What to do about China, Part II

In Part I we looked at some domestic items we could undertake to strengthen the US position making it ready to play in international politics while reducing the ability of foreign entities to influence internal decisions. In Part II we’ll undertake some more domestic items that will make the US a formidable foe should hostilities be contemplated. These are primarily military in nature but some are cultural and would need a major educational effort on the part of the citizens and the government working in concert. They are major efforts and include societal engineering but they are efforts that will result in a stronger sense of nation, purpose and will to perform. These are the societal elements currently being squeezed out of the American ethos by parochial concerns foisted upon the country by groups seeking to control the narrative of the future. So here goes:

Institute a national service requirement for all eighteen to twenty-one year olds. This is not a military requirement although those who enlist will receive credit for their national service. Rather, this is a requirement to serve our fellow citizens while receiving training in a variety of skills that are necessary at certain times like firefighting, medical care, carpentry, electrical and plumbing, conservation and forest management, civil engineering and so forth. These are skills needed for disaster response whether that disaster is natural or manmade. No exceptions are allowed and colleges will not accept students until they have completed their national service. This program will help break down the barriers between classes and races plus it will create a feeling of inclusion and investment in the country on the part of each generation. A reserve of skilled workers will be maintained and call-ups will be issued to deal with emergency situations. Each participant will be subject to call up for up to ten years after their national service. Even people with handicaps will participate with skills training suited to their disability. Young mothers will be trained in childcare and education and so forth. Money to fund this will come from the savings the next several items will generate.

Combine the US armed forces into one overall service with assigned duties based on specified requirements. Abolish the departments of the Army, Navy and Air Force assigning those duties to the Defense Department at the assistant Secretary level. Create one personnel and acquisition service to support all fighting units including one set of forms and a unified acronym and terms system. Amend the Posse Commitatus Act to allow the use of sworn military police personnel to augment federal and local authorities. This will keep the original intent of the law wherein military forces may not be used to act as occupying forces within the US but will allow for the use of National Guard and regular military police to augment and assist in emergency situations under the guidance of federal or local law enforcement agencies.

Get rid of aircraft carriers; they have become nothing more than floating targets the whereabouts of which are easily tracked through satellite surveillance. The aircraft carrier is a WWII concept and weapons development has made it an anachronism just as the aircraft carrier did for the battleship. A carrier requires numerous other ships to protect it and each of those ships also becomes targets for over the horizon satellite guided weaponry. In stead we should quadruple the budget for the Defense Advanced Research Agency to develop more stand off weapons, including hypersonic missiles and non-nuclear ballistic missiles. Return to the development and deployment of small radiation based weapons for use against armor and personnel in the open. Remember the goal isn’t to be the most honorable on the battlefield, it is to win the battle. It has been proven more than once that just because the US will adhere to the supposed “rules of war” other entities do not. One does not reason with bullies, rather one confronts them and, if necessary, puts them in their place. Having the means to inflict significant damage and having demonstrated the will to do so will keep adversaries at bay militarily. We’ll talk about economically later.

Get rid of main battle tanks, like the aircraft carrier these are remnants of a different era. They must be transported to a battle area one at a time, driven to the front on tank carriers and followed by fuel bowsers. With the development of man portable and remote weapons that defeat them, tanks become expensive liabilities and it is unlikely large forces will again meet to do battle since personnel and tanks in the open are now subject to destruction from stand-off weapons. Smaller, faster, remotely controlled battle bots will be more effective just as the use of small remotely piloted vehicles will allow for both battle site reconnaissance and attack. As more smart, over the horizon weapons are developed, tanks and infantry will become options of last resort which will be lost to the enemy’s over the horizon weapons.

Get rid of most manned aircraft. Remotely piloted vehicles are more efficient and do not result in prisoner of war situations. Most people confuse drones and RPVs, the former is preprogrammed and cannot make decisions re targets but the later has a pilot and has the same 360 degree decision making capability of a manned aircraft. They are far less costly and more survivable in a combat situation because they can pull G forces that would otherwise incapacitate a pilot and/or crew. They do depend upon an environment wherein communications are available but for a hostile entity to deny communications ability to use RPVs they would have to deny themselves the same communications spectrum, thus polluting the battle field and placing in jeopardy any troops they have there.

Standardize the curriculum at the three military academies concentrating on the knowledge and skills of war fighting. Teach the history of warfare not just from the battle perspective but the social/economic pressures that caused those battles and concentrate on projecting future situations as opposed to fighting the last war.

Get rid of the independent service Congressional liaison offices; No more inter service competition for resources. All military contact with the Congress will be handled through an office in the White House, especially on budget matters. Get rid of the up or out system in the military. Too often capable field operators are forced out because they do not achieve the next higher rank. Reduce the number of flag officers in the military. Currently the ratio of flag to personnel strength is about 1:1,400, during World War II (look it up, it’s in all the history books) the ratio was about 1:6,000+. Why do we need more flag officers with far fewer members of the military? From my experience it complicates military situations because each of these flag officers commands a different unit making coordination more difficult. According to “Proceedings” a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Naval Institute the Navy has more admirals than it does ships which, to me, seems a little bit more than is needed.

Consolidate all military and civilian cyber groups into one command under one leadership team. Currently all military and intelligence agencies/services have their own cyber groups and even with the supposed coordination efforts in effect the command and control is difficult and the duplication of effort and costs inefficient at best. This cyber command should be able to both defend and attack using a variety of software that its research component will develop. Specifically, the unit should be capable of penetrating the networks of potentially hostile entities to cause disruption in their command and control as well as financial institutions those entities rely on. The unit should also develop and deploy means to disrupt remotely controlled vehicles as well as drone (as in preprogrammed) vehicles.

Discard the notion that winning means occupying land; It does not. Again, this is a medieval concept and unless you mean to physically move immigrants from your own country into the territory the conquest will, within fifty years, come to naught as new generations of the conquered peoples will no longer have the concept of the conquest in their minds and those who do will probably have mounted a guerrilla effort against occupation during those fifty years. The world isn’t like it was post WWII so attempting to use post WWII strategies will fail like they did in Afghanistan. Look forward not backward, another fault of some flag officers and many in Congress appropriating for the military and US defense.

Like in Part I these are all domestic changes which, if we have the political will to implement, will make the US a much harder target to subdue. In Part III we will begin to deal with direct and indirect relations with China. Note: my goal is not to stymie China’s prosperity nor to subdue it to the will of the US. My goal is simply to keep the playing field level. I bear no animosity towards the Chinese but I do not favor one worldness, especially under an authoritarian government.

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