A condensed version of this article was published in two parts in the November 21, 2011 print edition of American Free Press:
Part I: U.S. Military Believes National Debt Now Most Serious Threat to America
Part II: (which can be accessed online here) Will U.S. Army Be Used To Crush Public Resistance?
by Keith Johnson
The United States is well on its way to becoming one giant third world country as insurmountable debt, depression level unemployment, and rising costs for basic necessities continue to crush the poor and middle class. It is now no longer a question as to if or when the economy will collapse, but rather how soon the American people will realize that it is already upon them.
The Occupy Wall Street protests that have now spread to every major city in the nation is a good sign that some have finally begun to wake up. But many of them are still relying on the same government that created the problem to come up with a solution to it.
Meanwhile, elected politicians and their faithful lackeys in the mainstream media continue to peddle lies and disinformation to those still living in denial. Using mathematical and linguistic trickery, they strive to convince the naïve that the current financial crisis is only temporary, cyclical, and well on its way to making a full recovery.
Perhaps if the American people simply had the wherewithal to look over the shoulders of these talking heads, they might be surprised to learn that their government has already conceded that the end is nigh—and that behind the scenes—they have been bracing for the fallout of a large-scale economic breakdown for several years.
The most recent evidence of this came in late October, when the U.S. Army sponsored their annual “Alternative Futures Symposium” in Chantilly, Virginia. This three-day session was covered in great detail by trade publication National Defense. According to their report, “The seminar included 85 experts from academia, industry, civilian government agencies, U.S. and foreign militaries” who concluded that the United States economy was on the verge of collapse, and that its burgeoning debt now took precedence as the most serious threat to national security.
Speaking on behalf of the U.S. military, Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Donahue II conceded that bloated military budgets would likely be a thing of the past, and that branches of the armed services would have to learn to cope with less. “How are we going to come up with a military that [might be smaller but] is still effective?” he asked. “That is the big issue that the Army is facing.”
Among the other participants was Robert A. Weidermeier, author of the best-selling book “Aftershock: Protect Yourself and Profit in the next Global Financial Meltdown,” who told the group that starting in 2013 and through 2015 is “when we’re going to see bad things.”
What is notable about Weidermeier’s prediction is that 2013 marks the 100-year anniversary of the Federal Reserve, whose liberal printing of paper currency has incrementally caused the dollar to lose more than 95% of it’s original purchasing power.
Weidermeier says that things have not yet spiraled out of control because interest rates have been kept low, but that even a 1 percent increase could inflate the debt by $150 billion per year. “That’s about the same as the entire budget for the Army,” Weidermeier said. “When you hit 10 percent, all bubbles burst.”
Although that assessment is dire, it may be an underestimation of the true severity of the impending crisis. Weidermeier bases his calculations on the supposition that the U.S. debt is somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 trillion, when in reality it may be well over a hundred times that amount. In August, economics professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff, who served as a senior economist on President Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, told National Public Radio that the U.S. ignores “unofficial” payment obligations like Medicare and Social Security when computing the national debt. “If you add up all the promises that have been made for spending obligations, including defense expenditures, and you subtract all the taxes that we expect to collect, the difference is $211 trillion. That’s the fiscal gap,” says Kotlikoff. “That’s our true indebtedness.”
Frank Finelli, managing director of The Carlyle Group, a global asset management firm, was another speaker at the symposium who warned that the Federal Reserve was largely responsible for the crisis, noting that the Fed’s balance sheet had more than tripled since 2007 by $2.5 trillion. “Such tremendous increase in the money supply has not been accompanied by economic growth in the United States,” said Finelli.
He went on to say that China would weather the financial crisis far better than the United States or Europe, and that its strength would not be exerted through missiles or submarines, but rather from its immense wealth. “China does view financial power as an exercise of power in a way that the United States does not,” says Finelli. “The United States only exercises financial power through its corporations.”
This most recent symposium was part of the U.S. Army’s “Unified Quest 2012” exercise, the latest in a series of annual war games that—in recent years—has focused on America’s response to a global financial meltdown.
In November 2010, CNBC’s Eamon Javers had this to say about last year’s exercise: “Ever since the crash of 2008, the defense intelligence establishment has really been paying a lot of attention to global markets and how they can serve as a threat to U.S. national security interests.”
Javers goes on to report, “The Army is having a very interesting yearlong exercise called Unified Quest 2011. In that war gaming series, the Army is looking at the implications of a large scale economic breakdown in the U.S. that would force the Army to keep domestic order amid civil unrest, and deal with global fragmented power and drastically lower budgets.”
According to Javers, 30 military officials from the Marine Corps war colleges visited the trading floor of JP Morgan in October 2010 to study markets and the economy. “So you can see that all different parts of the Pentagon and defense intelligence establishment are looking at markets, and looking at ways they can present a new kind of threat to the United States,” says Javers. “These are the guys whose job it is to think of the very worst things that could possibly happen—and they’ve dreamed up some very scary scenarios here.”
Inside Defense magazine also reported on Unified Quest 2011 in a November 2010 article entitled “Army Officials Think Through the What-If’s of a Global Economic Collapse,” where it was revealed, “Officials picked the scenario of a worldwide economic collapse because it was deemed a plausible course of events given the current global security environment. In such a future, the United States would be broke, causing a domino effect that would push economies across the globe into chaos.”
According to Army Lt. Col. Mark Elfendahl, these were some of the conclusions drawn during a three-day session connected to that exercise: “The Army would have to significantly alter its investment portfolio, focusing on light and inexpensive forces” and that “an increased focus on domestic activities might be a way of justifying whatever Army force structure the country can still afford.”
In an almost light hearted manner, the article concludes by saying, “The only silver lining: The Army would have an influx of qualified recruits as the result of an unemployment rate between 25 percent and 30 percent.”
Tracing the government’s contingency plans back even further—to 2008—we find a prominent American newspaper and a foreign news agency both reporting on the Pentagon’s plans to confront the repercussions of an economic meltdown in the not-so-distant future.
According to a Russia Today report from 2008: “Twenty thousand additional U.S. uniformed troops, set to be trained by 2011, are to help as a response to the threat of a possible mass terror attack or civil unrest following an economic collapse.”
And from the Washington Post: The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials.”
More recently, in a July 2011 article for the popular alternative news website The Intel Hub, Shepard Ambelas writes that the Pentagon’s 2008 announcement dovetails “into the current troop and equipment movements around the country reported by truckers as well as many troop sightings by everyday citizens.”
Ambelas goes on to write, “The military is already taking an active role in numerous domestic policing activities in close to a dozen states including Florida, Tennessee, California, Alabama and Pennsylvania.”
It may be no mere coincidence that the recent announcement by President Obama to have all troops return from Iraq by the end of 2011 coincides with the anticipated economic collapse. Will those troops now deployed on the streets of America? An even more relevant question might be: Will those troops exact the same toll on this nation as they did to the one they just left?