Friday, December 8, 2006

America's Neglected Empire - the UN

FDR, Harry and Eleanor built the UN as a US clone in order for the US to provide governance to the world without appearing to do so, particularly to the isolationist Red stater. Unfortunately, the isolationist has devolved into the unilateralist and we find ourselves crafting an increasingly entangled web of bilateral treaties, the kind that George Washington warned us of.

FDR, Harry and Eleanor knew an effective American world empire would require imperial American citizenship and taxation with representation and that neither would pass muster in the US Senate or the necessary three quarters of the state legislatures needed to change the Constitution where sovereignty is treated as if it were virginity.

Consequently the UN Security Council was created to maintain the good old boy network at the top and to provide the illusion of allowing the rest of the world participation in good old boy status. And, the General Assembly was created in a similar fashion to fashion the appearance of true governance, while segregating international treaty negotiations with behind the door legislative negotiations to hide the normally messy underpinnings of politics.

Once the little problem of the Soviets Unions’ attempt to deprive the US as the normal leader of the world failed in the Cold War, work can proceed on world governance provide by the US as originally intended. The US, however, lacks the necessary focus to proceed towards imperial dominance, as the American electorate has Attention Deficit Disorder when it comes to a consistent imperial policy. After all, the rest of the world is full of foreigners.

Once, isolationism could be defined as letting each nation go its’ own way and if trouble came, we insisted on talking about a solution. In unilateralism, we’ll tell them what the solution is giving the appearance that we might actually step into the imperial throne. Unfortunately as the next hot topic on the networks distracts the electorate, like the Chandra Levy controversy, or Bill Clintons blow job, and the rest of the world is dismayed, distraught, and disappointed that the imperial nabob with the nuclear football trades world peace and prosperity for a crusade against gay marriage.

FDR could not know, however, that the linchpin of world empire is an imperial army. Any decent empire in days past in our situation would have already formed the Iraqi Republican Guard with US officers and NCOs like the Brits did in India. An ambitious officer seeking medals, combat experience, and a heavy warrior reputation in Victoria’s British Empire would have gotten himself a commission in Her Imperial Majesty’s Iraqi Army, and taken command of the best the Iraqis had.

The Brits usually hired the best their former enemies had in the way of troops, trained them with the best NCOs in history and a century later these units would be more British than the British. Alas, the Pentagon, and it’s predecessor, the War Department, would never stand for an American officer having his career managed by the officer himself. It would unbalance the rotation of the fair haired version of the day that gives the personnel weenie the illusion of potence.

While it may seem far fetched that the fortunes of the nation and global peace and prosperity would be sacrificed over such trivia as centralized career management, it should be remembered that the military attracts, retains, and promotes the Anal Retentive, whose central obsession is micromanagement. And that warriors, like doctors, lawyers, candle stick makers, and plumbers seek the respect of their peers, and a steadily increasing pay check.

And that accounts for the failure of the Project for the New American Empire. The Pentagons’ narrow career centric order of battle focused on creating career enhancing Brigade Combat Teams without a cohesive support structure or coherent strategy to be rotated in and out of the combat zone leaving no consistent or stable effect on the battlefield in order to stabilize the opportunity for command in combat for selected field grade officers. This also aimed at reducing the trauma on the military family as permanent changes of station means changing schools for the kids and getting new drapes.

There is, however, hope for the future. US Special Operations Command, and the Special Forces in particular are specifically trained to operate in diverse situations and to form and lead foreign forces. And inasmuch as the likely hood of an invasion of the US mainland taking place in any time soon, Special Operations should be formed as a separate service and the mission, functions and equipment of the Army and Air Force, less strategic forces, be transferred to the Reserves and Guard.

The Congress should also allow US officers and NCOs to serve in Blue Hat capacities as in the manner of the British such as “Chinese” Gordon who commanded a Chinese
Army, before losing his head leading a Sudanese one. UN peace keeping operations are a goat rope with differing national agendas and rules of engagement. Given the opportunity for a US officer to gain promotion and retirement points, these problems would achieve short shrift.

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