Links

̶
Adam I. Gerard
TBD
TBD
TBD

Thinking About the Fragile States Index

This blog summarizes some concerns about America's national security situation.

Declining Cohesion

Personally, I think the United States fails in almost every one of the listed categories. Does that indicate that the United States is on its way to collapse or does it indicate that the methodology is wrong?

  1. Worth taking a read through each of these indicators: https://fragilestatesindex.org/indicators/s2/
  2. Over half of the US population thinks civil war is near: http://politics.georgetown.edu/press-releases/civility-press-release-oct-2019/

Militias, Vigilante Groups Forming

There are now hundreds of vigilante and militia groups that have formed. Such groups have (quite correctly) been identified as white nationalist or right-wing hate groups. However, there are many others that lack those components. Vigilante groups have now formed covering the ideological spectrum:

  1. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/8xymm5/an-up-close-look-at-americas-evolving-militia-movement
  2. https://www.aclu-nm.org/en/news/history-shows-dangers-unchecked-vigilantism
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/02/opinion/02tues3.html
  4. https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2019/04/26/new-mexico-town-worked-oust-vigilantes-who-partnered-border-patrol

Vigilante groups are indicative of state collapse, anarchy, and are always present prior to genocide.

Vigilantism typically collapses into murder, armed confrontations with police, etc. It also undermines the monopoly on the use of force concept that's central to the modern nation state.

Historically, the United States has been both conciliatory to (Texas Rangers) and in open warfare against vigilante groups (Ku Klux Klan).

Newsweek reports that police departments identify militias as the greatest threat.

What's key here is the legal definitions, concepts, and terms that apply rather than the broad use of a term.

Psychology is in Crises

70% of psychology research can't be reproduced (replicated). It's bogus, bad, wrong. And at tremendous taxpayer expense (with major legal and defense implications):

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/replication-crisis
  2. https://www.nature.com/news/over-half-of-psychology-studies-fail-reproducibility-test-1.18248
  3. https://www.psychologicalscience.org/news/psychologys-replication-crisis-is-running-out-of-excuses.html
  4. https://www.wired.com/story/darpa-wants-to-solve-sciences-replication-crisis-with-robots/
  5. https://www.wired.com/story/darpa-bs-detector-science/
  6. https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/8/27/17761466/psychology-replication-crisis-nature-social-science
  7. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/11/psychologys-replication-crisis-real/576223/

Most professional philosophers have been highly critical of academic psychology for years. Psychology began as a branch of philosophy (like almost all fields) back in the early 1900's. Gradually it separated from philosophy's influence.

For example, eliminativism is a dominant view which denies that traditional psychological concepts like beliefs, mental states, feelings, thoughts, etc. have objective existence (though they are quite useful). Instead all psychological talk done in science should focus solely on neuron architecture, neural computing, etc.

Death Squads Are Forming

Drug cartels have begun forming in Mexico. Almost half of Mexican territory is controlled by cartels and many government forces have defected.

As a result, Mexico is a paradigm "failed-state" (lawless anarchy - Sudan, Balkans) with more civilian deaths occurring daily than at the height of the Iraq War:

  1. https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/the-staggering-death-toll-of-mexicos-drug-war/
  2. https://nypost.com/2017/03/30/these-beautiful-women-are-drug-cartels-favorite-killers/
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/06/opinion/will-mexico-get-half-of-its-territory-back.html
  4. https://www.businessinsider.com/how-34-commandos-created-mexicos-most-brutal-drug-cartel-2015-3?amp
  5. https://www.insightcrime.org/news/brief/200000-people-involved-in-mexico-death-squads-congressman/
  6. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-11189017

As a result, the threat of an Iraq-style war in Mexico is surprisingly higher than one might think:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/07/opinion/mexico-mormons.html
  2. https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/12/05/trump-mexico-cartels-terrorist-group-amlo-united-states/
  3. https://govtrackinsider.com/identifying-drug-cartels-as-terrorists-act-would-officially-designate-seven-of-the-most-prominent-5cc04c694640
  4. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/12/12/20999191/trump-mexican-drug-cartels-terrorist-organizations-mexico-sinaloa-transnational-criminal-trafficking

This would have major ramifications domestically.

Personally, I opposed the Iraq War and I oppose all conventional warfare. We should have used special forces to track those responsible (which is exactly what we did when we actually caught Bin Laden).

