AmericasPosted by Christian Mark Taylor Fri, May 17, 2013 15:02:22
It just so happened that I was walking with Mark Sedwill the other day and one of the brief topics that we discussed was the future of the American Military is these austere times. After we parted this subject had me thinking: What is the US military going to do with a massively reduced budget?
The US has always been capable of conducting two large scale campaigns and the size of its military greatly increased after 9/11. However that capability is now no longer affordable and the public have no stomach for such prolonged campaigns anymore. We all know the strategic objective is difficult to achieve if you lose one side of the trinity of war. But if you lose two sides, the government and the public then a radical new strategy is going to be needed.
If the US can no longer fund long term campaigns how can it defend its overseas assets and territories and help support its allies and the greater concern of protecting the commons. The so called ‘boots on the ground’ solution is now seen as the final option when you have exhausted all other alternatives. The more favourable option, in the eyes of the military, is the controversial use of drones, and other forms of aerial assets. Both of these options, however, fall into the category of deterrence through punishment. That is to say if an aggressor attacks and achieves its objective, the countermeasures would be of such severity that the aggressors ultimate losses would completely outweigh the gains of reaching their initial objective.
The first form of defence should be along the A2/AD capabilities. If a highly efficient and capable A2/AD network could be put in place, then this will act as deterrence through denial. Why would a potential aggressor attack your assets or allies if they new it was impossible for them to breach your A2/AD defence and achieve their objective.
Ultimately researching, developing and implementing new innovative A2/AD network is going to be costly, however by downsizing the army it can afford these costs. We only have to look at how effective the Stuxnet virus was to understand how capabilities need to remain fluid. There is also an economic advantage, because as you create new A2/AD capabilities any potential aggressor has to research and spend a vast amount of money in finding ways to counter these new capabilities. Even if they find a countermeasure, they will either have limited funds to conduct a campaign or will be behind the technological A2/AD curve again.
Has future military campaigns changed? We have gone from the industrial interstate war of the pre 1990s to counterinsurgency/regime change war amongst the people of the last 20 years to this new kind of in/tangible warfare by defence.
AmericasPosted by Christian Mark Taylor Thu, March 14, 2013 21:27:41
After watching the recent episode of Panorama America’s Gun Addiction, my first thought like the average person was that the Americans are all bonkers and surely the answer is to simply ban guns. However as I thought about this it occurred to me that there was one major floor to this plan, the US Bill of Rights.
Created on 25 Sep 1789 it outlines the first 10 amendments of the constitution designed to protect the freedoms of the people.
Amendment 1 – Freedom of Speech, petitions, assembly
Amendment 2 – Right to bear arms
Amendment 3 – Quartering of soldiers
Amendment 4 – Search and arrest
Amendment 5 – Rights in criminal cases
Amendment 6 – Right to a fair trial
Amendment 7 – Rights in civil cases
Amendment 8 – Bail, fines, punishment
Amendment 9 – Rights retained by the People
Amendment 10 – States’ rights
This shows the scale of the problem, the right to bear arms is the second amendment, that is how important the founding fathers considered it to be. To remove the second amendment would be like trying to remove one of the 10 Commandments. It is also important to look at the statistics and gun crime as a total has actual declined as figure 42 on p27 of the Department of Justice homicide trends report shows. What is hard to read from these figures is how many incidents occur in schools. From wiki we can find the statistics are all too frequent. It also shows that mass shootings in schools are quite sporadic with 12 in 45 years.
14 Dec 2012 - Sandy Hook Elementary School –– 26 (Lanza, 20, mental health issues)
02 Apr 2012 - Oikos University –– 7 (Goh, 43, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia)
14 Feb 2008 - Northern Illinois University –– 6 (Kazmierczak, 27, mental health)
16 Apr 2007 - Virginia Tech –– 33 (Cho, 23, mental health problems)
02 Oct 2006 - Amish School –– 6 (Roberts, 32, possible mental health depression)
21 Mar 2005 - Red Lake Senior High School –– 8 (Weise, 16, mental health depression)
20 Apr 1999 - Columbine High School –– 15 (Harris 18, Klebold 17, both had mental health problems)
24 Mar 1998 – Westside Middle School – 4 (Johnson 13 , Golden 12, no mental conditions)
01 Nov 1991 - University of Iowa –– 6 (Lu, 28, Loner reputed to have psychological problems)
17 Jan 1989 - Cleveland School –– 6 (Purdy, 25, diagnosed with metal problems)
12 Jul 1976 - California State University –– 7 (Allaway, 37, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia)
01 Aug 1966 - University of Texas –– 16 (Whitman, age 25, documented mental health issues)
If President Obama wants to do something about gun crime and the number of high school incidents that are taking place, then in my opinion he has to tackle the problem from multiple angles. First he needs to address how easy it is to buy a gun. For an individual to walk into a gun shop and buy a high calibre semi-automatic rifle with just a drivers licence has to be wrong. I know there are basic checks, but even those basic checks do not apply if you buy a gun from a private seller. You can’t stop people from owning guns, but make it tougher, have tight controls in place and enforce them. Any law abiding citizen should not mind more stringent checks as they have nothing to hide.
Secondly the MO for most incidents in US schools are from young white men aged between 18 – 25, seen as loners with mental health issues. If individuals could be identified as suffering from mental health issues sooner, then maybe they can be treated by the State and funded by the State. The State must pay as families simply cannot afford to pay. Once an individual is identified as suffering from mental health issues, then they should be forbidden from owning guns because they are no longer reasonable responsible enough. Again tighter gun controls!
This multiple approach of identifying and treating individuals with mental health illnesses, being stricter on background checks, having tighter controls and banning the practice of private sales of firearms (without background checks) may all just make a difference. One thing is certain you cannot ban guns in the US as that goes to the very heart of their Bill of Rights.