Gazette guest columnist Benjamin R. Cashner says Iowa should have a state militia.
“After Superstorm Sandy ravaged the eastern seaboard, the states of New York and Virginia, in addition to their National Guard forces, called upon another cost-effective crisis response asset that Iowa currently lacks: state guard units,” writes Cashner, a freelance writer in Monticello who served as an infantryman in the Iowa Army National Guard from 1992 to 1998. “Twenty-two states (and Puerto Rico) have active state guards, which are sometimes known as state militias or state defense forces, or SDFs.
“Unlike the National Guard, which is operated by the state and federal governments, SDFs are funded and operated solely under the authority of the state,” Cashner says. “They are under the command of the state governor and cannot be called into federal service. While the National Guard has proved itself to be extremely good at its job, SDFs offer several advantages that allow them to nicely complement National Guard forces.
“Since 9/11, the National Guard has proved itself to be a valuable asset to the national defense establishment. Forming a state guard would provide Iowa with a cost-effective local supplement to its National Guard force,” Cashner concludes.
Read the column linked above for more details. Should Iowa create a state guard/militia, as 22 other states have done?