In August of 2012, former President Obama warned the Syrian president not to cross the “red line” of using chemical weapons on the citizens of his country. As there are numerous treaties and international agreements limiting the manufacture and use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), this was an appropriate stance for Obama, as the president of the United States to take.
Regardless of what anyone thinks about it, the United States of America is the world’s police and has fulfilled that role since the end of World War II.
When corrupt governments or dictators break international law, it falls to us to punish them.
Oh, we could wait for the United Nations to do something, but that would take months and merely result in a paper that condemns “in the strongest language” the actions which broke international law and convention.
Bad actors, whether on the world stage or in the ghetto need to receive heavier consequences than a verbal warning. Criminals who receive a warning walk out of court with a smile on their face. The same happens with these international criminals, when all they receive is a verbal hand slap from the UN.
So President Assad should have expected the United States to do something more substantive than a verbal warning when he used chemical weapons on his own population, breaking international law. Trump’s red line speech has now been supported by military action, showing Assad and the world that there are lines that should not be crossed.
To anyone who understands international discourse and the use of limited military force as part of that, President Trump’s response to Assad’s use of chemical weapons on the 4th of April was appropriate. A measured military attack, taken out on a military target, sends the exact type of message that needs to be sent, without having to put boots on the ground or start a war.
The world’s reaction to Trump’s response was largely positive, with one UN Ambassador actually telling Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, that they were glad to see America leading once again. But not everyone was overjoyed. Both Russia and Iran, allies of Assad and Syria, have made threatening noises at the United States in response.
On one hand, that’s not at all surprising. Allies back up the action of each other. It was necessary for those countries to back up Assad’s actions, or risk being seen as untrustworthy on the world stage. But is there really a chance of war breaking out over the illegal actions of a despot ruler?
Video first seen on Fox News.
War with Iran
The idea of war with Iran isn’t anything new. They declared war on us, for the first time, in 1979. Since then, there have been other threats and declarations, making it clear that Iran doesn’t like us and would love to kick the United States into next week. There’s only one thing… they’re not big enough to do it.
With a population a fourth the size of the United States and a GDP per capita that’s less than a tenth of ours, Iran is not prepared in any way to fight a war with the USA. However, that’s not to say they will never be.
Thanks to Obama, Iran’s nuclear and missile programs are proceeding full steam ahead and will eventually result in the ability to launch nuclear tipped ICBMs. The only question is, where will they target them from?
The only real choices for Iran are the USA and Israel, as their decision would be made by their theocratic government. Iran were the ones to originally declare the US as the “Great Satan” giving Israel the title of being the “Lesser Satan.” In their world view, there is nothing more important than destroying both of these enemies.
Once Iran reaches the point of nuclear missiles, they could make a targeted nuclear attack against tiny Israel, causing extensive damage and possibly crippling the country. Depending on their targeting, they could either decapitate the government or severely damage their military. With enough missiles, they could totally destroy Israel as a political entity.
But an attack against the United States would be much harder to accomplish, both due to distance and our larger size. It would take hundreds of nuclear warheads to severely cripple the USA. Even trying to decapitate our government would be difficult, as NORAD could provide sufficient warning to get the key players out of Washington and into safe places.
War with Russia
While war with Russia is more likely from the viewpoint of comparable military strength, it is also more unlikely for the same reason.
Russia has the second most powerful military in the world, even stronger than ours in a few key areas (like tanks, armored personnel carriers and artillery). They also have a huge merchant marine, which could be pressed into service to transport their military.
But Russia doesn’t want war with the United States any more than the USA wants war with Russia.
What both countries want is to influence the rest of the world. That puts us at opposite sides many times. Russia still has imperial ambitions, something that has been made clear by some of Vladimir Putin’s actions towards Russia’s neighbors. But regardless of how good a story it makes, invading the American landmass is something that the Russians don’t want to do.
Any conflict that Russia has with the United States would be carried out by surrogates. They might support an ally, like Syria, even to the point of providing military hardware, training and even troops to help the fight, but they don’t want to go head-to-head with the US, any more than we want to with them.
Can We be Attacked?
None of this says that the United States of America can’t be attacked.
But one of the reasons that terrorism exists is that it provides smaller countries with a means of waging war against larger ones “on the cheap.” Terrorism doesn’t require huge amounts of manpower, a massive infrastructure and a huge financial investment.
Likewise, special operations can be taken out against specific targets in the United States, causing the country harm and even disrupting our government. But even as with terrorism, chances are that our government would figure out where the attack came from and retaliate against the country who sent those forces against us.
