Monday, April 18, 2005
Principles of Conservatism: A Strong Military
Carry a Big Stick!
For many years, it has been a strong tenet of conservatives that we should have a military force that is second to none. In fact, the idea that we should have a force that can fight two and a half wars at once while defending the nation at home at the same time has been the mantra since the presidency of Reagan, and even before then.
But, of course, the leftists with Clinton cut and cut and cut our forces till we are embarrassed to man properly the current war in Iraq while also living up to our military commitments around the globe. Then too, perhaps we should reconsider some of those commitments as well.
We need a number of things: a superior army with at least 4 or 5 new divisions, with the latest in tanks, armored personnel carriers, mobile artillery, and armored supply trucks, together with the latest in communications, command and control and battlefield intelligence gathering systems; an up-to-date air force of 30 wings with truly modern air and strike fighters, air transport and air tankers, as well as a new version of the A-10 Warthog to provide the close air support that supersonic fighters cannot do well; a navy armed with cutting-edge warships and carriers, which should be all-nuclear, and organized into perhaps 14 Task Groups of two carriers each, each carrier having a complement of the best naval aircraft we can buy, together with supporting ships and attack submarines.
We should retain our nuclear deterrent forces and upgrade them as needed, including the bomber fleet, the submarine boomers, and the ground-launched missiles out in Montana and elsewhere. This includes continued development of better nuclear weapons.
In addition, we need to expand three other forces: 1) our special forces, 2) our airborne forces, and 3) our occupation (liberation!) forces. I would add a division for special forces, a new division to complement the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions, and at least three divisions trained particularly for the role of occupation or “liberation”.
We should reduce our dependence on reserve and National Guard call-ups, and instead concentrate on building voluntary forces.
It is my contention that we need to institute a form of National Service for young men between the ages of 18 and 25. There should be a two-year service period for these men, and they should be given training across the board. After that period, these men should become a ready and trained reserve, with several two-week refresher periods for the next five years. Given this reserve, and with the augmentations mentioned above, we need not call for a draft except in dire emergencies. Every man should have the opportunity to serve his country.
I see an overriding objective: that we must not be capable of being defeated or denied free access to any ocean or country in the world against any combination of enemies we might reasonably expect, such as an alliance of Russia-China-North Korea-Iran-Egypt, for example.
As was said many times: “Peace Through Strength” is the goal.