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In response to my post about refugee bonds, the Great Ghost of Gödel left this comment obiter dicta:
Not without trepidation or regret have I come around to the Fortress America position, but here I am. Bring all of our troops stationed overseas home. Defend our borders without mercy. If the rest of the world is hell bent for leather on destroying itself, whether rapidly with open war or slowly with insane economics and/or immigration policy, so what? We’re perfectly capable of being self-sufficient as a nation, and it never was a good idea to be the world’s police. …
In short: we need to quit acting like we need the rest of the world at all, let alone that we need the rest of the world’s governments to like us. We’re supposed to be different from everyone else. So let’s actually be different, keep attracting people because we’re better, and make no excuses for being better — and being loners.
What about trade, I asked? How would we ensure freedom of navigation without the US Navy? He proposed that if people want to trade with world beyond our territorial waters, they can hire their own navy:
The Navy is appropriate within our territorial waters, and of course there is extensive maritime law with respect to what that means.
Beyond that, I think a private security/defense model, presumably attached to some kind of insurance system, is appropriate. This is, of course, also historically precedented, by the security and defense approaches taken by the British East India Company, et al. I think it’s reasonable to imagine similar arrangements without the connection to colonization. It might look something like this. …
Keep in mind I’m suggesting this as a contingency upon international trade being “not worth it,” as measured by actuaries insuring international shipping, who in turn are paying security forces to protect them. In other words, if the fixed costs of security and insurance leave international trade profitable, great! If not, I’d call that a pretty good definition of “the world has gone to hell,” wouldn’t you?
So let’s take this idea seriously. Let’s imagine what would happen if tomorrow we brought all of our troops stationed overseas home. We bring back the subs and the aircraft carriers, and if anyone complains about the pirates, we tell them to go out and rent themselves some sepoys and find someone to insure their own aircraft carriers. Freedom of navigation’s their problem.
As of tomorrow, every one of these men and women shutters the bases, closes up shop, and sails back to CONUS:
They bring their gear back with them, of course. Especially the nukes and the missile interceptors. We’re not leaving that stuff in someone else’s hands.
What do you think would happen? What would the headlines look like in a month’s time, in your view? What about a year?
Would it be in our interests, overall?
Source: DoD Personnel, Workforce Reports & Publications, Active Duty Military Personnel by Service by Region/Country Total DoD – June 30, 2015 (DMDC Data)Published in