Title: military might
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> more advanced
> weapons mean more control over our destruction and this maybe
> a blessing.

I think it makes us more likely to go to war.  If we can totally eliminate collateral damage, the politicians who send us into harm's way will be more willing to resort to force because it's more surgical.  While I think more control over our weapons makes it more efficient to go to war, and in some cases more humanitarian because fewer civilians die, I think we must never lose sight of what we are as a military.  Technology shouldn't drive the mission, as we say in the Air Force, and some of us actually believe it.  Some don't, and some of those who don't are the ones who decide when and where to send us.

> This is why I  do not favor disarming citizens.  It was boys too young
> for war and men too old for war, and women, who defended our

So an untrained, undisciplined group of citizens is going to defend our nation against a highly trained, highly disciplined invading force?  Even with the home-field advantage, I think that's a last resort.  An important one, but I wouldn't want to depend on it for our only line of defense.

> We have become offensive, and this offensiveness is about economics.

I more or less agree with this.  But this is a policy question, and the military doesn't make policy.  We do what the civilian government tells us to.  So it's not the military that uses force for economics, it's the government that decides it's in our national interest to use the military for that purpose.

> China, is a
> potential threat, because these people are dealing  with a population
> crisis.  If we don't have the intelligence to resolve human
> problems like
> this, then maybe we are not worth defending.

I don't think it has anything to do with our intelligence.  We're apparently making good progress on our resource problem in the US, at least in comparison with other nations on the planet.  You can argue details of whether Britain's or Germany's system is better and in what respects, but the standard of living for some of our homeless is better than the average in some nations.  But we can't solve China's because they're not going to do what we tell them.  Our nation's worth should not be judged on what other countries do.

> The whole world  is rushing
> into a major population/resource problem, and our military might is
> useless in resolving the troubles to come.

I disagree.  Our warfighting capability may be useless, but warfighting is no longer the military's only mission.  We can help resolve this problem by teaching other nations' militaries to act as a distribution network for scarce resources--just like the US military does.  After all, who is better equipped in most 3rd world countries to transport and deliver supplies than the military?  If we teach them how to apply military logistics to support their communities, people eat who otherwise would go hungry.  This helps alleviate the resource problem, and builds trust and a sense of common purpose between the people and their government/military, which fosters stability.  I'll bet there's a section on this at the SOA, but I'd have to check the syllabus.

Also, "military might" can impose order long enough for the civilians to work out a plan for their government.  I suppose you would call it a police state, but in many cases this is better than a state without police.  If the government needs time to build functional institutions, but the populace continues to explode in ethnic strife, the government will never get the support needed to lay the foundations of stability.  The military can impose order long enough for the new government to learn how to address the needs of its people, and in some cases this will yield a fully functional, albeit fledgling, stable government.  Of course there will be failures.  It's not a science, but if we build one nation at a time, does it make the failures worth the one success?  The failures may be no worse than no effort at all.

Also, US military expertise brings us a level of credibility that almost no other nation enjoys.  We can use this credibility, which stems from our might, to influence other nations' militaries.  This influence will spillover into their government.  If we can influence other nations in the ways I described in the SOA debate, we will foster stability.  Stability aids foreign investment and economic improvement, which lower the chance for violent conflict.

There are three reasons I think our military might is not useless.  I'm sure there are more, but that's what I have off the top of my head.

Jeff

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