By Dick Martin
There has been a lot of talk recently about President Trump using the US Army to suppress domestic disorders. Restraint is required when dealing with unruly protesters. The Army is trained to bring maximum force to bear, not restraint. Given that, although the US Army did not like the idea, it has been called upon in the past to quell domestic disorders.
The men who wrote the Constitution were practical men and surmised that there were times when the Army would be necessary domestically to support the law. Consequently, they made circumscribed provisions for its domestic use. The Constitution addresses domestic disorder in three places. The preamble commits to “insure domestic tranquility,” Section 8 of Article 1 stipulates Congress will have the power to call “forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress Insurrections and repel invasions,” while also acknowledging local or state militia may be thus “employed in the service of the United States,” and finally Section 4 of Article 14 adds the US will protect each state from “domestic violence” upon the application of the legislature, or of the executive (of that state). Clearly, the president of the United States has constitutional authority to use the US Army to quell domestic unrest and restore law and order.
In 1786-1787, the US Army was used to put down Shays’ Rebellion, a backwoods Massachusetts defiance of debts, taxes, law, and property rights. In 1791-1794, President Washington, with certain limitations, brought in the federal militia to extinguish the Whiskey Rebellion. The US Army was brought in again to put down the Fries Rebellion, the Burr Conspiracy, the Embargo of 1807 Enforcement, Nat Turner’s slave revolt, the 1834 Chesapeake and Ohio Canal riots, the 1837 Patriot Revolt, the 1832-1834 Nullification Crisis, and the Civil War and Reconstruction themselves.
With the end of Reconstruction came the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 which returned the army to pre-1850 constraints with respect to participation in domestic disorders; ie, subordinate to civilian authority.
The US Army has been used to quell violent labor disputes. From 1877 to 1945, the US Army was drawn into assist local authorities at least 125 times. More recently, the US Army has been asked to manage plants, mines, and other infrastructure. In the 1950s and 1960s, the US Army was used to enforce integration and other civil rights issues.
Ideally, the Army would be tucked inside an inter-agency federal team. However, if there is no substitute for the disciplined manpower and robust security the Army brings, it may reluctantly, at the direction of the president, take to the streets to restore law and order.
Summarized and edited from an article in the November 2020 issue of Army Magazine entitled “Army Isn’t New to Quelling Civil Unrest” by Brig Gen John Brown
Click to set custom HTML
Submitted by Lee Morton and Carol Wysuph
By Dick Martin
I usually limit our Sunday Features to military related topics. Renewable energy resources, ie. Wind and Solar are not by themselves military topics, but the military’s deep direct reliance on energy require that if they want to continue to be a world power and affect the future of the world , they have to always be aware of the energy component of any decisions that they make. Personally, I don’t feel that I know enough about reliable renewable energy sources to have any firm opinions. I do know that:
Recently, I was talking to John Hollman about this topic, and he directed me to an article on the subject titled “Mines, Minerals, and “Green” Energy” authored by Mark P Mills, who is an senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a faculty fellow of Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science. The following is an edited summary of his article:
Among the material realities of green energy are:
Theoretically, we will eventually run out of fossil energy. This would make us a second-rate military power. All of the above problems are daunting, but my experience in the oil industry is that the US companies are able to solve or mitigate the above problems to a manageable level. The oil industry is capable of solving many complex problems, as long as there is an incentive to do so.
“Where there is a will, there is a way.”
Submitted by Daryl Heusinkveld
Seventy-five years ago, this month, a Band of Roughnecks went abroad on a top-secret mission into Robin Hood's stomping grounds to punch oil wells to help fuel England's war machines. It's a story that should make any oilman or woman proud. The year was 1943 and England was mired in World War II. U-boats attacked supply vessels, choking off badly needed supplies to the island nation. But oil was the commodity they needed the most as they warred with Germany.
A book "The Secret of Sherwood Forest: Oil Production in England During World War II" written by Guy Woodward and Grace Steele Woodward was published in 1973 and tells the obscure story of the American oil men who went to England to bore wells in a top-secret mission in March 1943.
England had but one oil field, in Sherwood Forest of all places. Its meager output of 300 barrels a day was literally a drop in the bucket of their requirement of 150,000 barrels a day to fuel their war machines. Then, a top-secret plan was devised: to send some Americans and their expertise to assist in developing the field. Oklahoma based Noble Drilling Co., along with Fain-Porter signed a one-year contract to drill 100 wells for England, merely for costs and expenses. Forty-Two drillers and roughnecks from Texas and Oklahoma, most in their teens and early twenties, volunteered for the mission to go abroad. The hands embarked for England in March 1943 aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth. Four National 50 drilling rigs were loaded onto ships, but only three of them made landfall; the Nazi U-boats sank one of the rigs en route to the UK.
The Brits' jaws dropped as the Yanks began punching the wells in a week, compared to five to eight weeks for their British counterparts. They worked 12-hour tours, 7 days a week and within a year, the Americans had drilled 106 wells and England oil production shot up from 300 barrels a day to over 300,000. The contract fulfilled, the American oil men departed England in late March 1944, but only 41 hands were on board the return voyage. Herman Douthit, a Texan derrick-hand was killed during the operation. He was laid to rest with full military honors and remains the only civilian to be buried at The American Military Cemetery in Cambridge.
"The Oil Patch Warrior," a seven-foot bronze statue of a roughneck holding a four-foot pipe wrench, stands near Nottingham, England to honor the American oil men's assistance and sacrifice in the war. A replica was placed in Ardmore, Oklahoma in 2001.
Special thanks to the American Oil and Gas Historical Society.