To which I, your obtuse and insensible host oh my bothers and only friends, replied:
The modern USN is a strike force as it is too small to function as a convoy protection force. As such it has only limited ability to protect "sea lanes". The unanswered question of course is always "from whom?". The major powers, having nuclear weapons, are not going to get in a naval battle, the lesser powers are not going to engage in more than local skirmishes as the disparity between them and the major powers is too great, and state navies are too inflexible to deal effectively with piracy, which is a nuisance to shipping, not an existential threat.
"the vast majority are involved in a variety of liaison, peacekeeping, training, and humanitarian operations worldwide"
How nice, but this is not the mission they are equipped or trained for. BTW, where were they when Americans needed them in New York on 9/11 or New Orleans in Katrina? Oh yeah! They were busy defending the rest of the world.
"over their refusal to recognize the reality that in todays shrinking world, we must have forces positioned to interdict threats before the come to our shores. And given the abject failure that is the United Nations, only America stands willing spend the treasure and lives to maintain the peace for international trade."
Do not taunt us with imaginary Hobgoblins, do tell what these threats that if we do not confront them "over there" will come "over here", and disrupt international trade. C'thulu perhaps? A containment strategy for the Great Old Ones is in order! Ia! Iä!
The vague threat is a favorite tool of tyrants and profiteers trying to milk the commons for their liberty, treasure, and lives.
To my pleasure and edification he replied to me:
TimH: "Do not taunt us with imaginary Hobgoblins, do tell what these threats that if we do not confront them "over there" will come "over here", and disrupt international trade. C'thulu perhaps? A containment strategy for the Great Old Ones is in order!"
Never hurts to keep a few protecting enchanted charms around.
Mine is a .50 Caliber Barrett 82A1 rifle, in the hands of a well trained Marine.
But I do agree with you that the US Military is not- and should not - be involved in Humanitarian missions. I would far rather that if we are going to do such things, we create a para military organization, not unlike the Coast Guard, that could deal with such things - both internally and externally.
To which I replied:
Not too bad of an idea at all, but to pay for it you would still have to drastically downsize the military juggernaut.
"Never hurts to keep a few protecting enchanted charms around.
Mine is a .50 Caliber Barrett 82A1 rifle, in the hands of a well trained Marine."
That is one protective charm, but there are other, more powerful ones as well. Namely, a people jealous of their liberty, moderate in appetite, pious in belief, in need of few laws as as their civic virtue suffices to operate common affairs, with a fierce spirit of self-reliance and self-protection, who cannot be cowed or bought by tyrants and overlords, foreign or domestic. Without this, the Marine will eventually come to despise his own countrymen, seeing them as effete and unworthy of his sacrifices (this trend is already underway within the US military), and with it, the Marine is little more than a full-time version of his own countrymen!
War is fought on the physical, tactical, strategic, logistic/economic, and moral/psychological levels, in that order, and a higher level always trumps a lower one. The current disposition of the US military, a 2nd generation military, pretending to be 3rd generation, trying to fight 4th generation opponents, inverts this, and gives our enemies an insurmountable advantage in modern warfare.