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Low Level Military Defense


National defense is often simplified to the level of “too much defense and you lose only money, too little defense and you lose the nation.”  However, this assumes that the first part of that statement is true.  Actually, too much defense leads to lower economic growth, gradually weakening the nation and making it more and more vulnerable over time.  This is what I call “premature militarization.”  So when a nation lets paranoia get the better of them and over prepares for military defense, the result can bring on the situations most feared.  Wisdom lies in minimizing the military during peacetime to allow the economy to grow enough to be sure to have the largest economy when and if you must go to war.  Without a significant, defined as two to one, economic advantage over your enemy, it is very likely that the war will go on for a long time without a decisive advantage to either side. The two World Wars and the Iran Iraq War are good examples of these tendencies.  The Germans had more than twice the Russian economy in World War I and twice the French economy in World War II, otherwise could not defeat powers with more than half their economic strength.  Only when the US entered with twice the economy of German was able to swing the balance against Germany in each war.

Domestic Effects and Crime

An overly militarized society not only suffers from lower economic growth, it also suffers from higher rates of crime and murder.  In fact, an overly militarized society usually produces more domestic deaths due to the higher military spending than overseas soldier deaths prosecuting foreign wars.  Highly militarized societies are more likely to get into wars, and loss of civil liberties also correlates with high military spending.  Empire decay and paranoia set in with a high military society and politicians take advantage of the crony capitalism of the military budget and the historical glory that attaches to war presidents.  Too many swing states have high levels of military spending making it very hard to reduce spending levels to a more prudent level.  Often militarism severely impacts health of a population.  Economic, social, and political rigidity sets into a society with prolonged levels of high military spending.  Wars narrow the vision of a society.  States that benefit from a military buildup develop out of control real estate markets and the corruption of military spending corrupts the civilian economy as well, as phony mortgages are bundled together with good and sold on Wall Street as AAA.  Military money is doled out on the basis of politics instead of merit. The drain on manufacturing is ignored as trade treaties offer a cover story to blame the bad economy on, ignoring the fact that trade treaties did not stop the manufacturing economy from growing when military spending was lowered at the end of the Cold War for a decade.

Here is a list of ten domestic military effects:

Hint: to read this paper for free, you must click on the tiny word “read” in the middle of the bottom of the screen after you go to the above link on

World’s Policeman

The main pentagon justification for high military spending and hundreds of bases all over the planet is to secure access to resources worldwide.  But countries like China have secure access to resources worldwide without those markers of empire.  Looking at China as a main rival ignores their monopoly on key minerals necessary to a modern economy.  How could we prosecute a war against them without ruining our own economy and our military supply line?  Today’s fragile and interdependent world economy could not stand a major war between the major powers today.  Increasingly, the carrot is more powerful than the stick.  While opinion polls in America suggest abhorrence of war fighting in Asia, fears are way too easily ginned up with any number of incidents that pale compared to common traffic accidents and numerous other ways to die domestically.  So wars, easily started, continue going out of fear of admitting a mistake. Former intelligence officers going into journalism help keep alive the fallacy of the so-called realistic school of foreign policy. Wars and covert operations that scar millions worldwide provide easy kindling for the next round of wars.  We miss the wisdom of getting off the continual merry-go-round of collateral damage horrors only leading to more horrors later on.  Propping up dictators for temporary advantage only builds up resentments in the underlying populations.  Installing dictators makes things even worse.  The families of drone attack victims may harbor grudges against us for generations to come.

Defense Strategy

The key to an effective defense strategy is to take a long term view of matters.  Historically the major wars come along about every 54 years, yet we keep playing the short term game of wasting our resources on minor wars as the economic problems at home keep multiplying. Having a light footprint worldwide with fewer bases and less covert operations keeps us out of trouble, and allows regional associations to more responsibly solve the world’s problems.  A UN force of 50,000 troops could control consensus evils like ISIS but only if local forces can occupy the terrain once seized.  In Syria, the moderate forces and the Kurds could provide the ground forces to maintain the peace together with partitioning to allow the Russians to maintain bases and control in the capital and port region important to Assad’s Alawites.

Here is a more detailed seven page analysis of how to choose a defense strategy knowing high military spending weakens a country over time:

Hint: to read this paper for free, you must click on the tiny word “read” in the middle of the bottom of the screen after you go to the above link on

Professor Robert Reuschlein, Dr. Peace,

Real Economy Institute, Madison,Wisconsin



MESSAGE: 608-230-6640


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