One Man Army
Why does the Air Force have boats, the Navy have planes, and the Army have both and more?!?!
- Separating military branches by technology and method is not only wasteful, it is dangerous and leaves us open to attack.
- The entire military should be merged together into a single force so they can stop stepping on each others’ toes and losing key data.
- Costs for military, intelligence, and similar services are now $1 trillion per year, an unfathomable and unsustainable number.
While organizing the existing government is helpful to understanding what is where, it does not answer the question of what should be done once organized. Nowhere is this clearer than in the Department of Safety and Security. Just by how it is laid out and the known agencies (and of course there are many more unknown or buried ones), as of 2019 there are:
- 6 types of armed forces
- 15 types of police and security agencies
- 17 types of clandestine and intelligence agencies
These numbers are astounding, but not as astounding as when you dig deeper:
- In 2015, the Air Force had 5,199 aircraft. At the same time, the Army had 5,117 and the Navy had 3,847. The Coast Guard also had about 210 of its own.
- The Navy has roughly 430 watercrafts (plus another 130 noncommissioned transport ships manned by civilians), the Army has about 120, and even the Air Force has 2! And of course, the Coast Guard has at least 2,000 of its own.
It is a very peculiar thing that the military has been set up to be separated by technology, especially when that technology is often purchased by the other divisions. In other words, there is a massive amount of waste and resource management issues in having a military that is separated along technological lines instead of on operations lines as we have laid out in the sub-divisions for the Department of Safety and Security. The amount of repetition among these agencies is vast and the duplicative efforts not only lead to waste but also to real security threats as information and resources are not shared and operations are not coordinated from a single station.
In December 2019, Congress authorized the creation of a sixth branch of the military in the Space Force, separating the function out of the Air Force where it had resided since 1982. Thus, Congress — at the urging of the President — have actually created more fracturing within the military and what will end up being more waste. As has been seen in the past and examples above, it should be expected that the Army, Navy, and Air Force will also want to do many space-based things themselves, such as maintain their own fleet of satellites. So instead of just having a single military that has its own satellites and share it among their internal divisions, each will pursue their own path while the Space Force also creates a new level of government all its own.
This would be like if a fast food chain had one division for cow beef, one division for chicken, and one division for fries, but they all buy fries because you can order fries with burgers or chicken patties. At the same time, said fast food restaurant would actually be competing for labor within itself as similarly skillset people would either work for the burger division, the chicken division, or the fries division instead of sharing the same labor across all.
You see where all of this is going? The military is a behemoth at nearly $1 trillion (with a “T” again!) in spending for the budgeted FY2019. Social Security is still the largest part of the budget at $1.1 trillion, but the military is not that far behind anymore. And this is probably a loose definition of “military” and not the entire definition of what we would put in the Department of Safety and Security. For now, it is as close to a number as we can get, so we will use it.
In order to be a streamlined operation, the components underneath the Department of Safety and Security need to merge into a singular approach for its namesake. One recruitment and career path through basic training to specialized services; one rank path so there is understanding of hierarchy that is vague between the branches today; one set of management for conflict engagement so that it is not a coordination effort between competing factions; one spending structure to make sure research and investment is for the entire organization and not repeated in several parts of it.
This document would not portend to have the entire structure that should be created and the solution to all the questions that need to be answered — everything from how housing to retirement benefits would work and how members of the former structure would be fit in. This would be the job of a President and his designated staff (most likely the Secretary of Safety and Security) to come up with a plan and lay out all of the real facts and figures of money saved, efficiencies gained, and overhead eliminated. To reorganize the entire military complex would take years to just analyze and even more years to implement. However, that does not mean it should not be done!
It is obvious from the numbers and structure alone that the military, intelligence, security, veterans, and other agencies are stepping all over each other’s toes. Time and again has resulted in operational failures because of incomplete data, lack of sharing and coordination between agencies, and general bureaucracy that makes it impossible to know who is truly responsible. Much more should be expected from a $1 trillion in spending.
At the same time, it is amazing how large, expensive, and active the military is given the lack of war declared by Congress. As a reminder, Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution says that only Congress has the ability:
Clause 11: To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
Clause 12: To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
Clause 13: To provide and maintain a Navy;
Clause 14: To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
Clause 15: To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
Clause 16: To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
In other words, only Congress can direct how the armed forces are to be used. The President is supposed to be Commander in Chief and follow the orders of Congress in use of the armed forces, but that has not happened for a long time. War has not been declared since World War II while Korea and Vietnam were more resolutions passed by Congress or actions taken unilaterally by the President through commitments to agencies like the United Nations (U.N.). However, Congress gave the President vast powers over the military in the 1973 War Powers Resolution, and that has mostly been used since, with Congress merely filling an appropriations role.
No, it is time to also recreate that separation and use the Constitution to make sure Congress cannot give away its responsibility while also making sure the President has the tools to fulfil his own.
TO BE CONTINUED…