Sunday, June 05, 2016

Destructive to Morale

     "We're not accustomed to occupying defensive positions.  It's destructive to morale."
         --  Lieutenant General H. M. "Howling Mad" Smith, USMC, 1945

The Colonel is vehemently opposed to Donald Trump's campaign promise to "build a wall and make Mexico pay for it."  

But not for the mendacious motives espoused by the national-suicide socialists masquerading as classical liberals.  They would have the gullible and uninformed among us believe that building a counter-migrant wall on our southern border is heartless -- they would have the entire nation become one borderless sanctuary to countless millions who would, in their gratitude, vote their morally rudderless and ruthlessly intolerant party into permanence.     

Trump would have the gullible and uninformed among us believe that building a counter-migrant wall on our southern border will fix the problem of growing crime in our streets, and panders to countless millions who would, in their gratitude, vote his morally rudderless and ruthlessly intolerant neo-party into office. 

Know this, dear readers:  Walls, as stratagems of grand national strategy, are emblematic of empires in decline.  

So are wide-open borders.  

Walls are indicative of a fearful people.  Open borders are indicative of feckless leadership.

A wall, as the tactical obstacle in a strategic defense, is only as effective as the strength and efficiency of the operational forces dedicated to maintaining observation over, and integrity of, that obstacle.

When the Roman Republic/Empire, at the end of the Julio/Claudian era, transformed from an expansionist imperial power into a defensive imperial power (and began it's decline), it restructured its military to suit.  Where formerly Roman military strength had been concentrated into "multi-legion armies not committed to territorial defense" and therefore "inherently mobile and freely redeployable" (Edward N. Luttwak, Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire), the perceived need to be strong everywhere on the periphery of the Empire resulted in a centuries-long campaign of strategic wall and fortification-building.  These walls and fortifications (Hadrian's Wall in Britain is exemplary), although impressive in scale and design, were enormously expensive to build, maintain, and defend.  Far more expensive, in fact, than a concentrated multi-legion army -- a fraction of which could be deployed to quell a rebellious client state or destroy a rival's base of operations without leaving the heart of the Empire defenseless.

In Grand Strategy of the Roman Empire, Luttwak argues conclusively that the Empire's successes during the Julio/Claudian era actually resulted in long-term transformation of the peripheral "barbarian" nations by a process of "voluntary Romanization."  In other words, Rome's enemies learned how to beat Rome at its own game -- adopting systems of political and logistical organization that allowed effective resistance to, and eventual destruction of, the Roman Empire.

The Colonel would argue that, in terms of the arc of its imperial history, the American Republic has transitioned through and out of its own "Julio/Claudian" expansionist phase and is now faced with peripheral nations who have voluntarily "Americanized."

Mexico, for example, is currently reprising the 19th Century American model for continental population expansion.  Those aren't "immigrants" waving Mexican flags in California -- they are no less invaders than the American settlers who flooded Mexico's northern lands in the 1830's.   

Building a wall to "keep 'em out" not only panders to the most base of our human instincts, it will inevitably be highly destructive to our national morale.

The Colonel's answer:  A pan-hemispheric republic of American states organized and governed under an unabridged and faithfully executed Constitution of the United States.

You got a better idea?                  
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