procedures are almost inevitable in wartime, the modifications prompted by the war on
terrorism and defense transformation should take place within the overall context of the
Total Force Policy and not under some new and untested defense planning paradigm.
Other compelling reasons exist for the National Guard to maintain its position in
the nation’s first line of defense. The National Guard is a cost effective force multiplier;
three or four citizen-soldiers cost the same as a single active duty member. By reducing
its reliance on the Guard and Reserves, the Department of Defense will require more
resources, not less. The Guard’s presence in America’s local communities makes it the
ideal, military first responder for homeland security. The Guard’s inherent flexibility
allows it to perform as either a homeland security or homeland defense force while
providing military assistance to civil authorities. A mobilized National Guard acting as a
federal reserve force facilitates rather than limits military operations. A strong National
Guard guarantees the future strength of American democracy, the involvement of the
citizenry in the common defense, and public support for the war on terrorism.
Since the early 1970s, the Total Force Policy has allowed the nation to meet its
defense requirements by utilizing an all-volunteer military maintained at an acceptable
cost to taxpayers. For the duration of the war on terrorism, the National Guard must be
treated as an equal partner in the common defense, properly equipped, appropriately
trained, and prepared to fight overseas or to defend American soil in conjunction with
active duty forces. Only in this way can the nation best guarantee its security in the
current struggle and for the remainder of the twenty-first century.