Chapter: 25

National Defense

“War is politics carried on by other means, to compel our adversaries to submit to our will.”—Carl von Clausewitz 

“Organized war . . . is a highly planned and co-operative form of theft.”—Jacob Bronowski

National defense is a necessary function only in the short run, while there are political states. In a free, non-coercive, prosperous and productive society, even a small one, high technology and productivity would make that society impregnable to attack.—Andrew J. Galambos 1


Andrew J. Galambos, whose thought is the basis for this website, posited that successful large-scale defense would be based on defending life, liberty, and property of a people who are a nation.

Chapter 26 of Capitalism: The Liberal Revolution explains a social technology of providing the means of large-scale defense on a proprietary, non-political basis. Chapter 26 has its basis in chapters 23 and 24 on insurance and security, and in part on this chapter 25, text accompanying notes 108-110, concerning private military firms. Without them, the United States could not have had the military capability it employed in its large wars since the U.S. became an independent political state.

Large-scale defense would be offered as a contract by insurance companies, in cooperation with security companies. The people of a nation would pay for their defense by paying insurance companies, and insurance companies would avail themselves of security companies.

In a politically ruled society, the politically chosen protectors are the cause of war. States cause wars either by starting them or by failure to deter aggression by other states or, when an aggressor is not deterred, by failing to take preemptive military action to nip aggression in the bud.

In a free society organized by voluntary, contractual association, the protectors would never be the cause of war because they would have everything to lose and nothing to gain by war.

The case of Switzerland is illustrative of the ideas posited above. The Swiss nation has had a long-standing policy of neutrality in the disputes of other nations. Swiss law prohibits a citizen from participating in military operations outside the country’s borders. Within those borders the Swiss are well organized to resist attack. Consequently, no other nation since the time of Napoleon has attacked Switzerland because Swiss preparedness makes the price too high.

In chapter 25 it is noted that the Swiss were isolated in WW II. They could rely on no outside help. That would not be true in a world where global insurance and military companies would be available to help defend any nation, large or small, that contracted for such help.

There is a seemingly logical objection to the idea that people would pay for large-scale defense on a voluntary basis. That is, no one could be compelled to buy defense insurance.

Galambos explained in his lectures that most people would not pay for defense insurance. Rather, it would be large businesses and large-scale property owners that pay for defense insurance. Galambos posited that everybody would benefit from the defense protection purchased by large-scale businesses.

All costs of any business are passed on to customers through the prices they pay for the goods and services. Large businesses in aggregate provide goods and services to almost everybody. Therefore, almost everybody would pay for large-scale defense indirectly, through the purchase of goods and services provided by large companies.


This chapter addresses the falsity of one of the most pernicious beliefs of humanity: that only politically established government can provide national defense. Even intellectuals who favor extremely limited government, such as the great Austrian economist Ludwig von Mises, say that explicitly.

Political states are not capable of protecting people from foreign military aggression. To the contrary, political states initiate wars in which those under their control suffer greatly, or fail adequately to protect people from death and destruction due to attack, including retaliatory attack, by foreign nations.

This chapter posits that by a train of decisions and actions starting in 1898 the United States of America involved its military in a war with the Empire of Japan that cost the needless death of 110,000 men in the U.S. armed forces.

The belief has been widespread that Russia needed its communist dictatorship to defend its people against Nazi Germany in WW II. However, before WW II, the communist dictatorship weakened the Russian people so terribly that their ability to resist the German invasion was badly compromised. From 1921 until just before an army of four million German troops invaded Russia in June 1941, the Russian communist rulers cooperated extensively and significantly with Nazi Germany’s rearmament. Considering the foregoing, it is almost miraculous that the Russian people defeated Nazi Germany in WW II, a war that Dictator Joseph Stalin said Russia would have been lost without American production that went to the aid of Russia. 2 Yet the myth persists throughout the world that despite all their faults the Russian communists led the people of Russia to victory in a “Great Patriotic War,” as the communists entitled Russian participation in WW II.


Political governments are unable to defend their citizens and to the contrary cause great harm to their citizens through needless warring.

In World War II the principal combatants suffered enormous military and civilian casualties:

  • Russia (Soviet Union): 8.7 to 13.5 million military fatalities and 13 to 18 million civilian
  • Germany: 4.3 to 5.5 million military fatalities and 1.5 to 3.5 million civilian
  • Japan: 2.1 military and 600,000 civilian
  • China 3 to 4 million military and 12 to 16 million civilian
  • Great Britain: 384,000 military and 67,000 civilian
  • Italy: 300,000 military and 150,000 civilian
  • France: 200,000 military and 300,000 civilian
  • United States: 407,000 military and 12,000 civilian (including 9,500 in the merchant marine)

Civilian non-combatants comprised half of the total of approximately 65 million fatalities caused by WW II.


In every nation listed above, including the United States of America, the nation’s government did some, one, or all of the following that brought war upon its people: initiated war, or pursued a course of conduct that made war inevitable, or failed adequately to protect its citizens from known dangers from aggressor nations.

NOTE: This chapter is not a history, although it recounts historical events. In this chapter emphasis has been placed on the United States of America and Switzerland, because events in the U.S. and Switzerland during the 1930s and in 1940-1941 illustrate a number of themes of this chapter. These include the fact that with the exception of Switzerland, political democracies failed to defend their citizens from foreign aggression, the possibilities available to a people for national defense without war, and that high technology and high productivity can provide a defense superior to the offensive capabilities of aggressor nations.

There are solutions to the problem of national defense that do not require fighting wars, solutions involving national policy, science and technology, and human freedom and productivity, subjects that are addressed in this chapter and the chapter immediately following.


Given the perpetual warring that has afflicted humanity it may seem incomprehensible and utopian to declare that war will vanish from human society. However, war must vanish if humanity is to survive the advent of weapons of mass destruction. Until readers consider the premises and proof in this chapter and the following chapter, it is hoped that they will reserve judgment on the prospects for a national defense that is provided in the same way as private security, that is to say without the political state which has failed to protect lives and property, but instead attacks them.

As Andrew Galambos observed, national defense is an issue only in the transition from politics and political coercion to a globally universal non-coercive stateless society. If political states wither away and vanish, as CTLR posits they are in process of doing, there will be no nations to attack or to defend.

A way out of the predicament of state-caused wars

This chapter posits that the only way for a nation to defend itself successfully in all circumstances is with private enterprise; and that a strong, centralized state is incapable of defending the people it rules. Strong, centralized states cause wars in which their citizens suffer terribly, from both the conduct of the war and from the retaliation of other nations.

The best national defense is never to attack other nations. As the Swiss say, when time and again their policy of neutrality keeps them out of war, they win by not participating.

The supposed justification of political government is its power to enforce peaceable relations among its citizens and to provide means to settle disputes between citizens peaceably. There is no means of enforcing peaceable relations between political governments of the various nations. Two attempts have been made to create a supra-national peacekeeper: the League of Nations (1920-1938), and the United Nations, established in 1945. Neither of these organizations has been able to enforce peaceable relations among nations. Otherwise there would have been no wars since 1920.

Political governments are the creation of human beings. Political governments can fall under the control of people who want to use the power of the state to wage war, including religious wars and civil wars pitting the people of a nation against each other. Coercive political power is used to raise armies, to conscript citizens into those armies and to tax the rest of the people to pay for the cost of the armies and the wars they are sent to wage.

There is a near universal belief that there is no way out of this predicament—the predicament of entrusting power to a political government in order to provide for national defense only to have that political government create the very risk of war, and actual wars, that political government was supposed to protect against.

There is a way out of this predicament. It is described in this chapter and in the following chapter 26 entitled “Insuring and Assuring National Defense.” That way is to do something different—to turn away from politics and to look to a choice between competing security services for protection, including protection from external aggression. This different way envisions that security would be provided like any other service, by organizations which compete with each other to provide protective services; organizations that people can select and that they can choose not to patronize because there are competitors ready, willing and able to act as protectors.

As explained in the preceding chapter, security service would be financed by insurance—the social institution that humanity has developed to share risks of catastrophic loss that exceed the ability of individuals to endure or pay for. Insurance-funded security is as valid for protection from aggression external to a nation as it is to protection from harm caused by attacks from sources within the nation.

The concept of proprietary national defense will appear in a preliminary treatment in this chapter. A fuller treatment of the concept of proprietary national defense appears in the following chapter entitled “Insuring and Assuring National Defense.” In that chapter  answers will be presented for all questions about the workings of proprietary national defense and to objections that private security is not feasible as a protection against external aggression.

Human suffering during WW II

Behind the impersonal statistics of fatalities caused by WW II lies the reality of enormous human suffering caused not only by conduct of the war, but also by barbarism and cruelty that accompanied the war. Individual human beings, both soldiers and civilians, were killed by gunshot, stabbing, deliberate starvation of captives, aerial bombing, artillery bombardment, drowning, beheading, hanging, burning alive, being buried alive, mass murder of millions taken to death camps where they died of poison gas or starvation, cruel methods of prolonging death by torture, and deadly experiments performed on prisoners in Nazi German death camps. In the war in China, the Japanese army used poison gas and also bombed a Chinese city with fleas carrying the bubonic plague. 3 During the war Japanese and German soldiers committed atrocities against helpless civilians and prisoners.

In Nazi-occupied Europe there was some resistance to Nazi rule. In reprisal for acts of resistance, the Nazis massacred entire villages in Czechoslovakia and France. 4

The millions of fatalities in the combatant countries listed above include the Jewish Holocaust victims in those countries. However, in addition there were millions more Jewish Holocaust victims in Poland and in every other European country conquered by Nazi Germany except Denmark. The Danes sent their small Jewish population to safety in Sweden before they could be rounded up by German soldiers. The Nazis killed individual Christian Europeans who helped Jews by hiding them.

Nazi Germany assaulted London, England with bombing intended not only for military targets, but also to frighten, terrorize, and intimidate civilians in order to cause Britain to give up resistance. What Nazi aerial bombing did to England, bombing raids of the U.S. and British air forces did more than ten times over to German and Japanese cities, killing over one million civilians with the design of intimidating Germany and Japan into surrender.

The years of battle among the combatant nations made millions of war widows and millions more women who could never marry because so many unmarried young men perished during the war.


The involvement of the United States in World War II has been described as the ultimate illustration of a just war. That conclusion follows from the role of the U.S. in defeating Germany and Japan, aggressor nations that caused enormous loss and grief to those they attacked.

Still, this chapter questions and challenges the supposed necessity of the United States waging war against Japan. The reader is requested to reserve judgment on that question until consideration of the facts and arguments in this chapter about the U.S. war with Japan.

The chapter also posits that the U.S. could, possibly, have been a leading cause in preventing WW II in Europe, without use of the force of arms by the American military. Prevention of war is far, far more desirable than winning a war, provided prevention of war is not interpreted to mean appeasement of an aggressor or yielding to aggression without resisting it. The U.S. could have acted against Nazi Germany in a decisive and preventive way on an early and timely basis, without waging war. However, that could and did not happen due to the isolationism that dominated American thought and politics in the 1930s.

American isolationism in the 1930s was a direct consequence of disillusionment with WW I. President Woodrow Wilson told the American people that participation in the war was a necessity because it was a war to make the world safe for democracy, and a war to end all wars. It had become obvious by 1931 that WW I did not make the world safe for democracy or end all wars. By 1931 a communist dictatorship had taken over Russia, a fascist dictatorship was threatening the German people, and Japan had invaded northeast China, then referred to in the West as Manchuria.

The United States cannot be the policeman for the world. That job is too big for even the most powerful of nations. Furthermore, the people of the United States never appointed their government to serve as policeman for the world. It is safe to say that if Americans were asked, as individuals, one by one, whether they wanted their government to act as policeman for the world, the answer would likely be a resounding no. Americans would need no sophisticated geopolitical analysis to recognize the huge and unacceptable burden to Americans if their government were to try to act as policeman for the world.

During WW I, German submarines sank American ships transporting aid to England. German submarines attacked shipping near the Atlantic coast of the United States. However, Germany never threatened or attacked the continental United States.  The President of the United States led the nation into sending the U.S. army into combat in France with the stated goal of making the world safe for democracy and ending war.  The U.S. military was the decisive factor in defeating Imperial Germany, then viewed as an enemy of democracy and an aggressive warrior nation, which it was. President Woodrow Wilson led the U.S. into the unwitting role of world policeman. The results were counterproductive. Fifteen years after the defeat of Imperial Germany, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party seized control of Germany and turned the German nation into a far greater threat to peace and democracy.

