||4. Internal Military Interventions since World War II||Page 10|
Internal military interventions have continued at a high rate since World War II, but the target has shifted. Labor interventions have continued, but at a lower rate, and the most massive interventions have been against urban rioters. As shown in Table III, over 200,000 troops were used during the period 1961-8 to control what was called 'civil disturbances', and probably almost as many more during the period 1969- 76, when detailed records were not published.
Interventions against urban riots are not new. In 1919, martial law was declared in order to control riots in Washington, DC, and by 27 July the force had grown to 12,000 troops under the command of Army General Haan (High, 1969, p. 121). Similarly, in 1943 about 6,000 federal troops and 5,000 National Guard were deployed after urban riots struck Detroit (Lee & Humphrey, 1943, p. 44).
However, the extent of riot interventions in recent years surpasses anything seen before in US history: 13,398 National Guard in Watts in 1965, 10,253 National Guard and 4, 700 federal troops in Detroit in 1967, and the list goes on. In the Los Angeles riots of 1992, the government deployed 2,800 National Guard with another 3,200 standby, and 4,000 marines and US Army troops.
Two other types of internal military intervention have also been prominent in the recent period: civil rights enforcement, and control of anti-war demonstrations. During the 19505 and 19605 over 100,000 troops were engaged in enforcing civil rights legislation and protecting civil rights demonstrators in the South. And during the 1960s and 1970s, tens of thousands of troops were used to control anti-war activities, largely associated with the student movements at the time of the war in Vietnam.
The rate of use of troops since 1943 has been somewhat higher than the rate in earlier periods. The average of 14,000 troops per year from 1943 to 1990 compares to an average of over 10,000 per year from 1886 to 1895 and an average of 8,000 per year for the years in which data were available from 1921 to 1935. Of course, the increase may be related to the population increase, since the US population has expanded fourfold in these years.
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