Recently commissioners of San Francisco declared San Francisco a "military free zone." Anti-war protests again are happening on America's campuses, and calls to impeach Bush are on the rise because of our involvement in Iraq. Don't these people understand that the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union don't mean that America is in any less danger? Perhaps they need to reminded of the rise of other world threats:
China has been increasing spending on military equipment,expanding the size of their military force to include an enormous army and a deep-water navy that could challenge the United States in waters all over the world.
The concern is that U.S. interests in East Asia, the Straights of Malacca, and even in the Western Hemisphere, could be thwarted by Chinese businessmen backed up by their navy and expanding army.
Japan can't help but notice the rising threat by its neighbor, China, and is revising its constitution to allow them "broaden the government's ability to send forces overseas... [and] The revision also opens the door to a broader interpretation of the constitution, permitting what some call "collective self-defense" -- or coming to the military aid of other countries."
Russia, flush with oil wealth, again is making a resurgence, but not without international tension.
Relations between Washington and Moscow are at their lowest ebb in 10 years, and in his recent Address to the Federal Assembly -- equivalent to the State of the Union address -- Putin remarked that "far from everyone in the world has abandoned the old bloc mentality and the prejudices inherited from the era of global confrontation." The speech as a whole was an intricate balance between the need to arrest Russia's internal societal decline -- one-third of the population, which is shrinking rapidly, lives in poverty -- and a desire to play an ever-greater role in world affairs. Moscow's involvement in the Iranian nuclear affair is a case in point. Its refusal to sanction serious Security Council measures against Tehran is a growing source of concern to the United States and Britain.
This newfound confidence has its basis in Russia's economic resurgence since the collapse of the rouble in 1998, the single largest cause of which is the high (and rising) price of oil...
Continued tensions betweenThe Koreas and between North Korea and the United States are matters of concern. Disturbances from Iran and its surrogates, such as Hamas and other Palestinian groups threaten and annoy Israel and the United States.
The is no let up "The War on Terror", the "War" in Iraq, and tensions and hostility in the Middle East. The rise in the price of oil and oil products cause by increased competition among nations for access in a crucial reason for keeping our military as our economy and lifestyle are based on oil.
South America is not tension free:
Populists movements in Venzuela, Bolivia, and Peru are worrisome, joining the ranks of Cuba and Brazil in a growing dissatisfaction with the U.S. As an example, Venezuela is actually teaming with Iran and has decided to buy war planes from Russia.
Mexico's upcoming elections could put a populist president in power. Nevertheless, relations with Mexico have been tense because of the strain over immigration, the border, and the legalization of many millions of Mexican migrants that are present in the United States, inducing the United States to post armed National Guardsmen close to the border.
The head of the U.S. National Guard surprised Border Patrol officials, declaring some of the troops he will send to assist them will work in close proximity to the border, be armed and allowed to fire their weapons if necessary.
"Any soldier assigned to a mission where he would be placed in harm or danger, where his life would be threatened potentially, will in fact be armed and will have the inherent right of self-protection," Lt. Gen. H. Steven Blum told the San Antonio Express-News Thursday.
Federal troops are scheduled to begin deployment to the four states on the Mexican border next week once the Guard and the Defense Department approve the memorandum of understanding that will define the mission's parameters. The document will also require signatures from the border governors.
Representatives from the National Guard and the offices of the governors of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California have been meeting in Phoenix this week to craft an agreement on the use of force. The talks have focused on "harmonization" of the different states' laws on self-defense and the use of deadly force, said Texas National Guard commander Army Maj. Gen. Charles G. Rodriguez.
The rules of engagement "will be the same in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas," said Blum.
According to the current plan, the National Guard will conduct border securty operations for two years while the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs increase their numbers. The number of troops deployed at any given time would represent less than 2 percent of available Guard forces, none of which will be assigned from states likely to experience hurricanes this year.
While the Guard will assist with many support functions – conducting aerial surveillance and reconnaissance, building new roads and fences, providing intelligence and analysis to help track illegal crossings, transporting Border Patrol officers and detainees, and assisting with a number of logistics functions – some of their duties will put them in close proximity to the border and illegal crossers.
Troops stationed at vehicle inspection stations and engineers working along the border could be armed, said Blum, with M-16s, 9-mm handguns and shotguns.
"But we're not going to be carrying machine guns. We're not going to be carrying heavy weapons. We're not at war here," Blum said, adding he wants his troops "to be in a position to protect themselves."
Some folks seem to think that withdrawal into the territory of the United States would solve all America's problems. However, U.S. interests could not be protected without the use of the military and access oil and other necessary commodities would surely be denied, or be used as a weapon against us by hostile countries or groups such as al Qaeda.
The catalog listed above is only a small sampling of current and possible conflicts for which we a strong military.