Anti-Terrorism Policies

The United States has withdrawn from the U.N. Human Rights Security Council, has vastly expanded the scope of “Emergency Powers” (since 1970), and has modified its rulings equating extreme suffering with cruel and unusual punishment:

  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/01/presidential-emergency-powers/576418/
  2. https://www.npr.org/2018/06/19/621435225/u-s-announces-its-withdrawal-from-u-n-s-human-rights-council
  3. https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/supreme-court-ruled-cruel-unusual-punishment-no-longer-preclude-unusually-ncna989791
  4. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/in-kill-list-case-judge-questions-governments-unilateral-authority-to-kill-us-citizens-abroad/2018/05/01/ee4077e8-4d5c-11e8-b725-92c89fe3ca4c_story.html

Fundamentally Different Demographics

Most policies are geared toward a preceding (and now outdated) set of demographic conditions. Here are some ways things have fundamentally changed (that were very surprising to me):

  1. $90,000 median household income in Seattle 2019: https://datausa.io/profile/geo/seattle-wa
  2. About $12,000 median household total savings (USA): https://www.marketwatch.com/story/brace-yourself-this-is-how-much-americas-1-has-saved-2018-08-24
  3. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/27/heres-how-much-money-americans-have-in-savings-at-every-income-level.html
  4. Typical political discussions are inaccurate - there are major differences that go beyond the flimsy stereotypes: https://www.people-press.org/2017/10/24/political-typology-reveals-deep-fissures-on-the-right-and-left/0_1-4/
  5. https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/24/pew-deep-divisions-within-both-parties-244087

For example, there are actually far more "market skeptic conservatives" than there are traditional "laissez-faire capitalists" in the Republican Party now.

Left-Wing Terrorism

ANTIFA is already designated a domestic terrorist organization (and has been since the tail-end of the Obama era):

  1. https://www.newsweek.com/are-antifa-terrorists-658396
  2. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/antifa-domestic-terrorists-us-security-agencies-homeland-security-fbi-a7927881.html
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/07/19/ice-detention-center-attacker-killed-by-police-was-an-avowed-anarchist-authorities-say/

Different homeland security organizations have the ability to internally class groups independent of the President of the United States or the Military.

Why Are We Supporting Communist Manufacturing?

I keep tabs on developments in Asia (being an adopted South Korean-American citizen). South Korea has, I think, quite wisely begun disentangling itself with Communist China in an effort to move part of its industrial base to India and build better long-term business relationships.

South Korea's partnership with India is a wise move, India has the software and IT savvy that South Korea lacks. South Korea has the hardware expertise that India lacks.

  1. https://trak.in/tags/business/2020/04/18/south-korean-firms-want-to-ditch-china-move-manufacturing-to-india-hyundai-posco-in-talks/
  2. https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Business-trends/South-Korean-companies-shift-production-out-of-China

The United States and Europe should follow suit. By decoupling our economies from our adversaries, their clout to interfere with the world economy during times of aggression will diminish.

A key tenet (long upheld by several preceding international orders) was that economic integration decreases the threat of war. That's correct, it decreases the threat of war but the depth of this interrelationship has never been investigated with much specificity.

Each of the preceding, tightly intertwined, economic orders also collapsed due to war between its members: Napoleanic Continental System, European Congress of Vienna after Napolean, etc. Don't build your enemies' factories, roads, and businesses!

https://news.gallup.com/poll/247562/americans-favorability-ratings-countries-trends.aspx

Chinese Housing Market Manipulation

Many of the savage cost-of-living scenarios, misery, and prices that are seen on the West Coast are actually the result of Communist China's meddling:

  1. https://www.businessinsider.com/china-investors-inflating-housing-markets-in-us-canada-australia-2018-6
  2. https://www.barrons.com/articles/could-chinas-next-target-be-the-u-s-housing-market-1529596593
  3. https://www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1124865/us-china-play-fire-manipulating-housing-prices
  4. https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2019/08/09/how-is-the-us-china-trade-war-affecting-palo-alto-home-prices
  5. https://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/suit-alleges-bellevue-real-estate-investors-led-long-running-cult-like-ponzi-scheme-in-china/

Communist China's meddling causes misery, artificially high rental costs, incites people to support Socialism, etc. Its activities in controlling the housing markets should be curtailed!

Contents