Military doing civil tasks | World Defense

Military doing civil tasks

HeliArmy

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That happens everyday. The U.S. Army of Corps Engineers is managing rivers and the system of ship transportation on many U.S. rivers, meanwhile U.S. Air Forces does joint operation with NASA, the number of them is countless. The thing is, I think in a lot of nations, Army or at least Military are implied in civil affairs, much like they make the country somehow running, and meanwhile it looks like it is purely for civil purposes they do these tasks, they also make costs on military budgets and after all, these works could be done by the government, local or federal.

So, why? Is it s a good thing to see Army doing things in civil affairs, that they run some thing commercial, people and industries relies on everyday, outside of the national defense?
 
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I'm a bit torn both ways in this matter. It's not a bad thing when it's a job that would be done by the government/city directly. That is just saving money on every level. But when it's something that the government / city would contract a private company to do, such as construction work / major reparations etc. then I see it as taking away from the economy.

From the military's point of view.. yeah I guess some of that stuff is good because it gives the soldiers some real life experience with this type of work, take the engineers for example. Sure it's great training if they can build a bridge for real instead instead of doing it in a simulated scenario. On the other hand... there might be things that are seen as "wasting time" by the military.
 

Redheart

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In some countries where the Military has virtually nothing to do [there no wars to fight] the governments from time to time has the military help by doing anything else they can do. In parts of Europe for example the U.S military has helped build roads. If they aren't fighting [to defend their countries] which is what they are paid to do then the government could have the military do something useful.
 

HeliArmy

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I'm a bit torn both ways in this matter. It's not a bad thing when it's a job that would be done by the government/city directly. That is just saving money on every level. But when it's something that the government / city would contract a private company to do, such as construction work / major reparations etc. then I see it as taking away from the economy.

From the military's point of view.. yeah I guess some of that stuff is good because it gives the soldiers some real life experience with this type of work, take the engineers for example. Sure it's great training if they can build a bridge for real instead instead of doing it in a simulated scenario. On the other hand... there might be things that are seen as "wasting time" by the military.
The problem is the fact government does directly something or via local contractors isn't really much important for the military's point of view, even if the broader answer needs to be found as well, it's about letting the military do civil work. You could first ask why, and then if regarding to the budget, does it cost less or more to do it with the military? Is the military the most experienced in this kind of situation? Is it because the task is strategic enough for the state that it should be protected by military?

In some countries where the Military has virtually nothing to do [there no wars to fight] the governments from time to time has the military help by doing anything else they can do. In parts of Europe for example the U.S military has helped build roads. If they aren't fighting [to defend their countries] which is what they are paid to do then the government could have the military do something useful.
Well, United States are rarely in peace time and their Army is still doing tasks, even as you quoted. When it's not Afghanistan and Iraq, it was about Koweit or Vietnam, and I forget a lot of others here. So it seems not related to the hypothesis. But I agree about the experience: it's a part of the military task to have the knowledge to build up something quickly for the combat needs.
 

Susimi

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An army is there to fight and protect their country, and helping out with home affairs is pretty morale boosting I believe because many people might have this notion that when the military isn't needed they are just sitting of their laurels and getting paid for it. By helping the nation they are not only helping to keep citizens at home safe from say flooding for instance, but they are also winning the hearts and minds of people out in the communities who will see them and think "hey, so they're not just killing machines after all!" Not only that, it also gives them training if they are needed overseas and it keeps the military active.
 

Corzhens

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When I was in high school, we had that military training as part of our curriculum. Under the army, we were taught to march and stand still but we were not given the chance to hold rifles that the boys had. But for the second half of our training, we were made to do civic works. In those cadet days of ours, we learned how to man traffic on the streets and other civic duties that a good citizen should do.

With the present Balikatan exercises (joint military exercise of US and Philippine soldiers) we could see that they are doing civic works particularly the repair of roads by the mountain side. Maybe that is to give the boys something to do than just staying in their barracks.
 

remnant

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The military is one institution with a huge budget assigned to it. As the modus operandi of war evolves, from conventional to assymetrical warfare, the need for big standing armies is receding in favour of special-op commandos. These redundant soldiers can be used to cut costs in civil works and other departments and a new branch of service 'civil works constabulary', should be initiated.
 

xTinx

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If there are no imminent dangers threatening the country, military personnel can indeed undertake civil jobs to pass off the time. This is a much better bargain than them sitting in their office, doing nothing and just staring at space.
 

arthnel

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I firmly support the idea of morale boosting when it comes to the military participating in civil affairs. It keeps them active and sharp and does not only mean they do not have enough to do. It is also a very good thing for people to see this kind of involvement of the many men and women working hard for their security and development on many fronts. It's also encouraging to many to join these forces and help to make a difference.
 

djdefense

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Its actually great if you can get military involved in civilian related activities. There are arguments for and against it, but one thing that cannot be denied is that the military gets the job done and done fast. Beyond disaster relief and management, they may be utilized in other areas as long as it is still in national interest. Growing weed to sell to locals in some country is not what militaries are made for. So, there is a line.
 

explorerx7

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How about looking at this way. The military being involved in civil activities not only saves the government some money but it helps to sharpen the engineering capabilities of the armed forces, the more they do the more they learn, and could develop more efficient construction methods, and it could also be a motivating factor for the engineers because it would enable them to be active rather than to being idle most of the times.
 

arthnel

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We also remember that our military personnel are not just trained in art of war or to take out threatening parties or opposition. They are also heavily endowed with skills up to and beyond a first degree. The military encourages personnel to complete education and to to keep advancing. Not to out these learned fellows to good use would surely be wasting good and handy talent.
 
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