Other nations would not welcome the U.S. trying to become policeman for the world because that could lead to an unacceptable and unrequested assumption of the right to control other nations.

Andrew Galambos said that setting a good example is the highest form of education. The United States could have set a good example, like that of Switzerland, by fostering freedom at home while staying out of foreign political and military affairs.


Conscription and discipline of soldiers; soldier protests of military control

Wars of aggression are waged with conscripts—soldiers forced into the military by coercion. Every nation that has had conscription has imposed severe penalties for refusal to join its military, for refusal of conscripts and volunteers alike to obey military orders, and for desertion from the military in time of peace or war. Soldiers don’t want to fight and die; that is why desertion during combat is in most armies punished with death.

In a totally free society there would be no conscription—and no wars. Defense of property, life, and a nation would be through voluntary, private military organizations.

Military training universally seeks to inculcate absolute obedience to orders; the soldier is a slave to the army; he is allowed no will of his own. The consequence to soldiers was illustrated by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in his poem The Charge of the Light Brigade that begins with the following memorable lines.

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

WW II was waged almost everywhere primarily with conscripts. There were numerous volunteers to the U.S. military immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. However, conscripts made up a large proportion of the thirteen or so million men who served in the U.S. military during the war. It has been reported that during WW II volunteers represented about half of the military enlistments in the armed forces of the United States. However, the virtual certainty of being conscripted caused many to volunteer in order to have some choice of the branch of the military into which they would be inducted.

In Germany in WW II, as in WW I, enthusiasm for military service had been whipped up by jingoistic appeals to patriotism and hatred of a supposed enemy. However, the jingoism was backed up by conscription. In the last year or so of the war, German combat fatalities, especially on the eastern front against Russia, had mounted so high that airmen and sailors from the German air force and navy were transferred to the army, and homeland protection was bolstered by conscription extended to men as old as 60 and boys as young as 13. 5

Even in the most coercive, totalitarian states, soldiers sometimes rebel against military authority. There were revolts in the Russian military during the Revolution of 1905, during WW I, in the Revolution of 1917, and against the Communist dictatorship during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1920. There was mutiny in the German navy near the end of WW I. Before WW II dictator Adolf Hitler had made himself commander in chief of the German military. Among officers of the German army there were clandestine plots against Hitler before WW II, and during the war a failed but nearly successful attempt by a group of army officers to assassinate Hitler in July, 1944.

During the Vietnam War there were numerous instances of U.S soldiers making surreptitious attacks against officers resented for ordering soldiers into battle. Such attacks by soldiers against officers of their own army have occurred in history as far back as 1000 B.C.E. 6

Without conscription, it would not have been possible for a nation intent on conducting war on foreign territory to assemble armed forces anywhere near the size of the U.S., German, Russian, and Japanese military in WW II. The experience of the U.S. military during the Vietnam War is illustrative of the unpopularity of conscription for foreign wars.

During the Vietnam War the widespread resistance to conscription in the Unites States included various means of evading conscription, avoiding it, or fleeing from it. The unpopularity of conscription eroded the resolve to enforce the law in many local conscription committees (draft boards) and among some of the federal judges trying cases of those refusing induction into the armed forces. A relatively small number of the millions of young American males subject to conscription ended up avoiding it by fleeing to Canada or other countries. A still smaller number ended up going to prison for refusal of conscription. There was a racial and social aspect to conscription during the Vietnam War: those who entered the armed forces via conscription, conscripts who served in the armed forces in Vietnam, those who saw combat action, and those who were killed or wounded in combat included African-Americans, Hispanics, other colored minorities and conscripts lacking a college degree in far greater numbers than their proportion of the population. This unfairness added to the resentment of conscription. 7

According to Jessie Kindig of the University of Washington, “. . . by 1969, student body presidents of 253 universities wrote to the White House to say that they personally planned to refuse induction [into the military], joining the half million others who would do so during the course of the war. . .

“In 1972, there were more conscientious objectors than actual draftees, all major cities faced backlogs of induction-refusal legal cases, and the Selective Service later reported that 206,000 persons were reported delinquent [for induction] during the entire war period . . .

“[T]here were too many people to punish or send to prison. So great were the numbers of draft resisters that in 1977, President Carter [obtained from Congress] a general amnesty to all those who had fled abroad in defiance of the draft, allowing them to return to the United States . . . [O]ut of 209,517 accused draft offenders, less than 9,000 were convicted.” 8

Voluntary, professional defenders and proprietary national defense

This chapter posits that in the future there will be proprietary, voluntary, insurance-funded, professional private military forces organized to protect a nation, its citizens and their property. This phenomenon is already emerging; such private military forces exist already and their numbers are growing.

CTLR anticipates criticism of this concept by the argument that paid protectors are “mercenaries.” That is a pejorative word, associated in American history with the German soldiers paid by Great Britain to supplement the British army trying to suppress the rebellion known in America as the War for Independence.

That is a short-sighted point of view. In every other aspect of life professionalism is an attribute of competent performance. And so will it be with private military forces (PMFs).

All the evils of conscription, and large-scale war itself, would be ended with the end of conscription. Employment of a soldier in a PMF would be voluntary; the soldier could terminate his service at any time; a PMF soldier could refuse an order to attack other people. Under such conditions the large national armies of WW II would have been impossible to assemble and organize. However, a totally voluntary, professional PMF could provide effective defense against aggression, and in all likelihood could deter it, or take preemptive action to prevent it.


In this chapter the referent for the different nations is the political and military elite that ruled those nations during and immediately before WW II. Thus, Germany does not mean the German people. They were the first victims of the tyranny established by dictator Adolf Hitler and his Nazi political party. Unless otherwise indicated by context, the referent for Germany is the totalitarian police state established by the Nazis to terrorize and rule the German people, and then to terrorize and rule, and in some cases annihilate the people of other countries conquered by the army of Nazi Germany. In the case of the political democracies in WW II, Britain, France, and the United States, the referent for those nations is not their people, but the political elite that ruled them.

The title “Russia” is used herein for the political state known in WW II as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or the Soviet Union. Russians are a separate and by far the largest numerically, of the linguistic and ethnic groups that comprised the Soviet Union and its predecessor the Russian Empire. That Empire was ruled by a monarch known as “Czar,” as in Czar Nicholas II. 9 President Ronald Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as an evil empire. It was. The so-called Soviet Union was not a voluntary union or confederation as is Switzerland. Rather, it was a forced amalgamation imposed by tyranny not only on the Russian people but on fourteen other peoples of differing ethnicities, cultures and religions. 10

According to the first communist dictator of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Lenin, the communists imposed a dictatorship that “. . . is limited by nothing, by no laws, that is restrained by absolutely no rules, that rests directly on coercion.” 11

Peoples unwillingly included in the Soviet Union ranged from Christians in the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) to the predominantly Muslim peoples of Central Asia (Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz) two thousand or more miles to the east. To crush indigenous resistance to Russian communist rule in the Baltic States, Ukraine, and among the Chechens of the Caucusus region, millions of people were forcibly deported to Siberia or central Asia and replaced by ethnic Russians. 12



Before WW II, the communist rulers of Russia wreaked havoc on the peoples they ruled, causing the death of twenty million inhabitants of the Soviet Union between WW I and WW II. These state-caused deaths started in the years 1918-1920 when the communists waged a brutal civil war to gain total and absolute power. Next came the unsuccessful attempt to subjugate Poland in 1920-1921 during a war that killed still more Russians.

The killing by the communists continued in the war against Russian peasants in 1921 to force them into servitude to the state; in the accompanying famine of 1921-1922 six million people starved to death. Another war against Russian peasants in 1929-1933 killed five million people in the cause of forcing peasants off their land and into servitude to the state on so-called collective farms. Another seven million died in a communist war against the peasants of the Ukraine in 1933-1934, a campaign intended to seize the land of Ukrainian peasants and to starve them into submission.

The Great Terror of 1937-1938 killed or imprisoned upwards of 1.5 million people and decimated the officer corps of the Red Army. Most of the army officers from the rank of General down to regimental commander were killed, as were most of the highest-ranking and most experienced officers in the Russian navy. 100,000 Russian soldiers died in a war the communists waged against Finland in 1939-1940. 13

From 1921 to the day before Germany invaded Russia in 1941, the Russian communists aided and abetted the German military in their quest to rearm after the German defeat in WW I. The motivation of the Russian communists in doing this was to foster a war between Germany, France, and Britain, in which Russia would attack the other nations after they were exhausted by war. 14

Between 1922 and 1933, Russia provided land for the German military to build up the weapons denied to Germany by the Treaty of Versailles, including tanks, military aircraft, artillery, and production of poison gas. 15

In 1939 Russia entered into a treaty with Nazi Germany. Hitler and Stalin, the dictators of Germany and Russia, each planned to violate the treaty from the day it was signed. Stalin believed this treaty would induce the Nazis to attack France, and anticipating a repeat of the prolonged stalemate of WW I, Stalin planned to attack Germany after it had been weakened by a war of attrition in the West. 16 Pursuant to the 1939 treaty Stalin ordered shipments of raw materials and food to Germany, shipments which continued into Spring 1941, long after Stalin had been apprised of numerous warnings from Russian and foreign sources that Germany was planning a massive invasion of Russia; and even after numerous credible reports of huge German armies massing at the border of Russia on an 800-mile front from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea. 17 These actions of the Russian communist dictatorship badly weakened Russia, made it highly vulnerable when Nazi Germany invaded Russia in June 1941 and contributed significantly to the more than 20 million Russian military and civilian fatalities during WW II.


Quite soon after the end of WW I, some of Germany’s political and military elite started to plan, and act upon such plans, to start a new war out of revenge for the loss of WW I. Germany was never threatened by any other country between WW I and WW II. When Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, his plans included the annihilation of France as a nation, the extermination of the Jews of Europe and the enslavement and eventual extermination of the Slavic peoples east of Germany. Hitler described himself as a man “who always knew only one thing: strike, strike, and strike again.” 18 His actions were consistent with his words. WW II in Europe began with German attacks on other European countries. Hitler ordered the German armed forces to attack Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Denmark, Norway, Britain, Yugoslavia, Greece and Russia.

In December 1941, just as it was becoming clear to Hitler and his Generals that Germany could not win the war against Russia, Hitler, acting alone in the name of Nazi Germany, declared war against the United States of America. Attacking both Russia and the United States meant ultimate doom for Nazi Germany and for Adolf Hitler personally. 19

Germany suffered 7 to 9 million military and civilian fatalities in WW II and devastation of its major cities, in a defeat so thorough that the German homeland was occupied and ruled by Germany’s wartime opponents for years after the war.

Hitler’s persecution of Jews—a human calamity of military significance

The crimes of Adolf Hitler’s Nazism tend to obscure the magnificent achievements of the culture of German-speaking people in Europe. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert produced music of enduring value that has secured for them a most honored place in human artistic achievement.

A remarkably large number of the world’s foremost theoretical physicists were living in Berlin and elsewhere in German-speaking Europe during the two generations before Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party seized political control of Germany in January 1933. Some theoretical physicists of Jewish ancestry achieved an eminent place in Germany between 1900 and 1933.

Seven of these Jewish, or partly Jewish physicists, and an Italian married to a Jewish woman, were among the considerable number of intellectuals who left Germany and Europe because of Nazi persecution of Jews. Those eight physicists were Albert Einstein, Leo Szilárd, Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller, Hans Bethe, Eugene Wigner, Niels Bohr, and Max Born. Seven of them were instrumental in the United States producing an atomic bomb before scientists under Nazi control could do so.

In 1939, Einstein and Szilárd collaborated to write a letter to inform U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) of the possibility of an extremely powerful bomb created by an atomic chain reaction. Because Einstein’s name and reputation were the most illustrious in science, Szilárd suggested that the letter bear Einstein’s signature. FDR was personally acquainted with Mr. and Mrs. Einstein, who had been overnight guests at the White House. The Szilárd-Einstein letter said that important work on atomic energy was being done by a group of scientists living in America and suggested that the U.S. government establish communication with those scientists. The letter said that work on atomic energy was probably going on in Germany.

Szilárd asked another acquaintance of FDR, Alexander Sachs, to deliver the letter in person to FDR. In October 1939 Sachs delivered the letter to the President, and to assure that FDR would not set the letter aside unread, Sachs stood and read it to him. Roosevelt said, “Alex, what you are after is to see that the Nazis don’t blow us up.” Roosevelt called in his personal assistant, telling him “This requires action.” That evening action was started to follow up on the suggestion in the letter. 20

Had Nazi Germany not been defeated before the U.S. atomic bomb was ready in 1945, it is likely that the first bomb would have been dropped on Germany, not Japan.

