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Old 01-30-2013   #21
Morgan
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David, I think you may be referring to the Marine Corp Law Enforcement Battalions. The Army used to have Constabulary Groups during post-WW2 Europe and several years ago, an article advocated bringing those back during the Iraq War http://www.armytimes.com/community/o...1225/….I think it would make sense to have them for future use as well.
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Old 01-31-2013   #22
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Morgan,

Thank you. Yes it is the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Battalions, which on a quick Google check have an active and reserve component.

Hopefully such formations learn from outside the USA too. The RCMP and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have considerable UN experience, plus the key European Gendarmerie nations and a few others beyond - India comes to mind, with a variety of para-miltary formations. I am sure they'd be welcome in Northern Ireland too - not on the street though!
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Old 02-01-2013   #23
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Carl,

I never really thought of the US Army as a large force prior to WWI. I was wrong to use the term "draft" since it has a specific meaning. Volunteer would have been better. I have always had the misconception that it was a small force (15-20K) that grew as needed to deal with specific situations (the civil war, the Indian wars). I never really thought of them as occupying anything outside of the America's other than the Philippines until the twentieth century with the Philippines being their only real occupation experience.
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Old 02-01-2013   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCurmudgeon View Post
Carl,

I never really thought of the US Army as a large force prior to WWI. I was wrong to use the term "draft" since it has a specific meaning. Volunteer would have been better. I have always had the misconception that it was a small force (15-20K) that grew as needed to deal with specific situations (the civil war, the Indian wars). I never really thought of them as occupying anything outside of the America's other than the Philippines until the twentieth century with the Philippines being their only real occupation experience.
Curmudgeon, you're correct when it comes to the size of the Army prior to World War I. State Volunteer units were involved in the early stages of the Philippines, but most of them were gone by about 1902.

The Army never really "grew" to deal with the Indian Wars. It expanded slightly after the Civil War to deal with the greater expanse of territory it needed to cover, but remained at more or less the same strength from 1866 until 1898. In fact, it shrank between 1866 and 1870 (mainly in terms of infantry regiments - cavalry remained constant at 10 regiments). It also never really took in Volunteer units...in fact they were normally resisted as being more trouble (and expense) than they were worth. There are exceptions, but they were not the norm by any means.

It has been argued that Frontier duty was really more like constabulary duty, which might explain why some Army officers performed well in the Philippines. Linn's work has shown that this wasn't always the case, and it certainly doesn't explain the Marine Corps' record in this area. Bickel's "Mars Learning" is really worth reading when it comes to studying how "lessons learned" may or may not have influenced doctrine in this area.
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Old 02-02-2013   #25
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Is there some standard definition of gendarme? As an American their role alludes me. Are any or both of the following correct?
  • Their jurisdiction is outside of that of local agencies, meaning that they do some of what state troopers and FBI agents do in the U.S.
  • They have civil as well as military jurisdiction, thus obviating the need for MPs.
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Old 02-02-2013   #26
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Default What is a Gendarmerie?

The Wiki gives a definition as:
Quote:
A gendarmerie or gendarmery is in principle a military force charged with police duties among civilian populations. Members of such a force are typically called "gendarmes". The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary describes a gendarme as "a soldier who is employed on police duties" and a "gendarmery, -erie" as "gendarmes as a body".
Link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gendarmerie

Later it says:
Quote:
In comparison to civilian police forces, gendarmeries may provide a more disciplined force whose military capabilities make them more capable of dealing with armed groups and with all types of violence.
Generally they are national bodies, which historically have been for internal defence - of the state against threats and not with responsibility for the breadth of roles normally associated with civilian law enforcement. The emphasis is on group action, so they are often based on a company equivalent; in many places working away from their homes.

In Western Europe their responsibilities are now far wider, especially when internal defence has declined and public disorder is now irregular.

I cannot think of any US LE body being like a Gendarmerie.
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Old 02-02-2013   #27
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I think the closest thing we (USA) have to "gendarmes" is the Coast Guard. As for any other US gendarme force, the only other example I can think of is the US Constabulary Groups in post-WW2 Europe. You may want to examine the latter to get an idea of what gendarmeries do....also look at the Canadian Mounties, Italian Carabineri, or Spanish Guardia Civil.
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Old 02-03-2013   #28
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Default A distinction with a difference

I seem to have run into a difference in definitions or at least application. It would appear that most military gendarmerie are used as a police force WITHIN the country of ther origin. What I am looking at is a force intended to conduct police type operations OUTSIDE their country of origin. Much more like the US constabulary forces after WWII. I am not sure any force like that exists.
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Old 02-03-2013   #29
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Default A distinction with a difference - partial answer

Good point, but a number of UN peacekeeping missions have successfully used para-military units, invariably from nations with an armed gendarmerie, first for the occasional public order / riot control duties and when there is a preference for a less military response to situations. Plus the situation may make deploying traditional police officers simply too risky.

A number of European nations have earmarked deployable units, usually the French, Italians and Spanish, for international missions. I exclude SWAT teams. When I looked at this issue a few years ago both Australia (AFP) and Canada (RCMP) had small teams available to deploy.

You are right I cannot think of any Western nation that has:
Quote:
a force intended to conduct police type operations OUTSIDE their country of origin.
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Old 02-11-2013   #30
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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
A number of European nations have earmarked deployable units, usually the French, Italians and Spanish, for international missions. I exclude SWAT teams. When I looked at this issue a few years ago both Australia (AFP) and Canada (RCMP) had small teams available to deploy.
There is the USMC Security Force Regiment. Neither exactly SWAT nor gendarme, if I understand correctly.
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Old 02-11-2013   #31
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Default Perhaps the right idea, but the wrong force.

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Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
There is the USMC Security Force Regiment. Neither exactly SWAT nor gendarme, if I understand correctly.
I think I like the idea, I just think they are in the wrong branch. The Marines should not be an occupation force (constabulary force), and that is where I see the gendarmerie conceptually being used. The Marines are a short duration force, at least as I understand them. This mission should fall to the Army (under the American force structure).
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