You hear military leaders openly worry that the military is foreign to too many Americans. They worry that with less than 1% of the American population connected to the military that neither the military or the American public understand each other.
Getting on a military base for a non-ID card holder has always been hard, well sort of. You had to stop at the front gate and go through the obligatory inspection, usually in two minutes you were on your way. People attending a parade, a retirement, a funeral for whatever reason visited a military installation. No they couldn’t use the PX or Commissary, but they were allowed on and there was not a immediate suspicion they should not be allowed on base. Well boys and girls that is about to change according to this article about Carlisle Barracks. If this happens at the rest of the DoD installations this will be a self-inflicted 3000 meter toe shot and further isolates us from the American public we serve.
The Force Protection folks have a hard job; unfortunately no one wants to tell them no in case something happens. The problem is their solutions isolate the military from the American public. Seen recently at a DoD building in the National Capital Area, a women was coming to work she had just shown her ID car when she remembered she left in her car. So she turned around to walk out and the DoD Storm Trooper armed of course with MP5 immediately began shouting at her because she was going out the in way. On top to that he then signaled out because she dared ask what she had done wrong, to get the full body cavity (joking) DoD Civilian employee search. Here is the problem there are no signs that tell you can’t go out the in way. There are no signs that say once you pass this point you must enter building and then exit again. Too often the Force Protection rules defy common sense and arbitrary and capricious as exercised by the DoD police or other agencies.
There is no question there are bad out there, bad people who want to hurt Americans and who would like to make a symbolic statement. The problem is in setting up Force Protection we seem to have thrown the common sense baby out with the bath water.