Hitler’s obsession with killing all Europe’s Jews was an impediment to the German war effort. In December 1941, six months after the start of the invasion of Russia, the German army was bogged down before Moscow, paralyzed by an especially severe Russian winter, and experiencing strong counter-attacks by the Russian army. Hitler and his generals knew then that they could not defeat Russia; rather than negotiating an end to the war with Russia, Hitler insisted on continuing the war until the bitter end in 1945 because he wanted and needed the time to carry out his plan to exterminate all the Jews of Europe.

Murdering millions of Jews became an impediment to the Nazi war effort, as the slaughter required large numbers of people to hunt down Jews, round them up, transport them to the concentration camps, and operate the camps. That effort used up a large part of the railroad rolling stock of Germany, making that rolling stock unavailable for military transport and supply. 21

The Empire of Japan started on a path of foreign aggression in war with China in 1894-1895, culminating in constant war from 1931 to 1945, first with China and then with the United States and Britain. In 1941 Japan attacked the U.S. military in the Philippine Islands and Hawaii, the military of the Netherlands in the Dutch East Indies, the British military in Singapore and Malaya, French Indo-China, Thailand, Burma, and Australia. During this entire period of fifty years, the Japanese homeland was never in danger of attack by any other nation, until the war with the United States that started after the Japanese military attack against the United States military at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in December 1941.

From December 1941 to August 1945, Japan suffered 2.7 million military and civilian fatalities, devastation of its major cities, and a defeat so thorough that after the war foreign troops occupied Japan for the first time in its history.

China was afflicted by a Civil War from 1927 to 1949. The Japanese waged war against China from 1931 to 1945. The ability of the people of China to resist Japan was badly impaired by the fact that one party to the Civil War, the Communist Party of China (CCP), placed its emphasis on fighting not the Japanese, but their rivals within China, the Republic of China under the rule of the Kuomintang political party led by Chiang Kai-Shek. 22 China suffered 15 to 20 million military and civilian fatalities as a consequence of the combination of Civil War and the war with Japan. According to three eminent Harvard University historians, “The Chinese Communists’ comparatively successful wartime expansion was accomplished without the oppressive burden of frontal resistance and national responsibilities that exhausted Chungking’s energies. 23 Nationalist forces tied down most of Japan’s troops in China, roughly half her [Japan’s] armies overseas, and suffered the great part of China’s 3 million or more battle casualties.” 24

Willful blindness of most English political and military leaders; fecklessness of French political and military leadership

With the notable exception of Winston Churchill and a few others, the political and military elite of England in the 1930s discounted the dangerous developments in Germany.

By 1934 Hitler’s uniformed Nazi storm troopers were one million in number, ten times the maximum number of soldiers authorized for Germany by the Versailles Treaty. That mattered not a whit to Hitler who called the Versailles Treaty a scrap of paper.

The French political and military elite knew, or should have known, that Adolf Hitler in his political testament, Mein Kampf (1925, 1926) advocated the annihilation of France as a nation, in addition to incorporating into a “Greater Germany” the German-speaking people of Alsace-Lorraine, Austria, Czechoslovakia and Switzerland, and the extermination of the Jews and all the Slavic people of Eastern Europe.

The French military and political elite feared throughout the early years of the 1930s that it was only a matter of time before Germany would become strong enough to force the issue of the Rhineland by violating the Versailles Treaty provisions barring any German military presence in the Rhineland.

“The Rhineland” is the name for a heavily industrialized part of northwest Germany adjacent to France, Luxembourg and Belgium. The River Rhine is the western border between Germany and France in part of the Rhineland. The Versailles Treaty barred German troops from the Rhineland and adjacent land 31 miles on the German side of the Rhine River. What follows immediately hereafter appears in William L. Shirer’s book on Nazi Germany, and is quoted here in part, as it remains the best short summary of events involving the Rhineland in March 1936.

“[O]n March 1, Hitler reached his decision, somewhat to the consternation of [his] generals, most of whom were convinced that the French would make mincemeat of the small German forces which had been gathered for the move into the Rhineland . . .

“[A] small token force of German troops paraded across the Rhine bridges at dawn on March 7 and entered the demilitarized zone . . . The [German] Minister of Defense . . . had given orders for his troops to withdraw across the Rhine should the French move to oppose them. But the French never made the slightest move . . .

“[W]hen the blow occurred . . . the French government wanted to act [but] the French [Army] General Staff held back. . . The most . . . the Chief of the General Staff . . . did was concentrate thirteen divisions near the German frontier . . . Even this was enough to throw a scare into the German High Command. [German General Alfred Jodl said later] ‘Considering the situation we were in, the French covering army could have blown us to pieces. . .’

“It could have—and had it, that almost certainly would have been the end of Hitler, after which history might have taken quite a different and brighter turn than it did, for the dictator [Hitler] could never have survived such a fiasco. Hitler himself admitted as much [later] . . .

“Confident that the French would not march, he bluntly turned down all suggestions for pulling back . . . He was aided not only by the hesitations of the French but by the supineness of their British allies. The French Foreign Minister, Pierre Flandin, flew to London on March 11 and begged the British government to back France in a military counteraction in the Rhineland. His pleas were unavailing. Britain would not risk war even though Allied [French and British] superiority over the Germans was overwhelming . . .

“[I]t is . . . easy to see, in retrospect, that France’s failure to repel the [German] Wehrmacht . . . and Britain’s failure to back her in what would have been nothing more than a police action was a disaster for the West from which sprang all the later ones of even greater magnitude . . . In March 1936 the two Western democracies were given their last chance to halt, without the risk of a serious war, the rise of a militarized, aggressive, totalitarian Germany and . . . bring the Nazi dictator and his regime tumbling down.” 25

Churchill biographer William Manchester commented as follows on the fecklessness of the French at the time of the Rhineland crisis. “[F]ewer than 5,000 German soldiers had been posted within twenty miles of the French frontier. They were not deployed for battle, and they lacked tank support . . . France was a sovereign power. She needed no one’s permission to act [against the Nazis] . . . The moment the French infantry moved, calling [Hitler’s] bluff, in the opinion of the [senior] German military authorities . . . that would be the end of Hitler . . . [T]he fledgling Wehrmacht would be routed . . . [and] the [German] military would move into [political power] pending a constitutional convention and free elections.” 26

British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin granted a private interview to the French Foreign Minister, Pierre Flandin in March 1936 to hear Flandin’s plea that failure to push the Nazis out of the Rhineland meant there would be war with a heavily rearmed Germany in the future. According to Churchill biographer William Manchester, Baldwin turned down Flandin’s request for British support, “explaining diffidently that he ‘knew little of foreign affairs . . . [but] he did know the feelings of his people, and they want peace.’” 27

Politics ruled Baldwin’s thinking. Rather than risk losing popularity with voters, he was willing to let Nazi Germany get away with its incursion into the Rhineland which, as his own Foreign Secretary believed (see below) would mean war within two years, and on very unfavorable conditions.

After spurning the pleas of the French foreign minister in London and again in Paris, British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden later the same week made the following statement to the British cabinet. “. . . [I]f the Germans were permitted to keep the Rhineland and fortify it, war would be inevitable in two years—a war which ‘would be fought under very unfavorable conditions . . .’ The difficulty was that France ‘was pacifist to the core;’ in battle she would be an unfavorable ally. Alfred Duff Cooper, the new secretary for war disagreed. He too believed that war was inevitable but he thought that the time to stand up to Hitler was now . . . But the rest of the cabinet thought otherwise.” 28

Winston Churchill said of WW II in Europe that “I saw it all coming and cried aloud to my own fellow-countrymen and to the world, but no one paid any attention. Up till the year 1933 or even 1935, Germany might have been saved from the awful fate which has overtaken her and we might all have been spared the miseries Hitler let loose upon mankind. There never was a war in all history easier to prevent by timely action than the one which has just desolated such great areas of the globe. It could have been prevented in my belief without the firing of a single shot, and Germany might be powerful, prosperous and honoured to-day; but no one would listen and one by one we were all sucked into the awful whirlpool. We surely must not let that happen again.” 29

Italy’s fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini needlessly embroiled Italy in WW II as an ally of Nazi Germany. Before the war Italy was in no danger, under no threat, from any other nation. During the war the Italian military invaded Albania, France, Greece and North Africa, where Italy’s army fought Britain. When Mussolini was overthrown in 1943, a new Italian political regime gave up the war and a German army entered Italy to fight against U.S. and British forces that were advancing northward on the Italian peninsula. WW II cost the Italian people 450,000 military and civilian fatalities.


The Swiss say that they win wars by staying out of them. Switzerland’s policy of neutrality has kept them out of all wars since the forces of Napoleon invaded the nation in 1815. From 1940 until the end of WW II in 1945, although surrounded on all sides by enemies, Switzerland suffered not a single wartime casualty due to hostile action. Adolf Hitler wanted at least the German-speaking majority of Switzerland incorporated in his “Greater Germany.” The Swiss rejected that categorically. Hitler’s Generals prepared an invasion plan for Switzerland, but believing that to conquer the Swiss would cost 300,000 German army fatalities, the Generals dissuaded Hitler from such an attack.

It has been alleged that Switzerland avoided conquest by Nazi Germany in WW II not because of the deterrent effect of its military strength but rather because it allied itself with Nazi Germany and supplied it with war materials. This allegation is at odds with the widely accepted conclusion stated in Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, that “Switzerland was able to remain independent through a combination of military deterrence, economic concessions to Germany, and good fortune as larger events during the war delayed an invasion.” 30

Winston Churchill said of Switzerland’s activities during WW II, “Of all the neutrals, Switzerland has the greatest right to distinction. She has been the sole international force linking the hideously sundered nations and ourselves. What does it matter if she has not been able to give us commercial advantages we desire or has given too many to the Germans to keep herself alive? She has been a democratic state standing for self-defense among her mountains, and in thought . . . largely on our side.” 31

The Swiss had started to strengthen their military as early as 1935 when they realized that Nazi Germany was rearming rapidly in preparation for war. The Nazi conquest of Poland in 1939 showed the Swiss that they were not prepared to defend themselves against the armored military and air force that Germany had unleashed against the Poles.

Just before the German invasion of Poland the Swiss Federal Assembly elected Henri Guisan to the office of General, a unique rank conferred only in time of war or national emergency. The highest rank in the Swiss army is Colonel, except in such emergencies. Guisan was given the directive to safeguard the independence of the country and to maintain the integrity of Swiss territory.

With the Nazi conquest of France in June 1940, the Swiss were surrounded on all sides by enemies. Germany had annexed Austria in 1938, making it part of Germany. Italy had allied itself with Germany; and France was occupied by the German military. While the German army was conquering France in a matter of weeks, General Guisan instructed the Swiss army of citizen-soldiers that “Each man, even if isolated . . . must fight until the last bullet, and then attack with their blades [bayonets] . . . So long as any man has a bullet or a blade, he has no right to surrender.” 32

The successful Swiss self-defense in WW II consisted in staying out of the war while keeping German troops off Swiss soil. In that context, the Swiss considered, and rightly so, that they had won. 33

Switzerland and the Holocaust

The Swiss have been accused—falsely—of virtually aiding and abetting the Nazi-led massacre of Jews during WW II. To the contrary, the Swiss people did a great deal to help Jewish refugees, despite the small size of Switzerland and the ominous threat of Nazi Germany on the Swiss border. In 1938 U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt called for a conference of thirty-two countries to find homes for fleeing Jews. At that conference in Evian, France, the Swiss representative offered Switzerland as the staging area for the exodus. No country, including the U.S., would take significant numbers. The Swiss federal government continued to press the U.S. and Britain to take the bulk of Jewish refugees who managed to get to the Swiss border. However, at a Bermuda conference in 1943, the U.S. and Britain refused to do anything to mitigate the plight of the Jews. 34

Swiss banks and Nazi Germany

In 1995 the World Jewish Congress brought a class action lawsuit against Swiss banks alleging, in effect, that Swiss banks had made it difficult for Holocaust victims’ heirs to recover deposits of Jewish Holocaust victims in Swiss banks. A well-documented book argues that Swiss banks did not victimize Jewish depositors, and that the class action suit was a means to extract a settlement from Swiss banks by threatening the banks with loss of the ability to do business in the United States. 35

In 1934 Switzerland enacted its famous bank secrecy laws to help people fleeing from Nazi persecution in Germany. According to an article in Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, “The banking secrecy law was passed by the Swiss Federal Assembly in 1934 . . . due to Nazi authorities’ attempts to investigate the assets of Jews and ‘enemies of the state’ held in Switzerland. Secrecy laws allowed Jews and others to escape from Nazi Germany without losing everything . . . Swiss authorities were not allowed to answer German questions about who had what where. Even employees of German banks in Switzerland were not allowed to answer questions from their employer in Germany.” 36

Switzerland as role model: necessity becomes virtue

Out of necessity, because their country was so small, the Swiss developed a national policy of neutrality and maintenance of a strong national defense. Swiss neutrality means that Switzerland does not meddle in the affairs of other countries, does not send troops into other countries, and does not form military alliances with other countries—alliances that could drag the Swiss into wars.

