US military establishment – too bloated to work?

The American military establishment is presently led, in the age of Uncle Joe, by a retired general, now “civilian” Secretary of Defense, who was and is a political animal even more so than many of his civilian predecessors. In a regime headed by a man with a proven track record of warmongering, who may be replaced at any time by a woman whose highest previous elected or appointed office was as the chief shyster of an American people’s republic. A state at least as much an “American-occupied country” as modern Japan – and probably more so than modern South Korea.

And a military establishment whose primary goals (not necessarily in this order) are more and more spending; promoting of politically-correct definitions of sex, gender, race, and equality (or equity); enviro(mental)ist correctness and prevention of manmade global warming; and so-called health mandates.

Bold statements, eh? At least when couched in those terms. I’ve seen much harsher criticisms.

So any time I run across something that suggests serious reforms to the modern American military machine, I am curious. Like the one not long ago, published in the US Naval Institute Proceedings. (USNI is a private, non-governmental, non-profit association.) The article entitled “How to Absorb the Marine Corps into the Army and the Navy.”

As the article itself says, this is not a new idea, and supposedly came close to happening between WW2 and the Korean Conflict. The retired Naval officer suggests breaking up the USMC (Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children) (part of the Department of the Navy) and moving residual “assets” (people, equipment, and bases) to an Army Corps, transferring shipborne assets (including aircraft) by the Navy, and leaving almost literally a palace guard of “embassy cops” about the same as the Capitol Police or the uniformed officers that guard the White House. Supposedly a lot would be saved by merging the support functions and command structure into the other services.

It is clearly just a strawman – little more than a topic that would normally be bandied in a Navy wardroom or an officer’s club. Other than being interesting and amusing, the reason to mention it in this political commentary is to make a point.

Sadly, there is no way to keep the American military from becoming more and more bloated, more and more incapable of carrying out any legitimate function, and keep the politicians from ruining it by running it like a big human-experiment lab and strong-arm world bully-boy threat. Unless the original purpose of the military (including naval and aerospace) is restored.

The original purpose? For the Army (and therefore, the Air Force) and Coast Guard, defending the Homeland by defending the Constitution. NOT to invade and occupy (or be invited and occupy) various nations around the world. NOT to “nation build” other nations. NOT to threaten and coerce American enemies. Defend the States who had joined together to end one threat (the British Empire) and battle a continuing threat: AmerInd nations in league with enemy (and unwilling to control the immoral activities of their members: aggression against other people from other tribes and nations).

For the Navy (and therefore the Marines and the Space Force), ensuring the freedom of the seas (and therefore air and space) for American commerce. NOT to get involved in every political and military conflict or hotspot around the globe (from the ocean depths to Luna). NOT to be Congress’ bullyboy and experimental lab. To act on the behalf of the States, and with their constant supervision and consent. Both in and outside of Congress.

The idea was that the States were first and foremost responsible for defending their constitutions, their people, and their land and resources. Only if a State was unable to deal with the threat with their own military forces (the organized and unorganized militia) was the Union to get involved: usually upon request to DC through their “diplomatic corps” – Senators and Congressmen. Then the FedGov would draw upon (request) military assistance of OTHER member States, to be coordinated and led by a small corps of well-trained and experienced officers and NCOs to organize and support that effort. There was not to be a standing army. Whether it was external invasion or internal rebellion, the Active Army was a THIRD responder. The organized militia (today the National Guard, Army, Air Force and perhaps Space Force) was the SECOND responder. And the people themselves were FIRST RESPONDERS.

Because even the State military forces were not to be everywhere all the time. Americans were expected to be able to defend themselves and their neighbors and communities through the unorganized militia. At least long enough to be able to call for and get help from the State forces.

At sea, although there was a “standing Navy” it was not intended to be the frontline defense against pirates, privateers, and the navies of enemy nations. Rather, merchant ships were expected to be able to defend themselves against sudden attack. The Navy’s mission was to take the battle over when beyond the ability of the individual ships and merchant fleets to deal with it. And when necessary, take the battle to the backers and supporters of those pirates and privateers – and in time of war (declared or undeclared) deal with enemy naval ships ALSO preying on American merchants (and even others) and aiding the Army in preventing and defeating invasions of the States.

The fundamental principle is that people, families, and communities were responsible to defend themselves but able to request and receive help from other communities – the State, and if necessary OTHER States through the coordinating efforts of the FedGov.

It is a fundamental that we need to return to, if we are to reduce the power – and therefore tyranny – of the FedGov. And even the State governments.

Until we do so, the US military will continue to grow more and more bloated and incompetent.

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (a christian), Pahasapan (resident of the Black Hills), Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer, Evangelist. Successor to Lady Susan (Mama Liberty) at TPOL.
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3 Responses to US military establishment – too bloated to work?

  1. Thomas L. Knapp says:

    The original purpose of the US Army was to march through Pennsylvania and put the serfs back in their place. Once they’d helped get the king off the planter/merchant aristocracy’s neck, their revolutionary services were no longer needed and all that “liberty” guff would no longer be tolerated.


    • TPOL Nathan says:

      Tom, are you referring to the Whiskey Rebellion in 1792 and 1793? There was, technically, NO “United States Army” at that time. Washington “federalized” (a anachronist term, admittedly) about 12,000 militia in Pennsylvania and adjoining States to march into the “rebellious” areas. But the US Army (usually referred to as the Continental Army) had been disbanded after the Treaty of Paris in 1783, and by the next year, the only troops were two small detachments (officially artillery companies or batteries of less than 100 men) guarding military supplies. Although Congress authorized 700 troops in 1785, there were very few troops on active duty – and most of them were deployed in wars against AmerInd raiders in the Northwest Territories. In the mid-1780s, the Continental Congress DID order some of those troops to drive out “illegal squatters” in the Northwest Territories – mostly in Ohio, and definitely NOT in Pennsylvania. That quickly came to a halt, although the purpose was to enforce terms of treaties with various AmerIndian nations – something modern “lo, the poor Indian” advocates (and the tribes themselves) have forgotten.
      Officially, there were 718 personnel in 1789 – even while the War Department was officially authorized by the new Congress. Although there were various strengths authorized, they were almost always short-term enlistments (often as short as six months) and apparently never reached authorized strengths. And they were virtually all assigned to frontier duties against AmerInd raiders and fear of the Brits, and coastal duties.
      Congress created the “Legion of the United States” supposedly consisting of four brigade-sized combined arms “sub-legions” in 1791 or 1792. But except for their basic training fort or barracks, near Pittsburgh, all that force’s troops were further west in what is now Ohio and Indiana.
      It wasn’t until 1794, AFTER the Whiskey Rebellion ended, that Congress authorized a larger military establishment, but even then, it was tiny: in 1794, there were just 3,813 soldiers – almost all of whom were in coastal defense and maintaining armories and depots, or in frontier forts – NOT intimidating Pennsylvanian farmers or whiskey merchants.
      If you were referring to something else, I apologize. But under Congress’s “Militia Act of 1792,” Washington used State militia units to try to squash the whiskey rebels – NOT an Active Duty US Army force.
      We can learn many lessons from this – including the fact that (as proven again in the last two years) State governments can be just as tyrannical as DC (or then, Philadelphia) and even part-time soldiers can be tools of tyrants and used for internal occupation duties. Which makes the unorganized militia even MORE important in protecting and restoring liberty.


  2. Darkwing says:

    I have always ask myself: why does the US military need 15 aircraft carriers, 35 nuke submarines, 1,000 bases overseas? I worked for the US military as a civilian, I would ask people this question and they would tell me: “It is to protect the American people. Yes, they were brain washed.


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