Amendments to a controversial Pentagon program to sell military gear to domestic police forces have quietly extended the scheme to provide war on terror weaponry directly to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The amendments for FY2016, passed by Congress in late 2015, were highlighted in a briefing note published by the Congressional Research Service in February 2016. Under the controversial “1033” program, the Department of Defense (DoD) is able to provide “surplus” military-grade equipment to law-enforcement agencies.
The program, legislated for in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), provided local police forces access to billions of dollars worth of high-tech military equipment, including armoured tanks, rocket launchers, automatic weapons, night-vision goggles, and other supplies traditionally used by the U.S. Army in foreign war theaters.
The DHS often provided multimillion-dollar grants to law-enforcement agencies to purchase the military equipment.