Stand Down the Army; Resilience is our new National Defense
Thoughts during this morning’s commute.
The first thought was we should disband the standing Army. We don’t need one. A Navy, airpower, some Marines and special forces? Sure. We have a National Guard to respond to domestic emergencies. We probably want to maintain and modernize equipment in case we need a war. States can form militias if they like. We can find a lot of Americans who are fond of guns on short notice. If you want to carry a firearm, you get government training, and you’re eligible for the draft.
“Standing armies are dangerous to liberty.” –Alexander Hamilton
You can’t do it all at once. Closing bases and shutting off defense contractors retards economic activity. Twenty years. Spread money around impacted communities.
But what should the government be doing?
Defense wise, we need to focus on Information Security, and, for the main part, climate change and emergency preparedness. The enemy will not land on our shores and defeat us with missiles. They’ll hack our elections and take our power grid hostage. Between the threat of information warfare and climate change, we need resilient logistics. If all the computers crash tomorrow, can we get food between communities? Where does our military-industrial complex go? Logistics.
Rural communities ought to be able to assemble and maintain their own damn tractors and combine harvesters. Right now John Deere tells farmers they can’t fix their own equipment. The government could sponsor Open Source farm equipment and software. Every county ought to be able to assemble, maintain, and carry out most repairs on its farm equipment. Every region ought to have the capacity to build tractors and vehicles, end-to-end.
The US Army is not going to save the world from the threats it faces in this century. American leadership in finding ways to restore the atmosphere to health, while modeling how we can build resilient local communities is what needs to happen.