I spoke with the BBC World Service’s Newshour on Monday afternoon about the decision by the Missouri Governor to send the National Guard onto the streets of Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, amid escalating protests and clashes over the August 9 killing of unarmed African African teenager Michael Brown by a police officer.

The discussion briefly explains the history of the National Guard and their use in controversial situations — such as the Los Angeles uprising of 1992 — before considering whether their deployment in Ferguson will help resolve or inflame the situation.