CHAPTER 3 OF BOOK “HOW I WOULD RUN THE COUNTRY IF I WERE DICTATOR” by Argus C. Zall
Chapter 3: National Defense and Homeland Security
In this Chapter I decree the reinstitution of the draft of all persons, male and female, between the ages of 18 and 21, with no exceptions or exemptions. With this expanded military, I will secure the borders, and all points of entry into the country including the inspection of all goods, and have enough troops to deal with foreign threats.
NATIONAL DEFENSE AND HOMELAND SECURITY
(Copyright July 31 2006)
My prescription for the Departments of Defense and of Homeland Security reflects the fact that we are in a two-front war: one, a religious war against fanatic Moslem zealots who have vowed to exterminate us wherever they find us; second, an invasion of people and contraband along our border with Mexico. Unless we soundly defeat both of these, we are as finished as the Romans were against the invasions of the barbarians.
To overcome these threats, we need much bigger military forces than we can muster from volunteers. My prescription will be to reinstitute the draft: not just of males, but of females as well, with no deferments for any reason except 100% legal disability. All persons from of 18 and 21 must serve in the military for three years, no ifs ands or buts. In 2004, this age group encompassed some 15,000,000 persons .(SATUS 2006, Table 11). Some would otherwise be attending college, others would be in the work force without having established a clear-cut career direction, others would be simply idle. In this age bracket, most of them will not have settled on a career direction, so that a three-year hiatus will be beneficial; it will give them a larger view of the world. Most have absolutely zero concept of the meaning of the word discipline, since there is no organization in civilian life that makes any pretense of teaching discipline to the young. All would benefit from the focus and discipline that is the hallmark of every military organization. Although this service will be required as a civic duty, the inductees will paid a salary of $100 per month, for an annual cost of $18 billion.
All inductees will be required to pass a high-school-equivalent scholastic achievement test, demonstrating proficiency in reading and writing English, American and world history, geography, mathematics through algebra and trigonometry, and elementary physics, chemistry, and biology. Inductees with proficiency in one or more foreign languages may volunteer to be tested therein; Demonstrated proficiency may well affect an inductees subsequent duty assignments, depending on the military need for the particular language skill. Those failing to pass any section of this test will be assigned to a remedial education unit, to attend school under military discipline until they pass. The cost of their remedial education will be billed to the public school system that failed to educate them. Their military tour of duty will not commence until they have passed the required scholastic achievement test. I will have more to say about reforming the public education system in Chapter 8.
Five million of these troops would be used to seal off the Mexican border, every inch of its 2000-plus mile length. An electrified fence packing lethal voltages will be built five miles inside the border, and the troops would be stationed between the fence and the border, patrolling it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks per year. All persons illegally crossing the border will be apprehended and biometrically identified. Those who had not previously attempted to cross would be returned to Mexico, and the Mexican government charged the cost of apprehending and returning them. Since Mexico will undoubtedly refuse to pay, the cost will be deducted from the current $45 billion a year (SATUS 2006, Table 1293) balance of trade surplus they presently enjoy with us. Those who had previously attempted a crossing would be sentenced to one year of hard labor for each attempt. The guides or coyotes would be sentenced to five years of hard labor. This labor would be in the no mans land: improving the fortifications, building roads, adding to the infrastructure required to support the five million troops in comfort. Needless to say, the troops would be armed, and assisted by electronic surveillance aids, such as infra-red detectors and Predator drone surveillance aircraft. Dogs will also be used to help corral the rabbits.
Where the border passes in close proximity to a city or town, the no-mans land width will be reduced to one mile; the necessary land will be seized by eminent domain, and any buildings thereon will be razed, to insure that there be no cover to hide trespassers. The one mile is the minimum needed to insure that tunnels cannot be bored under the forbidden zone. Villages will simply be moved back five miles.
