush for “everything
you’ve got,” which hampered the federal government’s decision-making process in
exactly how to act.23 Blanco’s aides stated that the Governor did not know that the
federal government needed an itemized list for help.24 However, Blanco rejected
President Bush’s request to turn over command and control of the National Guard
troops to a single federal military commander.25 The director of the Federal Emergency
Dan Barry & Jere Longman, A PoliceDepartmentRacked by Doubtand Accusations,
N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 30, 2005, at A20.
‘” Felicity Barringer & Jere Longman, Owners Take Up Arms as Looters Press Their
Advantage, N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 1, 2005, at A16.
“8Id. One resident, John Carolan, reported that three or four men tried to take his electric
generator by threatening him with a knife and a machete. He scared them away by firing
warning shots over their head with a revolver. Id.
James Dao et al.,New OrleansIsAwaiting Deliverance,N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 2,2005, at A15.
Reed Abelson, Can HospitalsReopen? It’s a Matterof Money, N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 14,
2005, at C I.
‘ Eric Lipton et al., BreakdownsMarked Pathfrom Hurricaneto Anarchy, N.Y. TIMES,
Sept. 11, 2005, at Al [hereinafter Lipton, Breakdowns].
24 David E. Sanger, Bush Wants to Consider Broadening of Military’s Powers During
NaturalDisasters,N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 27, 2005, atA18. Governor Blanco stated that she thought
she had requested all federal assistance that could be given, including active-duty federal troops:
‘”Nobody told me that I had to request that’ … ‘I thought that I had requested everything they
had. We were living in a war zone by then.”‘ Eric Lipton et al., PoliticalIssues SnarledPlans
for Troop Aid, N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 9, 2005, at Al [hereinafter Upton, PoliticalIssues].
Michael Luo, The Embattled Leader of a Storm-BatteredState Immersed in Crisis,
IN KATRINA’S WAKE
Management Agency (FEMA), Michael D. Brown, said that Governor Blanco’ s initial
response to the disaster in Louisiana was uncoordinated and confused, preventing
the agency from taking coherent action to bring the situation under control.26
The Bush administration’s response to the chaos inflicted by Hurricane Katrina
spurred an internal administration debate as to whether active-duty military forces
could be used in relief or law enforcement roles. 27 The Bush administration hesitated
to send active-duty military forces because they feared it would appear that the President
was seizing executive authority from a female governor of another political party.’
Blanco acknowledged that she was aware of the political considerations surrounding
relinquishing state control to the federal government and felt pressured to do so by
members of the Bush administration. 29 Further debate continued over whether the
President even had authority to order active-duty troops into the regions affected by
the hurricane if Governor Blanco resisted relinquishing control over the National
Guard.3” The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded after a series
N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 8, 2005, at A26. Governor Blanco’s press secretary stated that Blanco
refused the President’s request because “Is]he would lose control when she had been in control
from the very beginning.” Elisabeth Bumiller & Clyde Haberman, Bush Makes Return Visit;
2 Levees Secured, N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 6, 2005, at Al.
26 David D. Kirkpatrick & Scott Shane, Ex-FEMA Chief Tells of Frustrationand Chaos,
N.Y. TIMES, Sept. 15, 2005, at Al.
27 Lipton, Breakdowns, supra note 23.
28 Lipton, PoliticalIssues,supranote 24. A Bush administration official stated, “Can you
imagine how it would have been perceived if a president of the United States of one party
had pre-emptively taken from the female governor of another party the command and control
of her forces… ?” Id.
29 Bruce Alpert, PanelGrillsLa. Governoron Katrina,TIMES-PICAYUNE (New Orleans),
Feb. 3, 2006, at 1. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin claimed that during a meeting between
President Bush and Governor Blanco four days after the hurricane struck, a discussion about
federalizing the National Guard became so heated that Nagin suggested the pair “go into
another room to settle their differences.” Gerard Shields, Bush Asks for $18 Billion, BATON
ROUGE ADvoc., Feb. 3, 2006, at Al.
30 Lipton, Breakdowns, supra note 23; Lipton, PoliticalIssues, supra note 24; see also
Gerard Shields, MilitaryPersonnelEvaluate Confusion, Cooperationin Storm, BATON ROUGE
ADvoc., Feb. 10, 2006, at Al. Senator Joseph Lieberman highlighted the initial confusion surrounding whether the federal military should become involved in the aftermath of Hurricane
Our committee has learned… of some disagreements about the degree to
which the Defense Department should operate on U.S. soil. And these disagreements may have limited the military’s response time and effectiveness in this case because of the initial hesitation to deploy active duty
troops and to pre-position assets before Hurricane Katrina made landfall.
HurricaneKatrina:Defense Department’sRole in Response: HearingBefore the S. Comm. on
Homeland Sec. & Governmental Affairs, 109th Cong. (2006) (statement of Sen. Joseph I.
Lieberman, Ranking Member, S.Comm. on Homeland Sec. & Governmental Affairs), available
at http://hsgac.senate.govLfiles/020906JILOpen.pdf [hereinafter Defense Department’sRole].
WILLIAM & MARY BILL OF RIGHTS JOURNAL
of meetings that the President had legal authority to take control of National Guard
troops as well as deploy active-duty troops to the affected areas in the absence of
requests by state officials.” However, the decision was a legal and political risk the
administration was not willing to take, regardless of the conditions persisting in
New Orleans.32 Instead, the Bush administration chose to rely on mobilized National
Guard troops from other states to fill the law enforcement vacuum in New Orleans,
before the President finally ordered 7,200 active-duty forces into New Orleans five
days after the city was flooded.33
In the wake of the massive logistical and communications problems experienced
at all levels of government in the effort to respond to the effects of Hurricane Katrina,
government officials have suggested that the military should play a greater role in
handling such crises. On September 15, 2005, President George W. Bush stated that:
It was not a normal hurricane-and the normal disaster relief
system was not equal to it. Many of the men and women of the
Coast Guard, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the
United States military, the National Guard, Homeland Security,
and state and local governments performed skillfully under the
worst conditions. Yet the system, at every level of government,
was not well-coordinated, and was overwhelmed in the first few
days. It is now clear that a challenge on this scale requires greater
federal authority and a broader role for the armed forces-the
institution of our government most capable of massive logistical
operations on a moment’s notice.’
President Bush reiterated this concept on September 27, 2005, urging Congress to
evaluate extending executive authority in times of emergency so the full assets of the
Department of Defense could be used to respond to catastrophic natural disasters.3
President Bush said that such measures would be helpful “in certain extreme circumstances, to be able to rally assets for the good of the people. I don’t want to prejudge
the Congress’s discussion on this issue, because it may require change of law.”36
Lieberman further noted that “[tihe lack of a [military] plan led to unnecessary confusion, unnecessary bureaucratic struggles, and more human suffering than should have [occurred].” Id.
” Lipton, PoliticalIssues, supra note 24.
‘ President George W. Bush, Address to the Nation (Sept. 15, 2005) [hereinafter Bush,
Address to the Nation] (transcript available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/
” President George W. Bush, Remarks at the U.S. Dep’t of Energy (Sept. 26, 2005)
[hereinafter Bush, Remarks] (transcript available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/
IN KATRINA’S WAKE
Senator Joseph Lieberman echoed the President’s sentiment, concluding that
“[Hurricane] Katrina showed us that we need to define where that line [for military
involvement in civilian affairs] is drawn.”37
The Northern Command of the U.S. Department of Defense is developing a
proposal for the creation of a specially…
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