No Time to Stand Down
I know that America must make it clear to the world that we can defend ourselves. We must make it clear that we are in a merely tactical withdrawal. Our military resources must not be allowed to get rusty or decline in numbers or readiness. We must stay battle ready. We should even continue with military innovation. The world is hardly at peace yet as we can see and we have enemies, mostly foreign, perhaps a few domestic, who would delight in catching us unprepared. Our allies must stay prepared to fight also. This is no time to stand down.
New Kind of War
However, this is the time to stand back when we can, to analyze, to accept that future wars in some ways may not look like the wars of the past, although many of the same sad truths will apply. It is time to regroup, to brainstorm, and find innovative ways to target each enemy with tailor-made plans in the same way we now target certain cancers with personalized drugs. We can’t afford to ignore our enemies; we don’t really want to be isolationists who wake up one day to find themselves deprived of this Democracy we treasure.
Can’t Waste Our Best Asset
Committing ourselves to send huge forces of our young men and women off to war as America’s soldiers is not a strategy that will work. We don’t have the human resources for this or the heart. Our people are too precious to us and we don’t have an enormous population to waste. Our human resources are hardly endless. We have no “clone” army. We have no robot soldiers. How do we fight well without expending large numbers of our most valuable resource – our people? I think we fight exactly as we are learning to fight now. “Designer” wars targeted to a particular enemy are a good start, although our long distance tools are limited. We need to rewrite those classic books on military strategy, to 2K reboot them, so to speak.
What We Stand to Gain and Lose
We may not love drones but for a while they are the only nonhuman long distance resource we have outside of nukes which we absolutely can’t use and chemicals, which we also can’t use. Collateral damage is always a bad thing in a war. Wars are not supposed to kill civilians. They are about deciding how those civilians will live after the war. If no civilians survive, war is pointless, unless you are simply trying to depopulate the planet and fortunately we aren’t there yet. I’m a civilian. I don’t want to be killed by accident; therefore I don’t love drones that kill civilians anywhere. I don’t love war either for that matter. We must use the new tools we have to prevent our Democracy from being swallowed by a world of power-mad people who hate freedom. We must not allow ourselves to be easily crushed by those who would have us live according to religious beliefs and customs that are not our own and who would deprive us of important rights. Women would especially be deprived of freedoms that we hold very dear. Our brains would once again cry out to be used and we would end up using them in petty competitions and cruelties among ourselves.
Police, Use Military Gear to Defend Locals, Not Police Them
I do deplore the fact that our police departments own equipment that is military in nature, but I only deplore it if they use it on our own people to enforce laws that can be enforced (and have been enforced) without turning our hometown police, our neighbors, into hostile strangers hiding behind riot gear. We don’t want to escalate violence against each other. We want to be trained to recognize a true enemy if it presents itself and we want to be prepared to fight such an enemy anywhere in America. (I am trying to get used to calling America the homeland, but it doesn’t sound quite right to me yet.)
Flexible, Targeted, and Deadly
We need to have strategies that allow for flexibility, for travelling light but being a deadly force regardless of the size. We need ways to get into war zones, where the outcomes may affect us or our allies, quickly and to get out quickly. We don’t have many of these technologies in our arsenal. They may not even have been invented yet or we may not have decided yet whether they are technologies we want to use. However, if we can design things as toys for movies I am guessing we can eventually design real ones. Drones cannot be the only robot or long distance tool we have and drones need to continue to be refined until our enemies can be more exactly targeted.
I want peace. I have no faith that mankind has any gift for peace and I still want it. Until the whole world wants it too, is dedicated to it absolutely, I am a war monger who only wishes to make it clear that we can and will defend ourselves. We will try in every way not to defend ourselves with the frail flesh and blood of our fellow Americans. We have to try to invent the most effective techniques we can find for fighting wars from a distance. If our ways are effective enough maybe war will end; it will be too deadly to fight wars and we can have peace. If we can invent the internet we can do this. Meanwhile we must stay lean, mean and keep as much distance from our enemies as humanly possible. We can hate war, in fact it is better if we do, but we must know how and be prepared to fight. This is the paradox of the world as we know it, the paradox that I hope we can someday put behind us forever.
By Nancy Brisson
<a href=https://plus.google.com/10640005355488737390?=author>Nancy Brisson</a>