Legal crossing of the border will be permitted at selected points, staffed by additional troops whose duties would include verification of the identity and legal status of every person crossing in either direction, and the physical inspection of every item making the crossing. I will have more to say below about identity and visa document requirements. I will have more to say in Chapter 4 about the terms and conditions under which legal immigration will be permitted. In addition to protecting the nation from surreptitious entry of weapons, explosives, or biological agents, the 100% inspection will serve to intercept all manner of contraband that now freely enters the country. Sufficient staffing and inspection facilities will be provided to reduce the delay for inspection to less than four hours, and the total cost of the inspection will be charged to the importer of the goods. A nominal fee will be charged for inspection of personal effects of legal entrants.
To minimize boredom and to eliminate the possibility of bribery and corruption, troops will be rotated from border sector to border sector and legal crossing to legal crossing every month.
It will do no good to thus seal the Mexican border if unregulated entry to the US can be made at airports and seaports. Verification of identity and legal status of entering persons and inspection of entering goods will be performed in exactly the same manner at designated ports-of-entry (air and sea) and at designated crossings of the Canadian border. I estimate that one million troops will be required to staff these facilities.
As of 2003, there were 631,000 civilian personnel employed by the Department of Defense (SATUS 2006, Table 496) at a cost of $35 billion/yr. The vast majority of these are clerks and other supporting types. I will replace 90% of these by 1 million military personnel, mainly female or persons with minor disabilities. The larger number of military replacements is needed because the six-fold increase in the number of active duty troops will require more support personnel.
Although illegal crossings of the Canadian border have not been a significant problem to date, it is quite certain that they will become so once the Mexican border is secured. I will detail another five million troops to patrol it.. For the present, I would not require an electric fence, and would employ only a one-mile no-mans land; Depending on the future course of events, more stringent measures could be adopted, if necessary.
The 3 million or so personnel available after these assignments will constitute a powerful army and navy available to meet with overwhelming force Islamic intransigence anywhere in the world. No more of the Rumsfeld do-it-on-the-cheap philosophy. First, I will address the religious wars we seem to be involved in. I will start by saying that the Iraq war was a colossal mistake, and the manner of its execution has been abysmal. It was world-class incompetence not to have foreseen and planned for the anarchic chaos that followed the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and even worse to leave our troops dangling on the string of insufficient force to accomplish the job. We have succeeded in alienating most of the rest of the world by our blundering. However, a worse fate than loss of friendships is at stake if we dont finish the job; we will suffer the far greater damage of loss of respect and fear. Our street cred is on the line.
The first thing to do is to triple the number of boots on the ground. Then, starting in Baghdad, secure the country; expand the Green Zone, one block at a time. Each block brought into the Green Zone will be thoroughly and completely searched, and the price of the safety of inclusion is to surrender any and all weapons of whatever sort. Any occupants of any building that do not wish to surrender weapons will be evicted, and replaced by qualified others from outside. Only military vehicles and supply vehicles under military escort will be permitted to enter the Green Zone from outside.. Persons wishing to enter the Green Zone will do so on foot, dismounting from their vehicles one hundred yards from the check point, walking through a radio-frequency hot zone to detonate any explosives they may be wearing. Inside the Green Zone, frequent and inexpensive public transportation will be provided. Security within the Green Zone will provided by Iraqi military and police. When Baghdad is secure, repeat the process in all the other cities, towns and villages. Remote-controlled aircraft will patrol the perimeter of the Green Zone. Detection of any projectile launched toward the Green Zone from outside will trigger immediate rocket response, computer-directed toward the launch site.
If the Iraqi “government” interferes in any way with this pacification process, it will be expelled from the Green Zone, and left to fend for itself in the midst of the chaos outside.
