Role of the National Guard

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Abstract The National Guard is one of the oldest American institutions, and predates the War of Independence. Substantiated by the Constitution, the National Guard remains a viable military force that provides both domestic and international support for the standing armed forces. One of the capacities that the National Guard has recently served as happens to be within the realm of post-conflict stabilization. Although its role in the nation-building process is controversial, the National Guard is a cost-effective force that can and should be used to its highest capacity in post-conflict resolution and stabilization worldwide. Introduction The National Guard is "the oldest component of the Armed Forces of the United States and one of the nation's longest-enduring institutions," (National Guard Bureau, 2011). Starting as a volunteer militia force, as opposed to a standing army, the National Guard served first the American colonies and later, the United States of America. Even before 1776, the National Guard has been a fundamental force of United States security. After Independence, the National Guard was the primary means of securing the new nation. The federal standing army was relatively small until the 20th century, mandating militia forces in situations like the Mexican-American War and the Spanish-American War (National Guard Bureau, 2011). Because the National Guard represents the right of states to form militias, the organization has always symbolized the delicate
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