Violent, Strategic Dislocation Inside the United States
As a community, the defense establishment swears to protect and defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. DoD’s role in combating “domestic enemies” has never been thoughtfully examined. Thus, there is perhaps no greater source of strategic shock for DoD than operationalizing that component of the oath of service in a widespread domestic emergency that entails rapid dissolution of public order in all or significant parts of the United States.
While likely not an immediate prospect, this is clearly a “Black Swan” that merits some visibility inside DoD and the Department of Homeland Security. To the extent events like this involve organized violence against local, state, and national authorities and exceed the capacity of the former two to restore public order and protect vulnerable populations, DoD would be required to fill the gap. This is largely uncharted strategic territory.
Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security. Deliberate employment of weapons of mass destruction or other catastrophic capabilities, unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters are all paths to disruptive domestic shock.
An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home. Already predisposed to defer to the primacy of civilian authorities in instances of domestic security and divest all but the most extreme demands in areas like civil support and consequence management, DoD might be forced by circumstances to put its broad resources at the disposal of civil authorities to contain and reverse violent threats to domestic tranquility. Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance.
A whole host of long-standing defense conventions would be severely tested. Under these conditions and at their most violent extreme, civilian authorities, on advice of the defense establishment, would need to rapidly determine the parameters defining the legitimate use of military force inside the United States. Further still, the whole concept of conflict termination and/or transition to the primacy of civilian security institutions would be uncharted ground. DoD is already challenged by stabilization abroad. Imagine the challenges associated with doing so on a massive scale at home.
Most Americans are too squeamish to admit the validity or legitimacy of ever hitting the reset button on the Constitution. Most, but not all.
These sentences just jump out of the screen at me:
DoD’s role in combating “domestic enemies” has never been thoughtfully examined. — Who in DoD has the political immunity to thoughtfully examine such a taboo subject? Our nonpartisan military has a cherished tradition of faithfully serving the whole Republic, under whatever political leadership We The People choose to saddle them. They have no authority or desire to identify, designate and engage domestic enemies. As individual citizens, the three percent of us fit to serve as Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen can see who the domestic enemies of their missions, their leaders, and their claim upon the public treasury are as well as anybody. As military professionals, they cannot treat domestic enemies as such until set loose upon them by higher authority. As individual citizens, they may harbor doubts about the illegitimate, unpatriotic nature of duly designated domestic enemies, perhaps even secretly sympathize with them. As military professionals, they will carry out lawful orders or leave the profession. The Regulars don’t have the stomach for recognizing that they even have domestic enemies, because that would force them to do something about it. American irregular, nonstate actor, Hybrid Warriors could very well be the duly designated domestic enemies.
Deliberate employment of weapons of mass destruction or other catastrophic capabilities, unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters are all paths to disruptive domestic shock. — The aftermath of a nuclear 9/11 would likely include all of the above. Politically incorrect as my opinion may be, I think the politicians who have the power to prevent mass casualty events and fail to exercise due diligence because they’re owned by the House of Saud or beholden to the Nation of Islam or ate up with multiculturalism should suffer for their failures with their lives, or at the very least fear that probable outcome, and act accordingly. Let the fates of Mussolini and Ceausescu encourager les autres. It has been too long since the elites have feared the wrath of The People.
Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. — I hope that their sight picture will be as blurry as mine. Brother has fought brother before. There are counties an hour’s drive north of me that haven’t recovered from the last time after 144 years. War is Hell, and Civil War is worse than Hell, and few Americans are capable of clear-eyed, unemotional, objective reasoning about it. How we got that way was a massive psychological operation.