The pledge taken by military members on enlistment states the military member promises to protect the United States “from all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
What should be noted about this pledge is that this pledge makes no mention of a human or military threat.
So, do we not consider poverty, hunger and disease to be enemies to this country? Are these things not threats to our security as a nation, as a people?
At the time of this writing, the US military is illegally occupying Syrian oil fields, protecting the literal theft and denial of resources from a sovereign government that has all legal rights to those resources. The UN Peace Council has stated our presence in Syria is illegal under international law.
Our military is maintaining a presence in Iraq, a country whose government has insisted on the evacuation of our forces. Thus, an illegal military occupation.
Our military is patrolling and threatening to invade Venezuela.
Our ships are conducting naval drills including the firing of missiles off the coast of China.
Our naval vessels are attempting to block the passage of Iranian and Russian oil tankers, while also threatening to destroy a major Russian oil pipeline.
In each of the cases above, these countries are of absolutely no military or security threat to this country. In fact, they are no military or security threat to any other nation. The only threat to any sovereign government or military in this equation is the US.
Multiple states are activating National Guard units for the purpose of policing.
Meanwhile, naval vessels, foreign and domestic military encampments are having outbreaks related to the pandemic. Naval vessels have been denied the right to evacuate increasing numbers of sick service members. One naval commander was relieved of command and shamed by the Commander of the Navy.
I have previously pointed out that farmers are being forced to allow crops to rot in fields and warehouses because they are unable to sell and deliver those crops to restaurants and schools. That is occurring as food banks experience the longest lines in world history and millions of workers have been laid off or placed on “furlough”. People are waiting on $1200 stimulus checks which may not arrive for weeks in some cases and that amount of money will not go far for anyone not currently working.
A number of food processing facilities have closed due to illness and staffing shortages because of employee problems such as child care.
It is highly likely countries from whom we import food items will be forced to reduce or eliminate their exports to the US because of their own needs brought on by the same pandemic or because of unpaid corporate debts as profits decline.
As conditions continue to worsen, food shortages are becoming more common. At some point, this is going to become critical. As food becomes more scarce, people will become desperate.
At least some part of this problem can be prevented by utilizing our military to transport food from farms to food banks or even grocery store warehouses. Military personnel could be manning food banks or even opening auxiliary food banks in conjunction with existing food banks, thus relieving traffic congestion which has the potential to lead to security issues. If food banks run out of food with current dwindling supplies, we could easily see violent incidents occurring. Expand the supplies and that risk decreases. Military personnel could also provide transportation or delivery for those needing food bank services but lacking transportation.
It is not advisable that National Guard or Reserve medical personnel be activated and pulled from their civilian employment. That would simply reduce staffing at the facilities where those people are employed. However, non-medical military personnel could easily serve in non-clinical functions for medical facilities.
Our military has a budget of over $770 billion, which is intended to be used to insure the safety and security of the people of this nation. There is literally no reason existing for which some part of that budget could not be diverted and used to provide humanitarian aid to the citizens of this country while we are being faced with a very real, non-military threat. There are no rules stating that our military/defense budget can only be spent on bullets and bombs.
There is also no rule stating our military forces can only be used for force. At this time, our military would be of far better service to this country preventing a foreseeable major social disruption, providing humanitarian and social support aid, rather than waiting and using them for the express purpose of breaking civilian heads when people have become desperate enough.
It is time right now to reconsider the purpose of our military structure and efforts. Increasing threats against other nations is the absolute last thing which is needed at this time for our country or any other.