Private Defense and the Constitution
There's a lot of talk these days about substantially cutting the federal budget. Libertarians, Constitutionalists, State's Rights advocates, and Conservatives in general talk a lot about confining the federal government to its Constitutionally authorized functions - which would drastically reduce the federal budget. But when it comes to defense, many of them are reluctant to even touch the federal budget.
But let's take a look at what the Constitution says about the defense budget. Article I. Section 8 gives Congress the authority "To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years." While no such limitation is required of the Navy - whose purpose is to defend the shores of the continent from invasion - the militia is to provide the bulk of land-based defense.
So what is the militia? Contrary to what you have likely been taught to believe, the militia is separate from the army. The term “militia” is simply a term to describe the armed populace. Among the few powers delegated to Washington by means of the Congress is the authority ”To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions; and ”To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”
When the militia needs to become involved in the defense of the United States as a whole, “The President shall be Commander in Chief … of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.” The rest of the time, neither Congress nor the president has any say regarding the private defense force.Continued on the next page