T Nation

Why Do Governments Need Militaries?


Standing, professional militaries do not exist for "national defense".

The first military to mobilize and cross an other border was for the purpose of aggression. It existed to rob and pillage the citizens of other lands -- and sometimes their own.

In stead of having a standing army to defend us, we should just take responsibility for our own self defense and learn to shoot a rifle (or learn whatever means available).

A professional military is not needed for "national defense" and can only be used unjustly. Militaries can only conquer and occupy -- not defend.

Defend yourself because the military cannot.


If you have the US military in mind, just because they don't defend doesn't mean they can't. If foreign carriers starting lining up off the coast, you think we'd be lost because we only specialize in overseas occupation? Am I to understand that with a looming invasion we would be better off by meeting at the town hall with our shotguns, versus having a military with a touch more firepower and training? That's a really odd post coming from you.


Do you see how your response proves my initial premise that militaries only exist to attack other lands? Why else would a military need a carrier force?


"In stead of having a standing army to defend us, we should just take responsibility for our own self defense and learn to shoot a rifle (or learn whatever means available)."

Universally applied, it'd be OK. But as long as there is one standing, professional, well-equipped military on Earth, this cannot happen without surrendering all sovereignty and power.


Yes, I am saying the world would be a better place without professional killers -- no matter the threat from invaders.


A standing army is like an erect member: an excellent assurance of domestic tranquility, but a dangerous temptation to foreign adventure.


Yes, and the US government uses its military to ensure that no other government can compete with it.


I'll take my killers thanks. Believe it or not, in between all the pillaging and empire building, there are some humanitarian actions that fail to make the headlines. Not that I was often a part that or anything.


Psychologically, a display of force can be a good thing. I am suggesting that individual people ready to die defending their own property can be just as psychologically effective.

It is to the last point of your response that I am against the idea of a national standing military. Generals get bored and have far too much influence in politics.


If all they wanted to do was feed hungry people I would probably not have such a problem but it seems like a very ineffective way to do this.

Imagine the kind of defense we could have for ourselves not spending so much on empire building.


The problem is you come out swinging with these absolutes. Yes, we're bored and like to roam around foreign lands and it's a double bonus if there are millions of years worth of rotting plants deep underground. I see your point, but we do have entire divisions within the military that focus on national defense only.


Is foreign occupation necessary to defend borders at home?

In fact, foreign occupation is anti-national defense.


An interesting premise, but in this age of advanced military technology, I don't think it's feasable. For example, if we were to fall under a missle attack, even if civilians had the means to defend against it (some type of missle defense) it would take too long to mobilize a civilian defense force, when we'd only have a few minutes to launch a response. By contrast, if we had a Navy fleet off the coast, constantly mobilized, they could respond in seconds.


You either need an army to protect your sovereign land or you need somebody to protect it for you. If you aren't protected, you will be occupied. The honor system hasn't been in play for many thousands of years.


If the missiles have already been fired there is nothing that can be done by any standing military anyway, except take out vengeance upon the aggressor if they survive the attack. My hunch is that military bases would be the fist targets to be taken out over larger populous cities with lots of wealth to be looted.

This exactly what the US military did before they marched into Baghdad.


Not necessarily



Your premise that we need protection starts with an unprovable assumption that nonlocalized agents can protect people. It leaps to a non sequitur conclusion that occupation necessarily happens without said protection.

Occupation happens because someone in government who knows better than you about your own protection takes away your only means of real defense. Your Arms!


I'd like to think I could protect my property and loved ones with a cache of small arms, but eventually you will be going up well armed forces with tanks, air strikes, cruise missiles, etc., capable of not only devastating people and population but able to knock out critical infrastructure that makes modern life possible.

Having the capabilities in place to defend against said threats, takes a large amount of money and man power, i.e. the amount spent on defense spending which employs a whole lot of talented and capable engineers by the way, to develop and implement these technologies, and people manage this whole process.

There is no such thing as a volunteer/hobby army that is capable of doing what a well, funded professional military force is capable of. Look at Libya and all these middle east countries. You have a bunch of small armed rebels trying to take on a conventional military and are reliant on supplies and aid from other real militaries sympathetic to their cause.

The closest example you can find is maybe the militarization (sp?) of the Mexican drug cartels, which is still pale in comparison to the US, Russia, China, Israel, and India. Its not a bunch of guys playing soldier part time, its well-funded, guys whose role is to fight and kill to keep the money/drugs flowing.

So if you think standing on the roof, waving your rifle in the air to demonstrate your superior offensive capabilities, will dissuade somebody from flying a UAV over and dropping a surgically placed bomb on you, I'd think again.


And yet somehow superstitious goat herders seem to be able to defend against the world's most mighty and supreme military force ever....


Thats only because of ROE laws. If not we would be in and out within a year. We do not pillage we go in as PC as we can. So nope you are wrong there. We do not go around shooting every muslim we see as many people think so, like yourself.