U.S. Military: Put in Harm's Way for Global Empire
Written by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
“We shall extend the Persian territory as far as God's heaven reaches. The sun will then shine on no land beyond our borders.”
— Herodotus, Histories, Book 7
An article published on April 24 in the Wall Street Journal carried the following subtitle: "Over the past year, special-operations forces have landed in 81 countries, mostly to train local troops to fight so Americans don’t have to."
But if Americans don't have to be, then why are they in so many countries? Surely this is not necessary for defending the United States of America — the purpose of the U.S. military.
It has been observed that the rise of the American empire is inversely proportional to the decline of the American republic. And such has been the trajectory of the republics of the past. But unlike Rome, the various Greek confederacies, and other historic republics, the American republic cum empire has innumerable means at its disposal to distribute its military might throughout the entirety of the globe.
The Wall Street Journal piece highlights one of the (momentarily) most popular methods of keeping the U.S. armed forces involved in “81 countries:” the deployment of special operations/forces troops, A.K.A. “commandos.” Here’s the Journal’s nearly poetical encomium of the U.S. special operations activities around the world:
These days, the sun never sets on America’s special-operations forces. Over the past year, they have landed in 81 countries, most of them training local commandos to fight so American troops don’t have to. From Honduras to Mongolia, Estonia to Djibouti, U.S. special operators teach local soldiers diplomatic skills to shield their countries against extremist ideologies, as well as combat skills to fight militants who break through.
President Barack Obama, as part of his plan to shrink U.S. reliance on traditional warfare, has promised to piece together a web of such alliances from South Asia to the Sahel. Faced with mobile enemies working independently of foreign governments, the U.S. military has scattered small, nimble teams in many places, rather than just maintaining large forces in a few.
When combined with President Obama’s unwavering (despite recent admissions of “accidental” killing of innocent Westerners) commitment to the drone war (including the much maligned “signature strikes”), the American empire’s growth trajectory is long and without recognizable end.
Almost exactly three years ago, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) published and promoted a plan crafted by U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Raymond T. Odierno that reads like a blueprint of the multinational military constructed under his and Barack Obama’s watch.
The general’s idea (one surely shared by the CFR that served as his bullhorn) was to transform the U.S. military into an international force, one capable of conducting numerous combat operations throughout the globe. In fact, in light of the Wall Street Journal’s recent report, it seems Odierno’s plan is being carried out with military precision.
A central plank of General Odierno’s platform is the need to use the Army to solve complex international conflicts. Again, these conflicts and the solutions to them are made more complex by the fact that there is not a single syllable in the Constitution that grants the president or Congress the authority to deploy American armed forces to work out the world’s difficult dilemmas.
On this point, regarding the rules to govern the creation and governing of a federal army, the Constitution says very little. In Article I, Section 8, Congress is authorized to “raise and support Armies” and to “make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.” That’s it. That paucity of information has been magnified by the Council on Foreign Relations and their members in positions of power to include the use of the Army in ways and means that would seem unimaginable even to the most globally minded and hawkish of our Founding Fathers.
One of the unconstitutional missions advocated by Odierno and the CFR that is highlighted in Journal piece is the use of the U.S. Army as “a critical guarantor of stability in the Asia-Pacific region.”
This echoes the pronouncement made by his Commander-in-Chief in Australia in 2011:
This is the future we seek for the Asia-Pacific — security, prosperity and dignity for all. That’s what we stand for. That’s who we are. That’s the future we will pursue in partnership with allies and friends and with every element of American power.
That is to say, General Odierno and President Obama believe that deterring aggression against our allies in Asia and the Pacific trumps any constitutional stricture on the appropriate use of the Army. There is nothing it seems that will stand in the way of our Army being placed at the disposal of foreign princes and presidents, provided they appreciate their resulting status as satraps of the American Emperor whose empire extends from pole to pole.
There are other provinces of the emerging American pancontinental presence accounted for in the Odierno/CFR plan. “The posture of the U.S. military in the Middle East is critical to maintaining regional stability there,” writes Odierno, again without any noticeable sense of irony.
Is the general privy to some reports of stability in the Middle East kept secret from the rest of us? There is no end to the media’s reminders of the instability in the Middle East. In fact, it is this very unsettled foundation upon which the need for ongoing American military presence there is built, particularly, as the Wall Street Journal reminds us, in Yemen and the Arab peninsula.
In other words, the Middle East is stable because of the Army, the Middle East will remain stable only so long as the Army remains on permanent patrol, and if we were to completely abandon our posts, the region would devolve into outright — instability. Thus is the quality of the reasoning demonstrated by those with command and control of the armed forces of the United States.
One geographic area of U.S. military involvement highlighted by the Wall Street Journal not specifically mentioned by Odierno and the CFR is Africa. “The three-week military exercises in Chad, which ended last month, are a microcosm of the U.S. strategy. The annual event started small a decade ago, and has grown to include 1,300 troops, with special-operations contingents from 18 Western nations coaching commandos from 10 African countries,” the Journal reports.
And the combat commitment to Africa is expansive:
Scores of Nigerian Special Boat Service commandos, who have trained with U.S. Navy SEALs, were in Chad to receive tactical advice from British instructors: How to set up an ambush, how to drag a wounded comrade out of danger and how to move through the sparse Sahelian forests.
At many points over the past six years, the U.S., Chad, Niger and others have criticized Nigeria for using brutal tactics against civilians who might otherwise help them flush out militants.
The Nigerian response to Boko Haram didn’t work effectively and “actually in some places made it worse,” Gen. David Rodriguez, commander of Africa Command, told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., in January. The U.S. and its allies hope the latest training will help the Nigerians turn the tide.
One U.S. special operations soldier is quoted in the Journal piece explaining the American military’s motivation this way, “A secure and stable Chad is one far less susceptible to Boko Haram and other insurgent influences.”
Lest there remain any doubt as to America’s resolve to make the world more “secure and stable,” General Odierno wants our nation’s enemies (foreign and domestic) to understand that we are not afraid to “compel capitulation.” Should those “potential adversaries” be American, moreover, Odierno promises that the Army will “be ready to decisively achieve American ends, whatever they may be.”
Odierno declares, echoing the special operations doctor, that the American armed forces will be deployed to demonstrate “our country’s commitment to global security.”
Sadly, Americans know this too well. There are rows and rows of white headstones, thousands of flag-draped coffins, and untold numbers of psychologically traumatized soldiers testifying to the seriousness of that commitment.