Keeping the Coast Guard Afloat

The fifth armed service is sinking. A proposal to rescue it.

Issue: Summer 2000

Everyone loves the U.S. Coast Guard. Its cutters, with their white-painted hulls and orange stripes, offer the world a kinder and gentler image of American military power. It rescues seafarers in distress, protects marine life, oversees safety in ports and coastal waters, and combats illegal immigration and drug trafficking, making for an exceedingly lengthy list of duties. The Coast Guard, which legally is an armed service, is the sole federal law enforcement agency at sea. It is at once humanitarian, policeman and fighting sailor.

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