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Creating a fifth Service Branch . . . and other thoughts on US Defense Reform

October 15, 2013

Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, argues that the US must create a separate Cyber Force to prepare for conflicts in the near future.

I think we need a complete reform of the services.  I’ve just been playing with it in my head and haven’t done any detailed work on it, but something along the lines of:

  • Drastically shrinking the Army and closing all foreign Army bases.  Turn the reduced force into a territorial service with a much larger (and more active) reserve component.  Combine this Army with the Coast Guard (and perhaps even Air National Guard) to form the Territorial Service.
  • Combine the Air Force and Navy (with a larger Marine Corp as their ground component) into the Strategic Service, dedicated to all projection of force beyond national territory.  Offshore Balancing becomes the national strategic model.
  • Create separate Space and Cyber Services, as these are the realms where the next major war will be won or lost.

Streamlining the services, reducing our global footprint, and focusing on Offshore Balancing should allow a significant reduction in defense spending while at the same time creating a defense infrastructure better suited to likely future conflicts.  The reductions in size and spending would be offset by increases in capabilities.

This would be tough medicine for traditional hawks – and of course the Army – to swallow, but the purpose is to maximize capabilities and to better prepare for a likely major conflict with China (I write “likely” because I write from the perspective of Long Cycle Theory, which predicts it in the not too distant future).  If foreign policy and defense conservatives can sell the vision to the GOP as a whole, then major Defense Reform would be a big carrot to offer the Democrats in return for major Entitlement Reform and allow the nation to get its financial house in order, as well (something that is also needed as the conflict approaches).

The Four Phases of the Long Cycle . . . We are in the coalitioning phase; macrodecision (previously war but possibly Great Power Collapse) is fast approaching

The Four Phases of the Long Cycle . . . We are in the coalitioning phase; macrodecision (previously war but possibly Great Power Collapse) is fast approaching

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