The Swiss national policy of neutrality, adopted as a necessity, became a virtue as it kept Switzerland out of the destructive wars of Europe, including both World War I and World War II. The price of neutrality and peace for Switzerland was an extremely strong national defense and eternal vigilance. On a per capita basis Switzerland has one of the two largest armies in the world, the other being Israel, which models the composition of its army on that of Switzerland.

In WW II the Swiss were capable of mobilizing one in four Swiss, 1,000,000 citizen-soldiers, out of a population of four million. In comparison, the U.S. armed forces in WW II numbered at the maximum size around twelve million, or one in eleven Americans.

The United States could do well to emulate the Swiss national policy of neutrality, a strong defense and eternal vigilance. That would be in keeping with the outlook of the founders of the United States. Thomas Paine, in his influential essay Common Sense (1776), addressed to the people of America, set forth several arguments in favor of avoiding alliances. The first President of the United States, George Washington, took up this theme in his farewell address to the American people (1796), where he said, “The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible.”

In a stateless society a small nation would not be isolated and without allies as was Switzerland in WW II

In the stateless society envisioned by CTLR, a small nation such as Switzerland would have virtually all the world’s resources available for their defense by means of insurance and affiliated military defense organizations—a subject to be discussed in some detail further below in this chapter and the chapter that follows this one. Suffice it to say at this point that in such a stateless world a people such as the Swiss could buy national defense insurance—insurance backed up by technologically advanced free enterprise military organizations capable of defending anyone and any group anywhere in the world. Free enterprise military defense would have the advantage of the world’s highest level of productivity, as demonstrated by the American productivity which was the underpinning of U.S. military victory in WW II.

The ultimate solution to national defense is a global insurance industry that offers insurance against attack and backs up the insurance with global, private military forces that have higher technology than any aggressor, even those as fearsome as Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in WW II.

Suppose that such global insurance and defense companies had been in existence in 1940 when the German army had conquered France, Germany had absorbed Austria within itself, and had fascist Italy as an ally, on the southern border of Switzerland.

Suppose that the global insurance/defense industry had the world’s finest military aircraft and the world’s finest, paid professional military. And suppose Switzerland was a customer of such an insurance/defense industry. That insurance/defense industry could have flown in supplies to Switzerland over the Nazi army; that is what the U.S. did with the Berlin airlift in 1948-1949 when Russia blockaded all land routes to Berlin from the western part of Germany.

CTLR posits in this chapter that private military defense could and would take preemptive action against those political governments making credible threats against other nations. That seems probable in retrospect if insurance-funded private military defense organizations had been fully operational by the time Hitler came to power in 1933. At the time that Hitler sent a small contingent of soldiers into the Rhineland in March 1936, insurance companies could have seen the benefit of proceeding with a preemptive strike against the German military incursion. According to reliable sources cited in this chapter, thwarting the Nazi incursion into the Rhineland would have meant the end of Hitler and the end of German aggression after March 1936.

In a stateless world with a well-developed security industry, a pathologically murderous criminal such as Adolf Hitler would never be able to organize first his own private gang and then build it into an army capable of intimidating an entire nation, and then taking over that nation and threatening the whole world.


The U.S. suffered over 400,000 military fatalities during WW II. 37 Between WW I and WW II the U.S. actually outdid Britain in the willful blindness of its political elite. The U.S. neglected its armed forces although it was well known that Japan and Germany were putting millions of men into their armed forces and preparing for all-out war.

The path to war between the United States, the Empire of Japan and Nazi Germany

On December 7, 1941, a Japanese navy fleet including six aircraft carriers was situated in the Pacific Ocean 200 miles north of the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii. Starting at dawn, the Japanese aircraft carriers launched 335 fighter planes, bombers, and torpedo planes in two waves. The first wave of attacking planes struck Pearl Harbor 1 ½ hours later, at 7:48 a.m. Hawaii time. The attacking aircraft sank or damaged sixteen ships including eight battleships and 188 U.S. aircraft parked at air bases on the island of Oahu. 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,178 others were wounded. 38

The next day Congress issued a Declaration of War against Japan, and three days later German dictator Adolf Hitler, acting without consulting anyone else in Germany, made a Declaration of War against the United States.

Throughout the 1930s until almost the eve of U.S. entry into WW II, President Roosevelt in his major speeches focused strictly on domestic affairs, despite warnings from American diplomats in Germany as early as 1932 that Germany was rearming for war. 39 William E. Dodd, the U.S. Ambassador to Germany informed Secretary of State Cordell Hull on August 30, 1934, “. . . there is feverish arming and drilling of 1,500,000 men all of whom are taught every day to believe that continental Europe must be subordinated to them.” 40

In 1940 FDR had become alarmed at the dangers to America posed by Germany and Japan. The President asked for and obtained enactment of conscription, the Selective Service Act of 1940, the first peacetime conscription in U.S. history.

Isolationist sentiment in America was still so strong in 1940 that in his reelection campaign FDR found it politically expedient to assert emphatically that “I have said this before, but I shall say it again and again and again; your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign wars.” 41

In 1940 and 1941, the United States was militarily and politically unprepared for war. According to historian Gerhard L. Weinberg, “The armed forces of the United States had been neglected in the 1920s . . . When the Germans struck in the West [in 1940], the United States army could field fewer than a third the number divisions Belgium put in the field; there were all of 150 fighters and 50 heavy bombers in the army air force. Under the impact of the German blows, the country began to wake up . . . The Congress now hastened to vote enormous sums of money [for the military] as soon as they were asked for.” 42

What could have been done by the U.S. in the 1930s to protect the American people from war

Purely as hypothetical proposals with, of course, the benefit of hindsight, upon becoming President in March 1933 and for the balance of his first term in office, FDR could have done and said the following, all within his knowledge and power.

  • The nation suffers from high unemployment and a lack of military strength to deter a foreign aggressor. The following proposals will address both these problems.
  • The best way to avoid war is to build military strength as a way to deter aggressors
  • Japan is an aggressor. It has invaded China.
  • Dictator Adolf Hitler has seized total power in Germany; Hitler appears to be putting Germany on the path toward a new war of aggression.
  • The oceans are no longer a sufficient protection as an aggressor nation could launch aerial bombing attacks against America from aircraft carriers near the coastline.
  • The armed forces of the United States are very small in number of personnel compared to those of Japan and those that Hitler is intent on building up in Germany.
  • The armed forces lack enough modern equipment to defend the country.
  • The unemployment rate has been over 20% for two years with all the human misery that entails.
  • Ask Congress to authorize an increase in armed forces personnel to one million men, and to authorize spending in amounts adequate to equip the armed forces with the best and most advanced military equipment.
  • Commit to increasing the size of the armed forces by voluntary enlistments, and by offering attractive pay to armed forces personnel.
  • These measures will alleviate unemployment.
  • This military spending will cause a big increase in the federal deficit, but that should be regarded as insurance against having to spend far more if the U.S. is attacked by aggressor nations.
  • The deficit spending is as much for the benefit of the future generations that will pay for it as it is for the immediate needs of the nation for security against foreign aggression.
  • Make a vow to do these things without regard to their impact on his reelection prospects in 1936.

What actually happened politically in the U.S from 1930 to 1941

  • The U.S. economy fell into the Great Depression in 1930 due to a virtual avalanche of mistaken political actions. See chapter 12 herein, entitled “The Great Depression and its aftermath—a fundamental change in America.”
  • In his first term as President, FDR launched attack after attack on big business, excoriating its leaders as “economic royalists” and “malefactors of great wealth.”
  • The American people and the Congress were in an extreme isolationist mood, rejecting categorically any measures that they thought could lead to a repetition of the American involvement in WW I, a war that people intuitively or explicitly considered a futile waste of American lives and treasure.
  • The armed forces of the U.S. fell further and further behind those of Japan and Germany in relative numbers of personnel and sophistication of military equipment.
  • From 1931 to 1937 the Empire of Japan invaded Northeast China, 43 Shanghai (the most populous and prosperous Chinese City) and then most of the rest of coastal China.
  • By 1936 Adolf Hitler had very publicly led Germany down the road to another war. In March 1936 Hitler sent a small contingent of German soldiers into the Rhineland, an area bordering France and containing much of German heavy industry. The Rhineland had been demilitarized in accordance with the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. Although representatives of Germany signed the treaty, it was under duress, and was not a product of negotiation between the victors and the vanquished of WW I.
  • In his 1936 reelection campaign FDR ignored events in Europe and stepped up his attacks on American big business.
  • FDR was reelected by a landslide to a second term in 1936.
  • Until 1939 when WW II started in Europe, FDR failed to ask Congress for funds to enlarge and modernize the U.S. armed forces.
  • It was apparent in the late 1930s that the resource poor Empire of Japan was ambitious to acquire natural resources in Asia by military conquest.
  • With the German invasions of Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Belgium and France in Spring 1940 Congress suddenly was ready, willing, and eager to approve any military spending the President proposed.
  • Throughout the first seven years of FDR’s presidency he disregarded the woeful unpreparedness of the U.S. military for war with Germany and Japan, even though it was obvious that those nations were building military juggernauts for only one purpose—aggression. Instead, from his inauguration in 1933 until he decided to seek reelection in 1940, FDR catered to U.S. isolationism while ceaselessly attacking big business. With war imminent in 1940, FDR ceased attacking big business and turned to American industry for help in preparing the U.S. military for war. FDR asked the President of General Motors to relinquish civilian life and go to work for the United States, organizing American industry for military production. 44 In one of his famous radio addresses from the White House, on December 30, 1940, FDR asked business leaders to create for the U.S. “an arsenal of democracy.” 45
  • In 1940-1941 U.S. military leaders expected that war with Japan was imminent but because the Army and Navy needed more time to prepare, their leaders asked the political leadership to avoid a confrontation that could precipitate war with Japan.
  • Conscription was established in 1940, the first peacetime conscription in U. S. history.
  • In 1940-1941, FDR wanted to do everything in his power to aid beleaguered Great Britain’s defense against Nazi aggression. By mid-1940 the U.S. was becoming involved in an undeclared war against Germany. In 1940 and 1941 some leftover U.S. weapons from WW I were sent to England, including 50 warships—destroyers—exchanged for long-term rights to use British bases in the Western Hemisphere. U.S. Navy ships escorted convoys of merchant ships taking food and war materials to Britain. One U.S. Navy destroyer on convoy duty was sunk by a German submarine on October 31, 1941 with a loss of 115 men of its crew. 46

As indicated above, after March 1936 when the French army failed even to make a minimal effort to drive German soldiers from the Rhineland, there was no stopping Adolf Hitler’s drive to war. However, World War II in Europe might have been headed off in 1936 had the U.S. by then built up a sizable, capable, modern military and had President Roosevelt offered encouragement to bolster the willingness of the French to end the German incursion into the Rhineland—without committing American troops. The French needed only encouragement, not U.S. troops. The French military at the time was far superior to the German military in number of personnel and military equipment. According to historian Ernest R. May, 47 in his book Strange Victory: Hitler’s Conquest of France (2000), even after Hitler’s military buildup was complete in         Spring 1940, “France . . . [was] better equipped for war than was Germany, with more trained men, more guns, more and better tanks, more bombers and fighters.” 48

The U.S. military presence in East Asia

The Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor had its genesis in a train of events beginning nearly 100 years earlier. Before the mid-nineteenth century Japan was an insular society, closed off to the rest of the world. In 1853 a small flotilla of U.S. Navy ships entered the harbor at Tokyo and shocked the Japanese elite, who had never seen steam-powered ships and cannons as powerful as those of the U.S. Navy. The Japanese elite realized their nation was backward industrially and militarily, and consequently launched a drive to industrialize and develop a modern military.

