Military's Plans Against Riots in America

You’ve seen the terrible riots in England.
We have them in America, too, such as the recent black riot at the Wisconsin State Fair. It’s just that our media refuse to call them “riots,” as if doing so will just magically make them go away.
That led the Investor’s Business Daily to publish an editorial on August 12, 2011, pointing out that “Across the U.S., mobs of black youths are organizing on Facebook to loot stores and beat whites. Yet none dare call the ‘flash mob’ attacks hate crime, least of all the attorney general.”
The media may play ostrich, but the U.S. military isn’t.
An article by John Hudson for The Atlantic Wire, August 10, 2011, describes “The U.S. Military’s Plan for London-Like Riots”. The name of the plan is CONPLAN. Here are excerpts:

With British Prime Minister David Cameron authorizing the use of rubber bullets and water canons in wake of the turbulent London riots spreading through Britain, questions have been raised about how authorities in the U.S. would respond to a similar domestic disturbance threatening the nation’s stability. According to National Journal‘s White House correspondent Marc Ambinder the U.S. already has a game plan in place.

“If what happened in London ever happened in the US, the military has plans — CONPLAN 3501 and 3502 — to suppress the ‘insurrection,’ he tweeted. […]

According to the public policy organization, CONPLAN 3502 is the U.S. military’s plan for assisting state and local authorities in the event of a riot or major civil disturbance: “Tasks performed by military forces may include joint patrolling with law enforcement officers; securing key buildings, memorials, intersections and bridges; and acting as a quick reaction force.”

It derives its constitutional backing from Article I, Section 8 stating that “Congress shall have power… to provide for calling forth the Militia to execute laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections, and repel Invasions” and is rumored to have been activated during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, during the 1999 Seattle WTO riots and during the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. But, according to Nate Jones at the National Security Archive, “because historic Garden Plot activity was classified and current activity likely remains so, it is difficult to discern exactly how many times Garden Plot was evoked.” What jarred Jones upon looking at internal military documents, were the “indicators of potential violence,” which were especially racially oriented:

According to Global Security, the federal government’s power to control civil disturbances was increased in 1970. Here’s an outline of what that involved:

375,000 National Guardsmen and 14,000 Army Reservists had been trained in riot control as the year closed. The Army National Guard conducted, at the expense of regular training, sixteen hours of refresher civil disturbance training. Some states also carried out civil disturbance command post exercises in conjunction with local and state civil authorities. The Army Reserve had three infantry brigades which were part of the federal military contingency force for the control of civil disturbances. These units also conducted sixteen hours of refresher civil disturbance training at the expense of primary training. This additional responsibility of the Reserve Components called for their immediate availability in times of natural disasters, civil disturbances, and other emergencies.

Update: Ambinder also points to an Army slideshow detailing more about CONPLAN 3501. One of the slides has a breakdown of what army officers are in charge of which areas of the country. Click the link to see the whole slideshow.


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Clifton Lee West
Clifton Lee West

Enough of this crap, a black riot is a riot just as much as a white riot would be a riot. This political correctness is only egging the minorities to even more law breaking. How far are we going to let these freaks go, murder and rape, or mass murder for no reason except racial meanness and ignorance? The blacks seem to want to push and push and push until we all throw up our hands just before we grab out guns. Barack playing President does not give anyone the right to get in someone’s face! Everyone had better learn… Read more »

lowtechgrannie lowtechgrannie
lowtechgrannie lowtechgrannie

The army, comprised of National Guard to a large degree, has recent War on Terror experience overseas in Urban Combat Ops. It could get very ugly very quickly.
I was in shock during the Battle in Seattle WTO riots in Nov 1999. The narrator of this is clearly on the side of the anarchists who came with gasmasks and the tools to carry out their intent to destroy private property, effectively demanding a showdown with the forces of law and order.


This story made me think of (and nicely dovetails with) HR 645 – National Emergency Centers Establishment Act. Official Summary: 1/22/2009–Introduced. National Emergency Centers Establishment Act – Directs the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) to establish at least six national emergency centers on military installations to use existing infrastructure to provide: (1) temporary housing, medical, and humanitarian assistance to individuals and families dislocated due to an emergency or major disaster; and (2) centralized locations for the training of first responders and the coordination of preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. Lists minimum requirements for sites for such centers, including that they… Read more »

Jerry harper

Hopefully the designated colonels will benefit from my criticism after the Rodney King riot in 1992. California National Guard units were responsive to local law enforcements’ requests to hold areas once we had secured them. Responsiveness was slowed or non existant when the regular army caused them to clear their missions through the Army’s bureaucratic chain of command rather than accepting assignments from police and sheriff command officers. Speed, flexibility and adaptability are required to control mobile bands of anarchists, looters and arsonists. Clumsy command structures handicap law enforcement during riots just as they do the military in combat.