Second, an idea first proposed by Steve Forbes (Forbes Magazine, May 3 2006, pp 33-34) will be expanded on and implemented. The entire Iraqi oil enterprise will be privatized and registered shares therein distributed in equal measure to every RESIDENT Iraqi man, woman, and child: Kurd, Sunni, or Shiite. These shares will entitle the owner to collect a royalty on every single barrel of oil pumped out of the ground, as well as to receive dividends from the profits of the enterprise. To avoid the disaster of a similar distribution in Russia (where con men persuaded financially-naive peasants to sell their shares for a fraction of their worth), these shares will be NON-TRANSFERABLE. They belong to the holder for life (except that those of convicted criminals will be revoked), and revert to the Enterprise on the death of the holder. Reverted shares will be available for distribution to newly-born children. Expatriate citizens who move back to Iraq before the deadline will qualify for shares.
Royalty and dividend payments will be made electronically to an interest-bearing bank account in the shareholders name. The bank accounts of minors will be held in trust until they reach majority; withdrawals can be made for serious emergencies, or to pay for higher education, upon application to the Trustees. Adults are free to withdraw from their own accounts at their discretion. Refusal of a wife to turn over her royalties and dividends to her husband shall not be considered a cause for divorce.
The shareholders will elect the Board of Directors of the enterprise, and the board will appoint the management. The management will operate the enterprise in a financially-transparent manner, using generally-accepted accounting principles. The operation of the enterprise will be totally separate from the state, but will be subject to environmental regulations created by the state. The state will share in the oil proceeds through taxation of either the gross receipts, or of the individual distributions.
This policy will give every Iraqi a direct financial interest in the stability of the country, and in preventing the sabotage of the oil-production and shipping facilities. It will place the populace on the side of providing actionable intelligence on the whereabouts of the bandits that presently disrupt the country, instead of sheltering the brigands from the authorities. It will also guarantee that the Sunni minority will receive a fair share of the oil wealth, which they would not receive if the country partitions into Sunnistan, Shiastan and Kurdistan. Equally importantly, it will prevent the type of rampant corruption of the authorities that appropriate for themselves the oil wealth of Nigeria, for example..
With these tasks accomplished, we can safely withdraw from Iraq, leaving it a much better country than it was when we started. We can then turn our attention to the balance of the Islamic world.
The foregoing idea looked good in January, but events on the ground have deteriorated too much since then for it to have much of a chance. I would therefore advise all foreign nationals to leave Iraq immediately, and assist them with evacuation. Then I would move my troops to the border, sealing it against ingress and egress. A land, sea, and air quarantine would be established to prevent the entry or exit of any persons, ammunition, foodstuffs, or any goods whatever. Refugee camps would be set up at the major border crossing, secured by my troops. The vast majority of the border would be patrolled by air, piloted aircraft as well as drones, equipped with night vision apparatus. Any traffic, pedestrian, horse, camel, or motor, observed within ten miles of the border headed toward it would be fired upon. All communication, postal, banking, telephone, telegraph, internet with Iraq would be cut off; wireless or satellite communications would be monitored and jammed.
Unarmed families with children would be welcomed in the refugee camps, which would be supplied with necessary foodstuffs by US military, and protected by US military. No attempt would be made to segregate sectarian factions. The political organization of the camps would be refugee-controlled, by majority vote. US Military Police would provide internal security as well. Facilities would be provided for religious services. Sermons would be monitored by Arabic-speaking police; any Imam preaching hate would be arrested and exiled back to Iraq. Sectarian violence within the camp would result in arrest and banishment as well. Banished Sunnis would be deported to Shia-controlled regions of Iraq, while Shia would be banished to Sunni-controlled regions. Thus, both would be able to enjoy to the fullest extent the consequences of their sectarian hatred.
Then, with the warring factions remaining in Iraq isolated from reinforcements, war material, and any imports of foodstuffs or other goods, they could proceed to carry out undisturbed their religious war without harming any foreigners. One of three things would eventually happen: they would run out of ammunition and explosives for killing each other; they would all die of starvation; or, they would come to their senses and discover that they had much more in common than in difference, and reach an accommodation that would permit them to live in peace, together if possible, separately if necessary. Once a treaty of peace was signed, they could apply for reinstatement in the civilized world. The blockade would be lifted and everybody could go home. (End of 12/11/06 addendum)
I would certainly continue the diplomatic outreach to Iran, since bribery is always cheaper than war, and most Middle Easterners will sell their principles, or their grandmothers for that matter, if the price is high enough. To insure that once they are bought, they stay bought, I would openly present them with a framed large-scale map of Iran showing the target points of some 50 -60 nuclear weapons. I would then caution them that if a nuclear weapon traceable directly or indirectly to them is used to kill anybody in the Western world (including Israel), their country will disappear from the map. If they wish to acquire nuclear weapons, they better use them only on other Islamic nations.