While Japan has a rich culture and industrious people, its home islands are poor in the natural resources needed for industrialization. Prior to industrialization Japan never engaged in foreign wars. The wars of Japan since the nation industrialized were motivated, in significant part, by the goal of acquiring natural resources through conquest, rather than through trade.

In 1897 future President Theodore Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, spoke for many like-minded men in the political elite of the U.S. when he advocated war with Spain in order to seize Spain’s Asian colony, the Philippine Islands. On June 30, 1897, U.S. Naval War College planners submitted to the U.S. government a plan to wage war on Spain that stated “hostilities would take place mainly in the Caribbean, but the U.S. Navy would also attack the Philippines.” 49

In 1898 the United States took the first step down a path toward war with Japan by defeating Spain and seizing the Philippine Islands in the Spanish-American War. The Filipinos at first looked upon Americans as liberators from centuries of Spanish rule, against which Filipinos had revolted in 1896. In the Philippines-American War of 1898-1901, Filipinos were forced to accept the U.S. as their new ruler. Fatalities of this war included 4,000 American soldiers and 100,000 Filipino victims of battle and of massacres and atrocities by soldiers of the U.S. 50

Theodore Roosevelt said in 1900: “I wish to see the United States the dominant power on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.” 51

In 1901 the U.S. established a naval base at Subic Bay on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. By 1904 the U.S. military was anticipating eventual war between the U.S. and Japan due to the establishment of this navy base, only 600 miles south of Taiwan, which Japan had taken from China in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895, and only 900 miles south of Okinawa, the southernmost island in the Japanese archipelago. 52

The U.S. already had established a naval military presence in East Asia in 1868. 53 The U.S. naval force in Asia was given the title Asiatic Fleet in 1902. According to military historian Max Boot, “The U.S. Asiatic Fleet’s primary mission was to prepare for war against Japan [under] War Plan Orange, first begun in 1904 and revised constantly during the 1920s . . .” 54

The U.S. military presence in the Philippines brought a needless danger to the American people. Americans did not need a U.S. military presence in Asia for defense of the American homeland over 7,000 miles away on the other side of the vast Pacific Ocean, or for any other reason.

In the Russo-Japanese War of 1905, Japan dealt Russia a stunning defeat, while seizing control of coastal territory and a seaport in Manchuria (northeast China) formerly occupied by Russia’s military. Manchuria is adjacent to Korea. In 1905, with the tacit approval of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, Japan asserted military power in Korea, eventually making it a colony in 1910.

In 1907, Japan adopted an explicit policy of building up its military for a potential future conflict with the United States Navy. By 1920, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) was the third largest in the world, and a leader in naval development. In 1921 Japan launched the world’s first warship designed and built solely to function as an aircraft carrier. By 1940 the Japanese navy was one of the largest and most modern in the world. 55

In 1909, Homer Lea, an American, published a book entitled The Valor of Ignorance, predicting war between Japan and the United States. 56 Lea’s book was taken seriously by military strategists in both Japan and the United States. In Japan, the book went into twenty-four editions in one month; and the Japanese government made it required reading for military officers.  In his book, Lea predicted a Japanese invasion of the Philippines, including a detailed description of an invasion route that turned out to be exactly the route taken by the Japanese army 32 years later. Before WW II, Lea’s book was read at the U.S. Military Academy. U.S. war planning for the Philippines assumed a Japanese invasion by the route described in Homer Lea’s book. Lea predicted also that Japan would attack the U.S. Navy base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. 57

In 1922 the U.S., Japan, Britain, France, and Italy entered into a treaty to limit buildup of their naval forces. 58 As in almost every other military treaty of the 20th century, at least one nation intended to dishonor the treaty whenever it pleased. In 1934 Japan renounced the Naval Treaty and commenced rapid acceleration in the buildup of the Imperial Japanese Navy.

In 1931 Japan invaded northeast China, then known in the West as Manchuria, starting aggression against China that spread in 1932 to Shanghai the largest and most prosperous city in China, and in 1937 to full-scale war against China, a war that lasted until 1945. Until mid-1941 America companies sold oil and iron to Japan, products necessary not only for Japanese industry, but also for the Japanese military.  59

Throughout the 1930s the U.S. Navy anticipated an inevitable war with Japan. In 1934 Captain (later Admiral) James O. Richardson of the navy wrote a thesis on Japanese policy at the U. S. Naval War College, stating “that should it appear to her [Japan’s] advantage to do so, she will strike viciously, effectively and unexpectedly prior to any declaration of war.” 60

Admiral Richardson believed, correctly, that throughout the 1930s and in 1940 the U.S. Navy was not manned adequately, that Japanese warships were being produced more rapidly than U.S. warships, and that by 1939 the U.S. had experienced a substantial loss of naval power relative to Japan. 61

In January 1940 Admiral James O. Richardson (sometimes JOR hereinafter) became the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet of the U.S. Navy. He had previously served a dozen assignments in the Pacific. He knew the strength of the Japanese military and believed they were capable of capturing all the lands they desired in the Pacific region.

In April 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the Pacific Fleet to make Pearl Harbor its base. His explanation was that this was necessary to deter Japanese aggression in the Dutch East Indies. The order to move the fleet base to Hawaii was given by Admiral Harold Stark, Chief of Naval Operations, but according to Admiral Stark that decision was made by the President. 62

JOR was opposed to basing the fleet at Pearl Harbor for several reasons. He knew that ships at Pearl Harbor were vulnerable to attack launched from enemy aircraft carriers; and that the Fleet was unprepared and unequipped to conduct wartime military operations westward beyond Pearl Harbor. JOR knew—and knew that the Japanese knew—that the Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor lacked adequate personnel or equipment to function effectively if war came to Hawaii. He felt sufficiently disturbed by the situation that he contemplated resignation. 63

Twenty years before the Pearl Harbor attack it was known to the U.S. military that aerial bombing could sink a battle ship. That was demonstrated in tests organized by Army Air Corps General Billy Mitchell in 1921. 64

The United States Navy (USN) staged four training exercises—in 1932, 1933, 1937, and 1938—in which warplanes from aircraft carriers mounted simulated attacks on Pearl Harbor. All were a surprise to the Army defenders, to whom military planners had assigned the primary duty to defend Pearl Harbor and airfields nearby. 65

By 1940 it was well known by military planners that aerial bombing could be highly destructive. E.g., in 1940 the German air force made devastating bombing attacks on England during the Battle of Britain, the first battle ever fought entirely in the air. 66

JOR asked for and was granted two personal conferences with the President, in July and October 1940. The Admiral was adamant in his insistence to FDR, a long-time personal acquaintance, that the Pacific Fleet base should be moved back to the mainland. When FDR resisted this idea, JOR said to him on October 8, 1940, “. . . the senior officers of the Navy do not have the trust and confidence in the civilian leadership of this country that is essential for the successful prosecution of a war in the Pacific.” 67 Within 24 hours of hearing that outspoken and categorical mistrust of his authority, FDR ordered the Chief of Naval Operations to relieve Admiral Richardson of his command. 68 Richardson remained on duty as Pacific Fleet Commander until February 1, 1941, when he was replaced by Admiral Husband Kimmel.

After his meeting with FDR in October 1940, Admiral Richardson returned to Pearl Harbor. His belief that war with Japan was inevitable, and imminent, was so strong that until ordered to cease by his boss, Admiral Harold Stark, Richardson sent out patrol planes each day to check the ocean for signs of an attack on Pearl Harbor. 69 He set up his own intelligence operation, because he was concerned that he was not getting all the intelligence information he needed to protect Pearl Harbor and the men under his command. Richardson’s intelligence information base was called Station HYPO; it was located at Pearl Harbor. Station HYPO continued in operation after Admiral Kimmel replaced JOR on February 1, 1941. Station HYPO reports were provided to Kimmel but also to the Office of Naval Intelligence (OIN) in Washington.

After October 31, 1941, Admiral Kimmel was denied the reports of Station HYPO.

Ever since December 1941, one of the explanations for the surprise of the Japanese attack has been that the ships of the Japanese attack fleet maintained radio silence. However, author Robert B. Stinnett shows that was not so. Based on information released to him under the Freedom of Information Act, four decades after the attack, Stinnett shows that Naval Intelligence had continual interception of numerous radio messages to and from the attack fleet; and that analysis of these messages was sent to FDR on a daily basis.

Throughout 1941 the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) was receiving reports on Japanese ship movements and spies that were continuous and detailed. The reports pointed unmistakably to the attack and the probable date. This intelligence was provided to FDR daily. By the closing months of 1941, the U.S. was intercepting and breaking—within a matter of hours—almost every code that Japan could produce. However, the intelligence was withheld from Admiral Kimmel and General Walter Short, the Army commander at Hawaii.

U.S. Naval Intelligence detected messages from Tadashi Morimura, a Japanese spy in Honolulu, informing his contacts of U.S. Navy activity at Pearl Harbor. The Navy monitored Morimura’s every move—but did nothing to stop his spying or to inform Kimmel and Short of that spying. Reports on Morimura’s activities were provided to Washington, DC, but not to Kimmel and Short. 70

American naval war planning had for almost a decade contemplated a Japanese carrier raid aimed at Hawaii from the North Pacific. 71 On November 24, 1941 Admiral Kimmel ordered execution of a plan by Vice Admiral Halsey for a 25-warship task force group including an aircraft carrier to search for enemy naval forces north of Pearl Harbor. Admiral Halsey’s plan was to patrol and search from November 28 to December 5, 1941. Kimmel and Halsey focused the patrol search north of Pearl Harbor, coincidentally in the same area from which the Japanese fleet would launch aircraft against Pearl Harbor. These patrols would have discovered the Japanese fleet by December 5 had they continued until then. However, two weeks before the attack Kimmel canceled this plan pursuant to orders from his boss, Admiral Stark, Chief of Naval Operations. Following those orders Kimmel left his oldest vessels inside Pearl Harbor and sent twenty-one modern warships including his two aircraft carriers west toward bases on Wake and Midway Islands. 72

In November 1941 Kimmel and Short were ordered by the chiefs of the Army and Navy to be alert for hostilities, but also to do nothing to alarm the public in Honolulu. In effect they were told don’t shoot first; you must wait for the Japanese to make the first overt offensive move. These commands tied their hands because to go to war alert status necessitated unusual activity in ship movements and aircraft traffic—which the residents of Honolulu were sure to see.

According to author Stinnett’s book, a few days before December 7, 1941 U.S. Naval Intelligence identified the location of the Japanese fleet 800 miles north of Pearl Harbor. This information was withheld from Kimmel and Short.

On January 27, 1941, ten months before the Pearl Harbor attack, Joseph C. Grew, U. S. Ambassador to Japan (1932-1941) informed the State Department that according to information from a reliable source, Japan was considering a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. 73

According to the diary of U.S. Secretary of War Henry Stimson, in a meeting with President Roosevelt on November 25, 1941, the President said that (1) the U.S. was likely to be attacked by Japan by December 1; (2) the Japanese are notorious for making an attack without warning; and (3) the question was how the U.S. should maneuver the Japanese into the position of firing the first shot without allowing too much danger to the U.S. [Emphasis added] 74

On November 26, 1941 a Japanese navy fleet departed from Japan to attack the U.S. Naval base at Pearl Harbor. The Japanese fleet consisted of 6 aircraft carriers with 414 airplanes, 2 battleships, 3 cruisers, 9 destroyers, 8 tankers, 23 submarines and 4 midget submarines. It was the single most powerful naval fleet in the world at the time. 75

The motive of the Japanese military in attacking U.S. military bases in Hawaii and the Philippines was to remove the U.S. military as an obstacle to Japanese plans to invade the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and Malaya (now Malaysia). Those territories are rich in petroleum, rubber, and tin which the Japanese military wanted for its wars of aggression in Asia. No one in the Japanese military or government believed that Japan could win a protracted war with the United States. However, they believed the attacks on Hawaii and the Philippines would convince the U.S. to stay out of their way—to avoid further hostilities with Japanese forces.

Throughout 1940 and 1941, the military commanders in Hawaii, Admiral James O. Richardson and his successor Admiral Husband Kimmel, and Army General Walter Short had been pleading with the Navy and War Departments for more reconnaissance planes capable of searching far out to sea. Admiral Kimmel later said that “getting more patrol planes ‘was the thing I had stressed over and over again.’”

