Friday, August 17, 2007

The citizen militia — a third way of national defense

Did you notice anything unusual about Gen. Lute's comments from last Friday?
I think it makes sense to certainly consider [returning to the draft], and I can tell you, this has always been an option on the table, but ultimately, this is a policy matter between meeting the demands for the nation's security by one means or another.
Sorry for the trick question. There wasn't anything unusual about Lute's comments. Although Lute didn't explicitly say it in so many words, implicit in his remarks is the defense-policy assumption which always goes unchallenged, to wit: there are only two possible means to "meet the demands for the nation's security" — either an all-volunteer, professional military; or a "mixed" Army of conscripts and volunteers.

But there's a third option that is virtually never discussed today, even though it is precisely what our nation's founders had in mind since the beginning: Armed neutrality, which combines a foreign policy of non-interventionism with a militia-based national defense.

An army comprised primarily of every able-bodied male, supported and augmented by a small corps of full-time military professionals, has supported Switzerland's policy of armed neutrality for centuries — and it is what our founders had in mind 200+ years ago. I intend to introduce and discuss in future posts the concept of a militia-based national defense. I think it is the biblical model for a just national defense — the best way for a free people to defend their nation without becoming entangled in foreign affairs and conflicts.

But for now, I commend to you "The Swiss Report," a paper on the Swiss militia system written in 1983 by retired Generals George S. Patton (USA — son of "the" Gen. Patton) and Lewis W. Walt (USMC). (I also just stumbled upon this rather detailed Wikipedia entry: "Military of Switzerland.") Read about how the Swiss do it, and consider how we might do it ourselves.

Consider also just what kind of national character would be necessary.

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