North Korea will get a similar map, with warnings not to inflict nuclear weapons on any country in our Asian sphere of interest, with the exact limits thereof intentionally left vague.
The majority of terrorists in the world seem to emanate from countries who are major suppliers of oil. These nations apparently think that gives them immunity from any serious repercussions of their clandestine support of these nefarious activities. I would note that the vast majority of the oil they sell is transported by sea, at least at some stage of its distribution. Interesting, since the oceans of the world are maria nostra, our seas; that oil is transported with our sufferance and consent. I would suggest to these nations that they keep their terrorists at home, suppressing them however ruthlessly they see fit (dont bother us will the details). If we are harmed by terrorists from their bailiwick, the oil they ship will not reach the intended customers. It will be seized on the high seas, and sold at a market price. The proceeds after deduction of our costs of seizure and selling will go into a trust fund to make reparations to the parties injured by these acts. Any terrorists we catch, either pre- or post-commission of their crimes, will be returned to their countries of origin with a demand for their immediate public execution. Failure to comply will result in blockade. This strategy will become much easier to implement once I have weaned the country from its dependence of foreign oil (See Chapter 10).
The Department of Homeland Security spent $33 billion in 2003 (see table below). Most of it was misspent a) fighting the last major terrorist act, b) shamelessly treated as a pork-barrel slush fund by Congress, each member of which demanded distribution in his own district, whether there was any remote terrorist threat or not. Billions have been spent upgrading air-travel security; baggage on Amtrak is not inspected. Only 5% of cargo incoming at our ports is inspected. If I were a terrorist I would chortle with glee; I would attack the new vulnerabilities and leave the airplanes alone, while we spend billions to secure an industry that is no longer a target.
I have already described how I would rectify border and port security using the military. Whatever the Department of Homeland Security spends on these activities would be diverted to military use. Securing the borders to prevent admission of foreign terrorists is the ounce of prevention that is worth a pound of cure. The DHS can focus on home-grown terrorists and those who are already here.
Legal entry into the country from any foreign nation will require a pre-approved visa, which will be issued only upon verification that the individual seeking entry has no criminal record anywhere in the world, and is free of disease. The staffing of consulates will be increased sufficiently to expedite issuing or denying such visas within a week. A simple way of expediting the process will be for the applicant to provide a blood sample, to be used for diagnosis of disease, and to provide DNA typing (for checking against criminal databases). The DNA results will also be permanently embossed on the visa as a biometric identification. However, since it is no use for rapid verification of identity, the visa will also include a fingerprint and an iris scan. The fingerprint will be selected at random by the applicant, from one of his fingers (except thumbs), unknown to the fingerprinting officer. To verify identity, of course, the visa holder will have to provide a fingerprint from the same finger, again unknown to the officer.
Applicants from nations which have spawned terrorists in the past would be subject to particular scrutiny, and will be required to have a certification and indemnification from their own governments that they are good citizens, and not closet jihadists. This certification and indemnification will provide the legal basis for us to take action against that government in the event that the individual commits a terrorist crime on our soil.
It is undoubtedly true that since we will require pre-approved visas from all foreigners, all other nations will require visas from us. For foreign travelers who frequently visit the USA, eg for business, we will provide upon application multiple-entry visas, valid for as long as the national passport is valid. We would expect other countries to reciprocate. We would also expect other countries to provide as prompt and convenient visa-approval services to our citizens as we provide to theirs.
