What If the U.S. Didn’t Have a Military Establishment?

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The Constitution doesn’t say that the U.S. MUST have an army, navy, air force, national guard, a CIA, and NSA, or a surveillance and intelligence apparatus. What would happen if the U.S. didn’t have these forces? Almost nothing would be lost by Americans, including protection because these forces do not protect us. They’re mostly engaged in very wasteful projections of power overseas. We’d protect ourselves domestically in the usual way, by police. We could build up militia. We’d still have the option of mobilization in situations of genuine threats. Warfare research could still continue as a deterrent. Freed of weapons programs being funded, such research would become more productive. Effective protection would actually rise as wasted resources came home. We’d have to be careful not to allow domestic institutions like DHS and police forces to replace the military. We have not been doing a good job of that.

There would be temporary issues with shifts of manpower into peaceful occupations.

In our current state of collectivist politics, we’d scrap over how to allocate the funds not being spent on these forces. A debate over means and ends would result. This debate is always simmering and threatening to boil anyway.

The U.S. would no longer project power overseas. The war on terror would dissipate. The U.S. engagements in foreign wars over turf, resources, foreign protectorates, corporations, pretexts, insults, freedom of travel, open sea lanes and travelers would decline. We’d find other ways to settle problems. The U.S. foreign policies would change.

UPDATE: Just ran across this recent example of criticism of the US military.

5:01 pm on August 19, 2013
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