Privatizing the United States Army Was a Mistake
February 3, 2020 2:49 PM   Subscribe

"It all sounded so attractive, from both a financial and emotional point of view. Instead of feeling responsible for veterans, we could now outsource our guilt. We could finally have it all."
posted by They sucked his brains out! (13 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
I have to think about if I agree with the war bond story.
posted by PMdixon at 3:06 PM on February 3


It's far enough out to seem unlikely, but close enough to reality to have a very relevant message nonetheless.
posted by wierdo at 3:37 PM on February 3


Hmm. It's an interesting essay. But I sense a flaw in the vision.

Seems like the megacorps already have the best of all world models. They make everything the military uses, from bombs to peanut butter, they make the taxpayers (excluding the upper 1%ers) pay for it, and they don't have to worry about strikes.

Why in the world would they want to allow us to privatize the military?
posted by mule98J at 4:20 PM on February 3 [3 favorites]


Some holes:

We saw it in 2031 when China used its purchase of Bayer (which owned Monsanto, which owned the rights to almost all our corn and soybean seeds) to scare us away from Taiwan. For all we know, right now, our mercenary strike may very well be fueled by a Sino-Russian offer to buy Maniple right out from under us. And if that happens, our enemies won’t have to defeat our armed forces. They’ll legally own them.

There's some other force implied here - who's enforcing IP laws? The big purpose of the global intellectual property regime is for decadent Westerners to extract wealth from the developing world, why would the US enforce (or pay to enforce) this regime against itself? What does it mean to "own" Maniple and who enforces that - I imagine more likely Maniple just serves whoever makes the nicest offer.

If America protects our corporations, then they should protect America.

"Our corporations," is a laugh, they contract directly with Maniple for protection services and the legacy sovereign gets mined for content and marketing value. The second half of that is well underway IRL.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 4:35 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


The establishment of a standing United States Army was a mistake.
posted by kevinbelt at 4:37 PM on February 3 [10 favorites]


Then who would have saved the Whiskey?
posted by clavdivs at 6:50 PM on February 3


Not sure where I read the article - probably The Baffler . When the US elected Eisenhower, his major concern was the stranglehold that the military-industrial complex was creating, and what he warned everyone in his and the following administration to keep in check. So the man who knew the most about the military was the most worried.

And there are alternatives

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/01/05/costa-rica-celebrate-70-years-no-army/977107001/

When the ABC (Australian) did an in-depth story on Costa Rica, the pointed to the Electoral College as the other institution responsible for the current success of the country.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 8:42 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Not sure where I read the article - probably The Baffler . When the US elected Eisenhower, his major concern was the stranglehold that the military-industrial complex was creating, and what he warned everyone in his and the following administration to keep in check. So the man who knew the most about the military was the most worried.

Are you thinking of Eisenhower's farewell address?
posted by PMdixon at 5:37 AM on February 4 [3 favorites]


Well, why are the Chinese and the Russians 'peacekeeping' in Quebec? Surely the only nation on earth that's going to bother invading Canada is the USA, and there's really not much reason to bother.

This quibble in no way undercuts the general argument, but it's bugging me.
posted by jrochest at 1:55 PM on February 5


In this situation, the expedition to Quebec would be for the purpose of placing tanks and whatever future weapons on the USG's border.

The excuse would be something to do with Francophone separatism or reactions to it.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 3:12 PM on February 5 [2 favorites]


Well, why are the Chinese and the Russians 'peacekeeping' in Quebec?

Fresh water, soon to be a luxury in our timeline.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:29 PM on February 6




Agreed, They Sucked his brains out!, but I'd expect the invaders to be the USA, not China and Russia. :)
posted by jrochest at 7:15 PM on February 10


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