For over a century, the United States has operated under the principle that it is easier to fight wars overseas, then it is to fight them here at home. During World War II, we fought in Europe and the Pacific, preventing our enemies from getting close to our shores. This protected our population, our infrastructure and our manufacturing capability, allowing us to fight more effectively.
Our military commanders have not forgotten this lesson. One of the reasons we opposed the Soviet Union for so long, was to keep them from taking over the world and then coming after us.
Likewise, Bush’s “War on Terror” was about taking the fight to the terrorists, in their home countries, so as to minimize their ability to attack us here. In both cases, while it seemed like we were fighting someone else’s war, we were protecting vital American interests, as well as protecting our own country from attack.
The likelihood of anyone invading the USA is extremely slim. Both of our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, are allies, even though our relations with Mexico are a bit strained at times. Neither has the military power to attack the USA and neither has any reason to do so. Even with disagreement over illegal immigration, Mexico would lose too much if they were to attack the USA.
Yet there are two major military risks that the United States faces; those of Islamic terrorism and a high-altitude EMP. Either can cause huge amounts of harm to the United States, perhaps even ending our ability to be a major player on the world stage.
Preparing for War
Warfare of any sort is devastating. Much of Europe was decimated in World War II, with whole towns turned to rubble. The cost of rebuilding Europe after that war was measured in the billions, with the Marshall Plan alone counting for $40 billion.
Likewise, both terrorism and an EMP could have massive effects on our society, requiring several years and much money to recover.
If terrorism and an EMP are the two types of attacks that the United States has a potential to receive, then it only makes sense for us, as preppers, to be prepared for them.
While terrorism especially offers a wide range of possibilities, making it more or less impossible for us to accurately estimate its effects, there are some common things that we can think of, regardless of the type or scope of terrorist attack.
To start with, the answer to any terrorist attack is to thwart the attack before it can be realized.
When two Muslim terrorists tried to repeat the success of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Garland, Texas, their efforts bore little fruit. Armed Americans took out the terrorists before they could do more than wound one security guard. Had the people of France been armed, like those Texans were, chances are that the Charlie Hebdo attack would have ended much different.
Texas is the number two state in the nation for concealed carry licenses, with one out of every 37 citizens carrying legally. County Sheriff’s departments along the Texas/Mexican border see this as a major deterrent to terrorism, saying that no officer would have to draw his weapon, as the armed citizens would most likely end the attack before the police could arrive.
If you are a prepper and you don’t have a license to carry, then you are missing part of your preps. Granted, that’s not possible in all states, I understand that. But if you can legally get a license and carry, I have to ask, why aren’t you? Just do yourself and your neighbors a favor and make sure you practice enough to be competent.
While an EMP may not be as big a risk as terrorism, it would have a much greater impact. Of all the disasters that could befall us today, this is the most grave. According to the report of the EMP Commission, as much as 90% of the population could die within the first year after an EMP.
With that many people dying off, it’s quite possible that the country could never fully recover from an EMP. There wouldn’t be enough trained manpower to rebuild the electrical grid, let alone having the materials necessary to do so. An EMP would put the country back by more than 100 years.
Actually, it would be worse than that, as our modern society has lost many of the skills necessary to live without electricity and a massive infrastructure to support us. Few people are truly self-sufficient and surviving a world after an EMP would require the ability to do literally everything for yourself.
From growing your own food to fixing your own shoes, you would have to be able to do it all.
This is the greatest threat of our time, as well as the hardest to prepare for. Not only do we need to become self-sufficient, in order to survive such a scenario, but we also need to have the ability to defend ourselves from hungry gangs, willing to risk their lives for the chance to kill us to get our food.
In order to protect ourselves, we’re going to have to belong to a survival community. One family alone can’t survive attack after attack against their home, no matter how good they shoot, how much ammo they have and how well they are trained. Eventually, one family member will be shot, and then the defensive plan will begin to fall apart.
A survival community would stand a much better chance against such attacks. With a larger number of people in the community, it would be easier to develop an effective defensive plan. Not only that, but if something happened to one member of the team, it would be easier to make up for the loss.
Plans to adjust the defensive lines could be drawn up, so that in such a case, everyone would know what to do, so that your team could continue fighting.
Please note that I’m not advocating any sort of offensive action here, just defensive action.
While the best defense is a good offense, we must remain above board, so that no legal repercussions can come against us. Eventually law and order would be reestablished. We want to be on the right side, when that time comes.
This article has been written by Bill White for Survivopedia.