On February 19, 1941, the army’s top General, George C. Marshall said at an army conference in Washington, “[The Navy’s] ‘fleet out in Hawaii . . .  have to be prepared against . . . a surprise attack from a trick ship or torpedo planes . . .’  Major General Frederick Martin was [then]  the commanding officer of the army’s Hawaiian Air Force, and Rear Admiral Patrick Bellinger . . . commanded the navy’s patrol planes. . . [On March 31, 1941, Martin and Bellinger wrote a document stating] that Japan ‘. . . has never preceded hostile actions by a declaration war,’ and that Japan had eight aircraft carriers . . . ‘It appears that the most likely and dangerous form of attack on Oahu would be an air attack . . . launched from one or more carriers which would probably approach inside of 300 miles [from Oahu].’” 76

The U.S. military commanders in Hawaii believed with good cause that  north of Honolulu was the most likely launch area for a Japanese carrier air strike against Pearl Harbor. 77 In the event, the attack on Pearl Harbor was launched from 300 miles to the north of Honolulu.

On November 27, 1941, the following was the first sentence of a message sent to the Navy and Army commanders at Pearl Harbor by Admiral  Harold Stark, Chief of Naval Operations: “This dispatch is to be considered a war warning.” 78 Emphasis added.

Although patrol planes and their crews were in short supply at Pearl Harbor in November, 1941, at the time Admiral Bellinger had enough PBY long-distance patrol planes at his disposal “. . . to search the most dangerous wedge of the sky, straight north and around to straight west . . . Had Bellinger been ordered, on the day of the war warning, to make the best of what he had and to begin searching to the north and around to the west, the two-week period he believed possible would have ended on December 11.” 79

Bellinger did not make that patrol search because two weeks before the Japanese attack, Admiral Stark, Chief of Naval Operations instructed Admiral Kimmel not to make a planned massive patrol search by sea and air north of Oahu. 80

Six months later, in June 1942, it was a PBY patrol plane that spotted the Japanese naval fleet near Midway Island, enabling the U.S. Navy to attack the Japanese, thereby achieving one of the greatest naval victories in the history of warfare.

Between December 2 and December 6, 1941, the U.S. obtained information from six different sources, including radio direction findings by Naval Intelligence officers that a Japanese naval war fleet with at least two aircraft carriers, was sailing toward Hawaii. By December 2, Naval Intelligence had located the Japanese fleet in the Central Pacific 1,000 miles north of Pearl Harbor. By December 5, Naval Intelligence had fixed the location of the Japanese fleet just 400 miles north of Pearl Harbor. 81

Also on December 5, President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with his cabinet at the White House in Washington, DC. Frances Perkins, Secretary of Labor, and a member of the cabinet, was present at that meeting. She made a detailed record of what took place in memoirs preserved by Columbia University. Among those present was Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy. According to Secretary Perkins’ account, “Knox . . . said to the President . . .   ‘Mr. President, we know where the Japanese fleet is . . .’ The President said, ‘Yes, I know.’” 82

On Saturday December 6, 1941, translators at the U.S. Naval Communications Center in Washington, DC, informed their superior of intercepted messages from Japanese consular officials at Honolulu transmitting a scheme of signals regarding the movement and exact position of U.S. warships at Pearl Harbor. At that moment it was morning in Hawaii on December 6, almost 24 hours before the attack on Pearl Harbor, ample time to notify U.S. military commanders at Pearl Harbor. However, the translators’ superior said action on this information could wait until the following week.

Responsible civilian and military authorities of the United States could have picked up a telephone at any time between December 2 and 6, 1941 to warn Admiral Husband Kimmel and Lt. General Walter Short. No such phone call was made, nor were Admiral Kimmel and General Short informed by their government in any other way of the approach of the Japanese attack fleet. To the contrary, Kimmel and Short were ordered by their superiors in  Washington, DC, to do nothing to alarm the people of Honolulu, and were also ordered not to conduct patrol operations looking for a Japanese naval fleet . That is why in the days immediately preceding the attack Admiral Kimmel and General Short had taken no action to mitigate or counteract the impact of a carrier-launched attack by Japanese warplanes.

On December 8, 1941, the day after the Pearl Harbor attack, Admiral Richardson sat in on a meeting of fellow navy officers who were trying to explain how the the surprise attack had happened. Richardson was silent, until another officer finally said to him, “You haven’t said a word up to now. What are your views?” Richardson replied, “All I have to say is that every day, from now on, I am going to pray for two things. The first is for the success of our arms; the second is that I may keep my lips sealed.” 83

Author John Toland reports that “A massive cover-up followed Pearl Harbor a few days later, according to an officer close to [Army Chief of Staff George C.] Marshall, when [he] ordered a lid put on the affair. ‘Gentlemen,’ he told half a dozen officers, ‘this goes to the grave with us.’” 84

Author Robert Stinnett relates that “The key evidence of what really happened began to be concealed as early as December 11, 1941, only four days after the attack. . . Rear Admiral Leigh Noyes, the Navy’s Director of Communications . . . instituted [a] fifty-four year censorship policy that consigned the pre-Pearl Harbor Japanese military and diplomatic intercepts [intercepted messages] and the relevant directives to Navy vaults. ‘Destroy all notes or anything in writing,’ Noyes told a group of his subordinates on December 11.” 85

“Two weeks after Japan surrendered in August 1945, the Navy blocked public access to the pre-Pearl Harbor intercepts by classifying the documents TOP SECRET . . . Fleet Admiral Ernest King oversaw the censorship. He threatened imprisonment and loss of Navy and veteran’s benefits to any naval personnel who disclosed the success of the code-breaking.” 86

A highly respected but isolationist American historian blamed FDR for lying to the American people and tricking them into war. 87 Three elaborately documented books contend that keeping Kimmel and Short in the dark was deliberate U.S. policy, developed in order to procure U.S. entry into WW II at a time when the American public was opposed to such involvement; that U.S. political and military leaders intended to sacrifice the lives of American military personnel by exposing them to the anticipated Japanese attack, while denying their commanders the information that was necessary, and available, to mount a preemptive defense against such attack; and that the President and top officers of the Army and Navy falsely blamed the disaster on the commanders at Pearl Harbor, Admiral Kimmel and General Short. 88


Jules Verne provides an example of superior technology as defense in his classic science fiction novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1870). The hero of the story, Captain Nemo, cruises the oceans of the world in his electrically powered submarine, the Nautilus. Captain Nemo stops at Papua New Guinea where three passengers on the submarine venture onto land. They encounter Papuans, described as fierce half-naked savages who chase them to the beach where the three flee in their small boat back to the Nautilus. The Papuans follow in canoes, brandishing spears and showering arrows on the Nautilus. The three passengers are alarmed that Nemo has done nothing to take the Nautilus away and appeared unconcerned even when the Papuans climb on board the ship. Verne continues:

“Twenty horrible faces appeared [at an open hatch]. But the first native who placed his hand on the stair-rail, struck from behind by some invisible force . . . fled, uttering the most fearful cries, and making the wildest contortions. Ten of his companions followed him. They met with the same fate.

“[The rail they had grasped] was no rail, but a metallic cable, charged with electricity . . . Whoever touched it felt a powerful shock—and this shock would have been mortal, if Captain Nemo had discharged into the conductor the whole force of the current. It might truly be said that between his assailants and himself he had stretched a network of electricity which none could pass with impunity.” 89

In his V-50 lectures Andrew Galambos provides a similar fictitious example: canoe-paddling, spear-brandishing savages who somehow materialize in New York Harbor in the 20th century, and attempt to attack Manhattan. They are helpless against the higher technology they encounter. 90

While Jules Verne and Andrew Galambos were telling a story, not relating actual events, human history records numerous examples of the dire fate of a people who get into combat with a people from a more technologically advanced culture.

One ought not to consider this concept limited to an encounter between people with stone-age technology and others who have mastered far higher technology. There is a more current and practical example, the effect of superior technology in ending the Cold War of communist Russia against the United States.

CTLR posits that the Cold War was initiated and maintained by Russia against the United States to signify that there would have been no Cold War but for Russian communist ideology. That ideology was that in order for communism to succeed in Russia, the whole world had to become communist. This idea was first put forth by Russian communist leader Vladimir Lenin, at the outset of the Russian Revolution of November 1917. 91 The quest for world communist revolution drove the foreign policy of Russia from 1918 down to the advent of the last Russian communist leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, who abandoned the idea. 92

In the 1980s the Russians had impressive technological capabilities in rocket-launched missiles. However, according to historian John Lewis Gaddis the Space Defense Initiative (SDI) proposed by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 brought about the end of the Cold War in 1989 by hastening the disintegration of the Soviet Union. The ideology of communism had become discredited even among Russian communists, partly because of the continuing erosion of whatever economic strength Russia had previously. 93 Gaddis states that “. . . the Strategic Defense Initiative exploited [Russia’s] backwardness in computer technology, a field in which the Russians knew that they could not keep up.” 94

According to Gaddis, one of Gorbachev’s closest advisors said that Gorbachev “really decided to end the arms race no matter what . . . because nobody would attack us even if we disarmed completely.” 95

The American Navy’s F-14 Tomcat fighter exemplifies the growing relative superiority of American technology. The Russian air force was convinced it had nothing to match the F-14 when it was introduced by the U.S. Navy in 1970. According to a Russian fighter pilot commenting on the performance specifications of the F-14, “it would be equipped with radar that detect aircraft 180 miles away, enable its fire-control system to lock onto multiple targets 100 miles away, and simultaneously fire six missiles that could hit six different aircraft eighty miles away—this even though the F-14 and hostile aircraft might be closing upon each other at a speed up to four times that of sound. In comparison, the Russian pilot said, ‘our radar, when it works, has a range of fifty miles. Our missiles, when they work, have a range of eighteen miles. How will we fight the F-14? It will kill us before we ever see it!’” 96

In 1941, the United States had technologies in radar and aviation that if properly utilized could have deterred the Japanese Navy from launching the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Radar was a new technology in the 1930s, developed independently in Great Britain and America. The principal innovators were, in Britain Robert Watson-Watt and Arnold Frederic Wilkins, and in the United States Albert H. Taylor and Leo C. Young. In 1922, Taylor and Young were working for the U. S. Naval Aircraft Laboratory when they began experiments leading to the development of radar for the U. S. armed forces. Research and development led to the introduction of radar on a test basis in 1936, and in 1939 to the award of a contract to RCA for production of radar equipment. Prior to December 1941 radar had been installed in a land station and on a single warship at Honolulu, Hawaii, but on December 7, 1941 radar was not being used to detect potentially hostile ocean or aircraft traffic in the approaches to Pearl Harbor.

The British adopted radar with greater urgency than the U.S. It was foreseen, correctly, that radar could be of great use in providing the British Royal Air Force (RAF) with early warning of enemy aircraft approaching England. Britain developed a ring of coastal early warning radar stations to detect and track aircraft. The system was called Chain Home. By summer 1937 radar stations were being installed along the coast of England and Scotland facing Europe. The system was fully operational in 1940 in time for the Battle of Britain, in which the RAF had to defend against large fleets of Nazi aircraft coming from France to bomb England. Chain Home radar was able to provide adequate warning of incoming Nazi air force raids, allowing British fighter pilots the time to engage and shoot down many of the attackers before they could drop their bombs.

The Catalina PBY (the PBY or the Catalina), built by Consolidated Aircraft Corporation in San Diego, California, could fly 2,500 miles without refueling, making it ideal for reconnaissance and patrol over the vast distances of the Pacific Ocean. High production of the PBY started in September 1940. Eventually Catalinas were equipped with radar, but not at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack. There were 61 Catalinas stationed at Honolulu on the morning of December 7, 1941. However, only one was on patrol, and it was just offshore at the time of the attack. All but 11 of the Catalinas at Honolulu were destroyed or temporarily knocked out of action by Japanese aircraft. Six months later, at the battle of Midway, June 4-7, 1942, it was a pilot flying reconnaissance in a Catalina who discovered the Japanese fleet, leading to the biggest U. S. naval victory of WW II, in the Battle of Midway. The Battle of Midway was a turning point in the war when the Pacific Fleet sank all four aircraft carriers in the Japanese Fleet, leaving the Japanese navy with only six other carriers. 97

Radar picket ships were used by the U.S. later in WW II. A radar picket ship was usually a destroyer with radar, sent out to identify at long distance the approach of possible enemy aircraft or ships.

