The U.S. Marines are one of the most capable fighting units in the world.  There are currently 186,000 active-duty Marines.  That’s an imposing force!  But did you know that there are over 200,000 domestic federal agents employed by the Federal Government who are armed and authorized to make arrests and conduct criminal investigations inside the United States?   

Let that sink in.  Our Federal Government is becoming increasingly weaponized.  There are more armed domestic federal agents defending the interests of the Federal Government than active-duty U.S. Marines defending us against the rest of the world.  There are more armed domestic federal agents in America than soldiers in the entire militaries of the United Kingdom, France, or the Ukraine.

The 200,000 number does not include any member of any Department of Defense unit, or any members of the CIA or the Air Marshalls.  It also does not include any of the 87,000 IRS agents that will be hired over the next ten years (the IRS is not specifying how many of these agents will be armed).  And it does not include any of the 660,000 state and local police offers who are constitutionally authorized to perform the policing function inside our borders.

Why does the Federal Government need 200,000 armed agents, on top of the military, on top of the CIA, on top of the Air Marshalls, and on top of all state and local police officers?

One could argue that many of them are securing the border, although millions of illegal aliens are pouring across it every year.  One could argue that many of them are fighting crime, although violent crime rates are rising across the country.  One could argue that they are protecting our high officials, although many of them have been violently attacked in recent years.  One could argue they are protecting our federal facilities, although many have been overrun during protests, damaged during urban riots, and infested by foreign spies.

If they aren’t succeeding at those functions, what are they doing?  Are we on the verge of becoming a giant police state?  Is that the next logical step now that America has already become a sophisticated surveillance state?  In comparison, the notorious East German STASI secret police employed just 90,000 officers.  The even more notorious SS of Nazi Germany employed 250,000 agents (our Federal Government probably employs more than that, if one could include the members of the black-budgeted CIA). 

One hopes that our federal agents aren’t on the verge of arresting parents at school board meetings, protestors at abortion clinics, or determined news reporters trying to do their jobs.  But alas, those hopes have already been dashed.  What’s next?  Who’s next?  Does the answer to that depend on which political party you support?

Over 70 federal agencies employ armed agents who are authorized to carry weapons and make arrests.  Some of these agencies have an obvious rationale, such as the U.S. Border Patrol, the FBI, and the DEA.  But the rationales for others are quite mystifying.  The Department of Health and Human Services?  They have almost 500 armed agents.  The Veterans Health Administration?  They have over 3,000 armed agents.  The U.S. Postal Service?  They have over 2,000 armed agents. 

The U.S. Federal Government was already the biggest central government in the history of the world, in terms of revenue and spending.  Now it may also be the best armed central government in the history of the world.  And not all those weapons are aimed at foreign adversaries.