Finally, my new book is out (Arktos, London). Written mostly in 2020 and co-authored by “John Ewald,” a nom de plume for someone vulnerable to DOD retaliation, Reforging Excalibur: Creating a Sustainable and Relevant Defense for 21st-Century America has two goals. The first is re-structuring our grand strategy and armed forces for a world of Fourth Generation war, where the enemy is not other Great Powers but non-state forces such as al Qaeda, ISIS and drug cartels. The second is getting ready for the inevitable debt crisis, financial crisis and hyper-inflation, which will drastically reduce the amount we can spend for defense. When those titanic economic forces hit, we will be lucky if we can spend $100 billion (in today’s dollars) for defense, not the trillion we spend now.
The 90% reduction in our defense budget will not be voluntary; Reforging Excalibur does not advocate it, because there is no need for advocacy. We will have no choice. Rather, my new book shows how it can be done while preserving our ability to defend ourselves effectively. “Defend” means just that: keeping Americans safe in their homes and beds, not attempting to dictate to the rest of the world. We would still play an important role in the world, but it would be in the context of a new and very different national grand strategy. Our new grand strategy would have as its goal the preservation of the international state system in the face of spreading state collapse, itself both a consequence and a cause of Fourth Generation war. Our National Defense Strategy, which currently calls for preparing for war with Russia and China, would instead seek an alliance with both countries and then through that new Triple Alliance an alliance of all states in defense of the state system.
Objections will immediately be raised that we are now in a proxy war with Russia and Ukraine. That is true, but why are we careful to keep it a proxy war rather than engaging U.S. and Russian armed forces directly? Because Russia is a nuclear power – as is China. Nuclear powers do not fight conventional wars with each other because the risk of escalation to nuclear war is too great. Is Kiev worth Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago? No, and even the hucksters saying we must spend trillions preparing for such wars know it. The current National Defense Strategy is a fraud.
Other lessons from the Russian-Ukrainian war also point away from classic state vs. state conflict. Russia, still thinking in those terms, launched a World War II style attack on Ukraine. And how has that worked out for them? Their initial attempt at a Blitzkrieg-type campaign failed. It failed because a Russian army is not a Prussian army. Russia has now fallen back on a typical Russian approach, relying on mass artillery followed by very expensive assaults by poorly trained infantry. Ukraine seems to have learned something of maneuver warfare, i.e. the German style of war, and is practicing it rather well. Is there perhaps some historic memory of German-Ukrainian ties in both World Wars?
Russia also found itself in a people’s war, not just a war between two armies. From Napoleon in Spain onward, where that happens the invader faces a hard and lengthy slog to victory, or more often defeat. People’s war is not per se Fourth Generation war. It is not 4GW in Ukraine (despite some writers’ mis-definition of 4GW as just guerilla warfare) because it is still being fought in a state vs. state framework. Where Fourth Generation war may rear a very dangerous threat is if Russia and the Russian state collapses. That is not impossible, and it is why French President Macron among others is correctly warning against humiliating Russia. A failure of the Russian state would give the forces of 4GW by far the greatest victory they have won to date, one we would find difficult to contain.
All this puts my new book well outside anything being considered within the Washington establishment. So does one other point it makes forcefully: if you want your armed forces to lose,there is no more effective way to set them up than by filling them with women. The cultural Marxists will howl, as will our senior military “leaders” who prostrate themselves before Feminism, but facts are facts. When we see something that has been true for all of human history in almost every corner of the world, in this case that the fighting is done by men, there is probably a good reason for it. Stuffing women into every nook and cranny of our military is, to borrow Roger Kimball’s apt phrase, an “experiment against reality.” It will not end well.
Anyway, the establishment will hate this book. I can give it no higher recommendation for your own reading.