Friday, December 26, 2008

Some post-holiday cheer from the U.S. Army War College

Post business columnist John Crudele had this item the other day:

ARE you afraid that the economic downturn could get out of hand? I mean, really out of hand?
Well, don't worry.
The US Army War College is on the case -- ready to handle "unforeseen economic collapse" and the "rapid dissolution of public order in all or significant parts of the US."
And you thought we were just dealing with a recession!
In a report published Nov. 4 -- just in time for the holiday season -- the War College's Strategic Studies Institute posited a number of shocks that the country should be prepared for, including unrest caused by the economy's failure.
The report has a snappy title, "Known Unknowns: Unconventional 'Strategic Shocks' in Defense Strategy Development," and was written by Nathan Freier, a visiting professor at the college. The foreword was written by Col. John A. Kardos, director of the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute.
Freier lists a number of possible things we should worry about - because we probably don't have enough of our own -- including run-of-the-mill terrorism and the fact that China and Russia could align against us politically and economically.
"Some of the most plausible defense-relevant strategic shocks remain low-probability events," Freier soft-pedals before going on to scare the hell out of us.
The War College says "widespread civil violence inside the US would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security."
Among things Freier wants us to worry about are "deliberate employment of weapons of mass destruction. . . unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency and catastrophic natural and human disasters."

Happy New Year!

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