Under the directive, the president is empowered to use military forces in operations against domestic unrest.According to the 2010 Pentagon directive on military support to civilian authorities, there is a possibility for the Obama administration to use military force against American citizens, Pravda.Ru reports.
It appears that the US administration has been taking decisive steps to use force inside the United States against US citizens.
Directive No. 3025.18, "Defense Support of Civil Authorities" states:
"Federal military forces shall not be used to quell civil disturbances unless specifically authorized by the president in accordance with applicable law or permitted under emergency authority."
"In these circumstances, those federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances" under two conditions.
US authorities can thus use military force against citizens "to prevent significant loss of life or wanton destruction of property to restore governmental function and public order." Military force inside the US can also be used in cases when federal, state and local authorities "are unable or decline to provide adequate protection for federal property or federal governmental functions."
"Federal action, including the use of federal military forces, is authorized when necessary to protect the federal property or functions," the directive states.
Military assistance can include loans of arms, ammunition, vessels and aircraft. The directive states clearly that it is for engaging civilians during times of unrest, Pravda.Ru says.
Noteworthy, the Obama administration considered a possibility of deploying military force under the directive during the recent standoff with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and his armed supporters. The idea was eventually rejected, though.