$612 billion dollars. Yup. Adding to the page every second like a how-much-you-can-save advertisement on the side of a Web page. This is our war debt.
The average American soldier costs the state $44,000 a year just in wages, and the wars themselves can cost hundreds of billions per month at their worst.
Perhaps we’re looking at this wrong. Why on earth should we be complaining about costs in this war? We, and the Greeks, are the only expansive civilizations that are missing some elite force. I don’t mean just Army Strong, but Army Pinnacle of Human Potential Almost As if Mythical. Teams like that used to be commonplace. After all the dollars spent on new technology, the answers have loomed in the past, hidden in plain sight.
Lin Kuei: A Chinese forest clan of men believed to have been descended from demons. We know them better as the ones who taught the secrets of the Ninja to an unsuspecting group of Japanese peasants. Peasants! And look at ’em today. As for loyalty, they were the assassins and bodyguards for the Chinese Royalty in feudal years (453-221 B.C.). That is a long time for any line of emperors to stay alive. Not quite a National Guard, but definitely not hard to fund if they lived in the woods.
Spartans: though The Interwebs have shrouded them in as much myth as ninjas themselves, they did fight the largest army ever to be assembled by 480 B.C. Although they had a strategic advantage of fighting in a narrow rock passage with no other entrance to the city of Sparta, the fact that they repelled an invasive force historians would call “a great flood of humans” similar to “a wave of the sea,” and that their withdrawal sent enough people through Asia as to destroy entire nations with their sheer wandering multitude shows that a lot can be done on a low budget. No body armor, no humvees, (no clothes,) none of this silly ‘retreating’ business when outnumbered or otherwise evenly matched. If a city of 32,000 can be defended by 300, we can scratch the nuclear weapons maintenance off of our nation’s to-spend-on list.
Thuggee, worshippers of Hindu destruction goddess Kali, were the closest to what sergeants dream of being able to do today. They terrorized India for centuries using a yogic technique of what history regards as invisibility and even teleportation across thousands of miles. The old climb-up-a-rope-hanging-in-midair trick was their idea. Amazingly enough, we experimented with the “trick” in World War II: best known as the Philadelphia Experiment, it made an entire warship, crew and all, disappear. Though the experiment was meant to make the ship “invisible” to radar, it succeeded far too literally. The technique if used today could, through the employment of invisible teleporting monks, make entire nuclear bases disappear. What nation would complain that invisible people stole from them a facility they weren’t supposed to have had in the first place?
The list of expert mercenaries weaves throughout history: and they may have been a chief reason the U.S. lost in Vietnam. At the time, each bullet cost 13 cents, and the U.S. used no shortage of them in addition to its arsenal of napalm and warheads. The Vietcong, inversely, had sappers on their side. A single assault team of the elite combat engineers could consist of 3-5 men, and assault teams were still able to destroy key bridges and military installations throughout the war. The U.S. employed combat engineers similarly and by the same name, but to less notable effect.
Who else comes to mind? The Japanese Samurai, the Norse Berserkers, and even Korean Warrior Monks would each do the trick. Why spend $4.5 million on an unmanned Predator aircraft, or $6.21 million on a M1A2 Abrams tank, when you could send in an elite squad to do the same job?
Unfortunately, the U.S. military budget could easily be funding the recreation of all of them and we wouldn’t know it.