I was reading the newspaper today and came across a reference to the work of a man named Robert Martinage, who apparently is involved with the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment. CSBA sounds like a yawner until you hear the title of the paper Mr. Martinage recently produced for them: Toward A New Offset Strategy: Exploiting U.S. Long-Term Advantages To Restore U.S. Global Power Projection Capability. Still not sexy enough for you? How about if I tell you the executive summary for the paper begins with the premise that our enemies (much of the rest of the world) aren’t as afraid of us as they were in the 1950s (when we had more nukes than they did) or the 1970s (when we took the lead in technologically-advanced conventional weapons)? What to do?
Mr. Martinage proceeds to propose a program of cost-conscious (according to him) steps that he believes will restore our status as King of the Hill, Top Dog, Big Kahuna, or whatever in the eyes of pretty much everyone else on earth. When you boil it all down and take a picture of it from, say, the moon, you see a globe bristling with enhanced, mostly conventional weapons in the skies, across the land, and lurking beneath the seas. If we can just get the Pentagon, and Congress, and whoever occupies the White House to stay the course on funding the upgrades, according to Mr. Martinage, we should once again be able to stand atop the Empire State Building and thump our chests King Kong style by the 2020s, while the rest of the world cowers in our shadow.
Mr. Martinage writes well and convincingly. For a fleeting moment I thought maybe we should listen to him. But when I reread some of his articulate prose–stuff like high-energy lasers, electromagnetic rail guns, mobile-relocatable target killers, coastal defense cruise missiles, sea-deployed naval mines, long endurance unmanned aerial vehicles, counter-space capabilities to deter attacks on our satellites, unmanned undersea vehicles, missile pods at the bottom of the ocean–and thought about what all of those weapons were for, I couldn’t stop myself from picturing high-tech, reasonable-cost devices obliterating or maiming countless human beings, most of whom have no more quarrel with me than I have with them. It’s the same approach nations have been taking since the dawn of recorded history. The fact that Mr. Martinage expresses a sense of urgency in getting the upgrade started soon tells us the traditional methods simply have not worked. I don’t want my nation to run the world and I don’t want the rest of the world to be afraid of me. Enough of the killing and violence already. Thus, we come to Bumper Sticker #16:
OPPOSE FULL SPECTRUM DOMINANCE.
That ought to at least raise a few eyebrows when you drive by folks on the highway.