With regard to the process of inspection of airline luggage, I would institute a preferred-traveler pass, valid for five years, to those frequent travelers who will submit to a thorough background check. This pass, biometrically-identified in the exact manner as the visa noted above, will entitle the holder and his luggage to bypass the luggage-screening station and proceed directly to the boarding area. Reduction in the quantity of luggage to be searched will permit more thorough searches of the rest.
If it is not already on the books, I would have Congress pass a law making incitement of others to commit a crime the equivalent of committing the crime itself, whether or not the persons incited did so or not. Failure to report such incitement will make the hearer an accessory before the fact to the crime, and subject him to punishment as well. Then I would throw every imam spewing hate into jail, and expel him from the country when his term was served. If his congregation didnt report him, they would all go to jail too. This law would also be applied to neo-Nazi, militia, KKK, street gangs, and other home-grown nihilistic organizations and individuals as well. We will have plenty of prisoners serving at hard labor to replace the illegal immigrants in the fields.
Lest anyone consider this a violation of the freedom-of-speech clause of the Constitution. I quote from the unanimous opinion of the Supreme Court in the case of Schenck Vs. the US (March 3 1919) written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr (John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, Little Brown & Co, 15th Edition, p 644, item 23)
The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing panic. — The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent
The case in question was particularly germane to my application of the principle above. Schenck was convicted under the Espionage Laws of inciting young men to disobey the World War I draft laws, a direct parallel to my proscription against inciting criminal violence above. His appeal under the then novel, now commonplace, argument that his words were protected under the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment was unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court.
So what is all this going to cost? Lets start with an examination of what the Department of Defense spends today, as of 2003 (SATUS 2006, Tables 462, 491, 496) in billions
I have already mentioned that my 15 million draftees will cost $18 billion in salaries, but I will still need a cadre of million and a half professionals costing $23 billion, so my total military pay will go to $41 billion, saving about $10 billion out of the 2005 amount of $52 billion or so. Ninety percent of the civilians will be eliminated, saving about $35 billion. The much larger military will impose higher operation and maintenance costs, which will probably consume all $45 billion of these savings.
The place where savings can be achieved is in research and development and procurement, which currently is a rats nest of cronyism, and double dealing. Retired procurement officers do not sit home and collect pension checks. They go to work for defense contractors. Guess why?
I would hire all procurement officers from Walmart, and make their pay dependent on how big a price reduction they negotiated for the gee-whizzicators from the last time they were bought. I would abolish the practice whereby the DOD pays for all the development costs of new weapons systems, and then pays outrageous prices for the things when they are bought. There has not been a weapons system developed in the last forty years whose development costs werent double or triple the budget. The defense contractors note and complain that this results from micromanagement by the DOD evaluators. One of the best fighter aircraft of WWII was the North American P51 Mustang, which was developed entirely by the manufacturer, and sold in quantity to the Government when it outperformed those whose development was being funded and managed by the Army Air Corps.
I would change this process. The DOD specifies a weapons need for a particular battlefield requirement. Manufacturers develop weapon systems to meet this need, at their own expense, in competition with other suppliers, here and abroad. The DOD purchases in quantity the one which performs the best for the lowest cost, and the manufacturer prorates the cost of development over the number ordered. Re-orders will always be from the lowest bidder; however, if the original developer is not the lowest bidder, he shall have the right to require nominal license fees from the bid winner. Since cost as well as performance enters into the purchasing decision, the supplier has every incentive to minimize development cost. It will be advantageous for the DOD to make a large initial purchase to minimize the prorated development cost per item.
I would expect to be able to save half of the $121 billion we currently spend on R&D and procurement. However, I have already pointed out that I do not need savings from The DOD and DHS to meet my budget targets. My much larger military will require more ordinary weapons, so I will appropriate all of these savings and apply them to this requirement.
In sum, then, military and homeland security costs will not be reduced, but I will get a much bigger bang for the buck, directed toward fighting the wars we are now in instead of the cold war.