If in November 1941 the Navy at Pearl Harbor was actively conducting radar-enabled reconnaissance with a large fleet of PBYs and destroyers, the Japanese attack fleet might never have set sail from Japan. There were Japanese spies at Pearl Harbor, reporting daily to Japan about the passive and almost inert behavior of the U.S. Navy at Pearl Harbor. In the few weeks before the attack the Japanese spies reported the location of U.S. warships berthed within Pearl Harbor. Throughout 1941 the U.S. Navy and the FBI were aware of the presence, identity, and activities of Japanese spies at Pearl Harbor, but allowed the spy activity to go on without hindrance right up until December 7. 98

If between November 24 and December 5, 1941, the U.S. Navy had been using all the technologies mentioned above to look for Japanese aircraft carriers, as Admiral Kimmel set out to do before he was instructed not to by his boss, the Navy could have discovered the Japanese attack fleet north of Pearl Harbor before it launched its attack aircraft. In a best case outcome, the Japanese fleet would have turned back to Japan out of concern that loss of surprise carried the risk of loss of some precious aircraft carriers and many aircraft and pilots.

In a worse case, the Japanese Admiral heading the attack fleet would have ordered the attack to go forward anyway, but the U.S. Navy and Army air force, being forewarned, would have engaged the attacking aircraft, destroying some of them and perhaps even sinking one or more of the Japanese aircraft carriers. That would have reduced significantly the damage and loss of American lives caused by the actual attack. The loss of Japanese aircraft carriers would have inflicted a severe blow to Japanese naval power. That is what happened in the Battle of Midway six months later, after a Catalina PBY spotted the Japanese fleet and radioed his observations to the U.S. fleet and Navy aircraft and a submarine sank all four Japanese carriers.

It must be added here that war between Japan and America in 1941 probably would have occurred even without the Pearl Harbor attack. Japan’s military planned to, and did, destroy the U.S. military garrison in the Philippine Islands between December 1941 and May 1942 as part of a plan to conquer the Dutch East Indies and Malaya. A Japanese attack on the U.S. military garrison in the Philippines would have started the Pacific War between Japan and America.

However, the U.S. could have and should have withdrawn American troops from the Philippines before December 1941. According to a U.S. army history, “. . . the U.S. military had reluctantly concluded that the [American soldiers in the] Philippines must be sacrificed if the Japanese attacked.” [Emphasis added] 99

Sacrificed? Sacrificed! The 31,000 U.S. soldiers were pawns in a geopolitical game the U.S. had started in Asia in 1898 with the conquest of the Philippines in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War. These 31,000 Americans were less valued by their government than are pawns in a game of chess. 100

The U.S. did not defend the Philippine garrison. Its 31,000 Americans were either killed in combat or killed after they were captured, or if they survived were subject to the most vile and hideous conditions imaginable during more than three years of imprisonment.

Those not killed or  wounded in combat were not available later to fight for their country. They were sacrificed. Like a pawn sacrificed in a chess game, the 31,000 were out of action until the game of war was over.

CTLR posits that it was never necessary to the defense of the American homeland and the American people that the United States establish or maintain a military presence in East Asia. Japan never had the military and economic ability before or after December 1941 to pose an existential danger to the American homeland in continental North America. That much was understood even by the Japanese Admiral, Isoroku Yamamoto, who advocated and planned the Japanese navy attack of December 7, 1941 on Pearl Harbor. 101

The U.S. military presence in the Philippines endangered Americans needlessly. By the 1920s the Empire of Japan had explicitly adopted a policy, modeled on the U.S. Monroe Doctrine, opposing military and colonial activities of non-Asian nations in the Asia-Pacific region. Years before 1941 the militarily aggressive Empire of Japan had built a large army, the world’s largest and most modern navy and some of the best military aircraft in the world.

Before December 1941, the government of the United States was unwilling either to deter a Japanese attack on the Philippines by a robust U.S. military presence or to avoid conflict with Japan altogether by withdrawing militarily from the Asia-Pacific region where the Empire of Japan intended to be dominant.

It is incontestable that it was the U.S. military presence in the Philippines that impelled the Japanese to attack America military forces there and at Pearl Harbor. Without that U.S. military presence in the Philippines there would have been no war between Japan and the United States.

The futile presence of an indefensible U.S. military garrison in the Philippines led directly to the death or imprisonment of the 31,000 members of the garrison, the 2,400 American military fatalities at Pearl Harbor and the balance of the 110,000 total military fatalities suffered by the U.S. in the Pacific War.

In any event Japan was destined to lose the war against the United States because of American superiority in both technology and productivity.


America’s productivity was a key to victory in WW II. The United States had neglected its military throughout the 1920s and 1930s. With the Nazi blitzkrieg invasion of France, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) realized in May 1940 that war had become inevitable, although he did not say that for public consumption as Americans generally wanted no part of war.

FDR realized that American military production was too slow, inefficient, and chaotic to achieve timely production requirements of the U.S. military. FDR sought an individual who could organize American production for war. He reached out to William S. Knudsen, the President of General Motors. Knudsen left private industry and organized the “arsenal for democracy” called for by FDR by enlisting businesses large and small across America to cooperate with each other and with the military in the war production effort.

Amazingly, in just four years America’s industrial companies produced more military equipment and supplies than the rest of the combatants combined; supplied large amounts of military equipment and food to U.S. allies Britain and Russia; and at the same time increased the output of consumer products for Americans.

According to American scholar Arthur Herman, “When [Russian dictator Joseph] Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill first met at Tehran in 1943 . . . Stalin raised his glass in a toast to ‘American production, without which this war would have been lost.’” 102

During WW II, American women were hired in ever-increasing and unprecedented numbers to work in the war production effort. At the wartime peak of production there were five million women working in the war effort, constituting over one-third of civilian war production personnel. Working at skilled manual labor they built aircraft, tanks, ships, parachutes, and a host of other military equipment and supplies, using riveting guns, metal presses, and welding torches, and operating complex machinery in factories. Women also worked in the wartime industry as cooks for factory workers, stenographers, bookkeepers, telephone operators, and any one of the numerous occupations necessary for production, and for the infrastructure and support of the war industries.

The United States of America and its various laws presented huge obstacles to American business in its task of producing what the U.S. military needed. Two examples will suffice.

Federal labor laws enacted in President Roosevelt’s “New Deal” program of legislation greatly enhanced the power of labor unions vis-à-vis employers of labor. Under the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA), labor unions could become the exclusive bargaining agent for workers in a company or industry by signing a majority of employees to membership in the union. Labor unions could take concerted action to pressure employers into concessions, including strikes withholding the services of employees. For reasons beyond the scope of this discussion, under the NLRA from 1935 to 1947 employers were virtually helpless to continue business operations after commencement of a strike.

During the early part of WW II there was full employment in America, as everybody who wanted to work was employed in the war effort if they were not already among the more than ten million members of the armed forces. The rush of contracts for war work attracted new workers including women and African-Americans who moved up from the south for jobs in the factories of the Midwest.

Even though striking for higher wages was not a big issue, there was a multitude of jurisdictional strikes, in which competing unions sought to force employers to recognize one of their number as exclusive bargaining agent for employees. In other words, it was a battle between unions for power and union dues—but such strikes closed down production just like any other strike. FDR was loath to put pressure on labor unions to stop these strikes because labor unions were among the important constituencies of FDR and his Democratic Party. 103

The federal antitrust laws also impeded the war production effort for some time. Then U.S. Attorney General Thurman Arnold went on a crusade to initiate antitrust prosecution of businesses engaged in war work. According to historian Arthur Herman, a principal rationale for such prosecution was that “. . . defense contracts were [not] based on competitive bids. There was no time. They were negotiated instead on a cost-plus basis . . . based on what the government would pay . . . [Attorney General Arnold believed that] ‘the vast government spending for war production had created a great opportunity for conspiratorial agreements between businessmen’ . . . So Franklin Roosevelt . . . issued an executive order suspending antitrust prosecution against companies deemed vital to defense production.” 104

Notwithstanding these obstacles, production for the military was enormous. One example will suffice. At the outset of hostilities between Japan and the U.S., the U.S. Navy had six aircraft carriers and the Japanese Navy had ten. During the course of war the Japanese navy sank four of the original six U.S. carriers, and the U.S. navy sank all of the ten Japanese carriers in service at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack.

During the war Japan produced one new big carrier and six light carriers. In the same period, American industry built 10 Essex class large fleet carriers, and 48 light carriers, although many of the light carriers served as shipping convoy escorts in the Battle of the Atlantic between German submarines and British and American navies. 105


The danger to humanity of strong, centralized political states is illustrated by the development of the nuclear bomb and inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM). An ICBM takes only 30 minutes from launch to reach a target half way around the world. Nuclear bombs developed in and after the 1950s release 800 times the energy of either of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japanese cities in 1945.

As of the second decade of the 21st century, besides the United States there were seven nations that possessed nuclear weapons, 106 but there were only two, Iran and North Korea, whose political elite posed a threat to attack other nations. As posited below, the threat from those two nations could be eliminated by the United States if there were a will to do so within the political and military elite of the United States.

Soon after the end of WW II, Russia’s dictator Joseph Stalin started what has been called the Cold War. According to a leading American diplomat and historian, George Kennan, Russian communist leaders had to treat the outside world as hostile because this provided the only excuse “for the [communist] dictatorship without which they did not know how to rule, for cruelties they did not dare not to inflict, for sacrifices they felt bound to demand.” 107

Russia made the first ever successful test launch of an ICBM in 1957. The U.S. followed suit the next year. With these launches, the era of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) began. It has survived the demise of the communist regime that ruled Russia for 74 years. MAD has survived because in order to provide real security against ICBM/Nuclear attack, the defense must be effective 100% of the time, and no such perfect defense has been developed. Even a single nuclear-tipped missile could wreak enormous destruction on its target. Famed investor and insurance expert Warren Buffett stated after the terrorist attacks on New York City in 2001 that “. . . a nuclear detonation in a major [American] metropolis . . . [in] a ‘close-to-worst-case scenario’ . . . could conceivably involve $1 trillion of damage.” 108 Rockets have been developed that contain several warheads, each capable of being aimed to hit one of a group of targets—a multiple independently targeted reentry vehicle (MIRV).

There has never been a defense for an ICBM attack. That does not mean there will never be. What follows here are the comments of the author of this website. These are comments of an interested and informed lay person entirely lacking in the knowledge that experts can bring to bear on this subject.

The literature of missile defense indicates clearly that the best time to destroy an ICBM is immediately as it is launched and for the next minute of so thereafter. That is when the rocket carrying an ICBM is moving slowest and its missile is most vulnerable. Destroying an ICBM after it attains orbit velocity becomes far more difficult because it is moving so rapidly and because it can separate into multiple, independently targeted, nuclear-tipped missiles.

Satellite reconnaissance with high resolution cameras could identify an ICBM in launch phase in any of the nations that have ICBMs. Directed energy from a laser fired at an ICBM could destroy it. Laser beams travel at the speed of light, which is 186,000 feet a second. A laser beam from an orbiting satellite would take less than one-fourth of second to reach and destroy an ICBM during the boost phase of its trajectory. 109

Russia and the United States have submarines that can launch ICBMs. The U.S. has developed a technology for tracking all Russian submarines in every ocean. 110

If satellite reconnaissance could identify an ICBM launch from a submarine, a laser beam from that satellite or another could destroy a submarine-launched ICBM in the boost phase, which is the first minute or two after launch.

The missile submarine fleet and the ground-based ICBMs of a would-be aggressor could be destroyed by preemptive military action. That may sound radical, but there is both a rationale and precedent for such preemptive, defensive military action—a subject discussed below under the heading “Preemptive Defensive Action.”

Until further advances in the technology of missile defense are developed and operational, the entire world is subject to the continuing possibility of attack by a nuclear weapon of mass destruction delivered by an ICBM.

Unfortunately, the missile defense program of the Unites States of America has been the subject of dispute between politicians who advocate total reliance on MAD and other politicians who want the U.S. to put a high priority on missile defense. If the U.S. is to have an effective missile defense, the necessary research and development might go a whole lot faster if it were pursued by science and technology in the service of free enterprise insurance and security companies.

NOTE: ICBMs are not a necessity for attacks with weapons of mass destruction. Such attacks can be made by inexpensive means, and by people who can be identified beforehand only by vigilance and surveillance. This subject is analyzed in the penultimate segment of this chapter entitled “Asset Protection: Private Property As the Ultimate Defense.”


In the chapter entitled “Security,” there is analysis of three school shooting incidents in the U.S. in which the identity and danger of the shooters was known in advance. In each of these cases local authorities failed to act beforehand to thwart the planned attacks. It would have been desirable and beneficial for the police to take preemptive action to prevent these attacks. There were tragic consequences of the failure to prevent these attacks: more than forty innocent victims lost their lives, others were injured, and surviving students and their families were traumatized, leaving emotional scarring which will haunt the families of the victims and survivors of the shootings for the rest of their lives.

In 1801 military forces of the United States attacked forces of four kingdoms in North Africa known collectively as the Barbary States. Ships of these states manned by what have been called Barbary pirates had been seizing American merchant ships and holding the crews for ransom, then called “tribute.” U.S. President Thomas Jefferson declared “Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute,” in asking Congress to fund construction of warships in order to transport U.S. military to North Africa.

President Jefferson sent military forces to the region. The U.S. forces initiated combat with the objective of eliminating piracy in the sea adjacent to the Barbary States. The U.S. took similar action against the Barbary States in 1815.

There is widespread agreement among historians of the Nazi era in Germany (1933-1945) that in 1936 the French army could have and should have mounted a preemptive attack on the small military force of Nazi Germany that invaded the critical Rhineland demilitarized zone. History indicates that would have resulted in the collapse of Hitler’s regime, and averted WW II in Europe.

Israel is a small nation-state surrounded by avowed enemies with a total population far greater than that of Israel. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have on three occasions made attacks on enemies that represented an existential threat to the nation, in the opinion of Israel’s political and military elite.

In late May and early June 1967 military forces of Egypt, Syria, and Jordan massed 230,000 troops on the borders of Israel—a large number of troops in comparison to the active personnel of the IDF. Egyptian President Nasser expelled a United Nations monitoring force from the desert between Egypt and Israel, sent troops there, and closed the straits of Tiran, blockading the Israeli city Eilat.

On May 26, 1967 Nasser declared, “Our basic objective will be to destroy Israel.” 111

On June 4, Israeli civilian and military authorities decided to strike first. On June 5, 1967 Israeli warplanes destroyed most of the Egyptian and Syrian air forces in a preemptive strike. From June 5-10, the IDF routed the troops of Egypt, Syria and Jordan. After six days of war the belligerents agreed to a cease fire. This event is known in history as The Six-Day War.

During and after the Six-Day War, enemies of Israel denounced Israel as an aggressor because it attacked first. Andrew Galambos commented that this provided a new meaning for the word “aggression,” that the meaning of the word now included successful self-defense.

The nation of Iraq was constructing a nuclear reactor in 1981, which the Israeli political and military elite considered an existential threat to their nation. Oil-rich Iraq had no need of nuclear power to generate electricity. Its dictator had made existential threats against Israel. On June 7, 1981, aircraft of the IDF bombed and destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor site.

In 2007 Israel’s neighbor Syria was constructing a nuclear facility with a military purpose. In September 2007 an airstrike of the Israel Defense Force (IDF) destroyed the Syrian nuclear facility. 112

In a world without political states, preemptive military action would not be necessary. The political state is the source and cause of war. When the last powerful political state has collapsed or otherwise ceased to be a threat to others, preemptive military action will have become obsolete. Until that world has fully emerged, private military forces may execute preemptive military actions to protect life and property from attack by would-be aggressors with the capability of doing great harm.

In the early 21st century the political chiefs of Iran and North Korea have made threats to attack and destroy the United States. Neither was capable of that as of the second decade of the 21st century, but each was working to develop nuclear-armed ICBMs. Treaties with such countries prohibiting attacks against or by the U.S. would be futile, as countries controlled by religious fanatics or madmen would violate any such treaty whenever they pleased. Therefore, at some point, it could become appropriate for the U.S. to take preemptive military action against Iran or North Korea, before they achieve the ability to carry out their threats. That could have dire and perhaps untoward consequences. However, shrinking from preemptive attack because of its dangers was the factor that in 1936 kept France from taking military action, well within its capability, to oust Nazi German forces from the Rhineland and thereby likely cause the downfall of Adolf Hitler, and prevent WW II.

NOTE: Thoughtful readers will be concerned about the risk that preemptive attacks might be unjustified and the cause of harm to those attacked. This is a subject taken up in the chapter on Justice. In a world governed by individuals and companies who choose their protectors, there must be means of peaceful recourse for unjustified aggression. There are, and they are described in the Justice chapter of this book.


In the stateless societies that will exist after the decline and fall of political states, there will still be nations. A nation is the sum total of people with a culture and usually a language in common, living in an area where they predominate. In the future, England will be English, but CTLR posits that it will not have a political state that exists by means of coercive force. However, the people of England will not be defenseless militarily. They will have military capability to defend their nation. Even in the early 21st century with the British state still in existence, as of 2003 there were at least ten private military firms with headquarters in London, possessing overseas contracts then estimated to be worth more than US $160 million.

A contemporary scholar, professor, and entrepreneur, P. W. Singer has observed that, “the privatization of the military is just a more aggressive aspect of a larger trend of privatization. Essentially the state is abandoning its commanding heights; all of its most characteristic institutions are in decline—state-owned institutions, social security, justice, education, and now internal security . . . [T]he parallel to military outsourcing is already manifest in the domestic security market. The private security business is a ‘growth industry par excellence worldwide’   and one of the fastest growing economic sectors in any countries.” 113

Just as private security has come into existence all over the world to fulfill a need not fulfilled by political governments, so have private military firms that operate beyond the geographical and operational scope associated with private security. A private military firm (PMF) may operate in one or more of three functions: military service provider; military consulting firms; and military support. PMFs exist because they fulfill a need not fulfilled by political states.

As of the beginning of the first decade of the 21st century private military firms constituted an industry with global revenues of $100 billion, an amount that has been growing larger over time. PMFs exist and operate on every continent but Antarctica. It was estimated in 2003 that there were several hundred PMFs worldwide and that the number was growing rapidly.

PMFs are not a new phenomenon. They existed in renaissance Italy and thereafter at various times and places.

Private enterprise has always been a factor in military capability. The United States of America and its allies were victorious in WW II, in large part due to the enormous productivity of American industry, which supplied all U.S. military requirements, from shoelaces to aircraft carriers, from clothing to the civilian ships that transported military supplies to every theater of war and to the British and Russian allies of the United States.

PMFs are businesses that deliver a wide spectrum of military services once generally assumed to be exclusively the province of the political state. For example, in the 21st century the U.S. military uses PMFs in a variety of functions, including combat operations, strategic planning, intelligence, risk assessment, operational support, training, and technical skills. During the U.S. military operations in the Iraq War of 2003-2010, a PMF guarded all State Department personnel in Iraq. In the Iraq War American PMFs provided logistics, convoy services, and participated in combat on occasion.

Insight into the nature of some PMF work is provided by a report of June 30, 2000 in The New Zealand Herald concerning Onix International, a PMF made up of former soldiers in the New Zealand Special Air Service (SAS). 114 According to this report, an undercover team of ten former SAS soldiers rescued a wealthy businessman from captivity in East Timor, a small island nation adjacent to Indonesia. The rescuers traveled 3,700 miles by air each way to rescue the captive and bring him to New Zealand.

NOTE: The rescue was expensive, about $US 165,000, but such risks could be insured.

As people gradually withdraw their intellectual and emotional support for political government military forces, it will be natural that some will look to private military firms. That will undermine conscription. People will be more and more willing to evade conscription, as occurred in the U.S. during the Vietnam War.

A coercive political society that depends on a conscript army could never prevail against private military forces, made up of well-paid and highly skilled professionals using the most technologically advanced military equipment. It will become beyond the competence of a political state to achieve in its military the level of sophistication, skill, and power of private military forces.

There are PMFs with large revenues that are subsidiary companies of major corporations, e.g. BAE Systems Land & Armaments in England and Military Professional Resources Inc. (MPRI) headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. The customers of PMFs include sovereign states, multinational corporations, and humanitarian non-governmental organizations.

All the personnel of PMFs serve voluntarily; they are free to leave the company at any time, and free to refuse dangerous duties. That characteristic has significance. Conscription is the way a political state builds an armed force large enough to be a danger to other nations. If there are no political states in existence, but only national societies operating in freedom, without political coercion, there will be no conscript armies and no wars. There would have been few, if any, major wars between nations in the past without the existence of a coercive political state to organize and wage war with conscripted soldiers. 115

War existed in tribal societies, before the rise of the state, most commonly as pillage or for revenge. 116 Pillage and revenge have remained principal motivations for military aggression. In World II, Germany was controlled by the motives of Adolf Hitler who sought both pillage and revenge, in addition to his desire to exterminate people he considered subhuman. Pillage was the motive of the aggressions of the Empire of Japan from 1894 until 1945.

CTLR examines the prospect for humanity to eliminate war by developing a social technology of peaceful and non-coercive dispute resolution, and a companion technology of protecting property in all its forms, including life itself. Dispute resolution is one of the subjects of the chapter on Justice in this book.


The focus here is on America, a nation that has become a target for terrorists; and a nation where domestic criminals may attack property in ways little different than foreign terrorists. For contemporary readers it is unnecessary to describe such risks. The mention of the attacks and attackers will be sufficient for this discussion, as interested readers can find details on the internet.

The infrastructure of the U.S. is vulnerable to attack. The infrastructure includes, for example, the American electric grid by which electricity is moved about the country; bridges; railways; urban subway transit systems, highways, airports, seaports, and more.

Most U.S. infrastructure is not privately owned; it is controlled and maintained by federal, state, or local government. The infrastructure could be attacked by means as simple as driving an automobile or truck loaded with explosives up to an attack site and detonating the explosives.

To say that infrastructure is owned by the public, i.e. controlled by an entity of federal, state, or local political government, is tantamount to saying that nobody owns it. What is called government has no proprietary interest in protecting infrastructure. Government is virtually immune to responsibility to individuals and companies for property damages, injuries, and deaths caused by destruction or failure of infrastructure.

In contrast, privately owned infrastructure is usually protected by insurance, by private security, or both. When government officials decide to take steps to protect public infrastructure, almost invariably they call upon private security to do so.

In April 2013 there was an attack on the American national electric power grid. According to a news report of that attack, the grid is “. . . divided into three major power networks: Texas, the western half of the U.S. and the eastern half. Coordinated attacks in those three grids would knock out power to nine of the nation’s 55,000 electric substations. That would be enough to achieve a nationwide blackout . . . A sniper attack at a California power station [in April 2013] illustrated the vulnerability of the network.” 117

In 1993 there was a foreign terrorist truck bomb attack on one of the office buildings in the World Trade Center in New York City. The attack killed six people, injured about one thousand people, and did a great deal of damage to the premises.

In 1995 an American named Timothy McVeigh detonated a truck bomb in front of an office building of the U.S. government in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The attack killed 168 people and injured over 600.

In December 1999 an Algerian terrorist then living in Canada was apprehended in Port Angeles, Washington, an entry point to the U.S. from Canada, after an alert U.S. customs officer noticed his suspicious behavior. The man had driven an automobile onto a ferry boat with regular service over a 20-mile sea route from Victoria, British Columbia to Port Angeles, Washington. A search of the automobile discovered a large quantity of explosives in the wheel well for a spare tire compartment beneath the trunk of the car. The explosives were 40 times more powerful than a typical truck bomb. The terrorist had planned to detonate these explosives at Los Angeles International Airport on or about New Year’s Eve, 1999.

On September 11, 2001, nineteen foreign terrorists hijacked four American commercial passenger aircraft, using the aircraft to crash into two high rise office buildings at  the World Trade Center in New York City and into the Pentagon office building of the U.S. Department of Defense in Washington, DC. One of the hijacked aircraft crashed into a field in Pennsylvania during an attempt by some of the passengers to regain control of the plane, killing all 44 people aboard including the four hijackers. 118 The attacks killed 2,977 people (in addition to the nineteen hijackers) and caused at least $10 billion in property and infrastructure damage.

Most of the American infrastructure is vulnerable to such attacks. There is a reason: most of the infrastructure is not insured against damage from such attacks, and there is no security service operating at infrastructure locations or other places from which an attack may be initiated. Two examples will suffice.

The 1993 World Trade Center (WTC) bombing was perpetrated by driving an explosive-laden van (a truck-like vehicle that can be used for cargo or passengers) into the garage of one of the WTC buildings. It would have been prudent for the owners of such a building to have full-time, continuous security service to restrict access to the building and its garage by people found by competent security measures to be a security risk to the premises. Such security service would be expensive, but far less expensive than the damage it is designed to prevent.

In the 2001 WTC attack, the attackers boarded commercial airliners armed only with knives and box cutters which they used to subdue or murder the pilots of the aircraft. Four of the terrorists had learned to pilot such aircraft. They carried out their plan to crash the aircraft into buildings.

The 2001 WTC attack could have been prevented–easily and inexpensively–by airline and airport security like that of El Al, the national airline of Israel. Israel has been dealing successfully with the risk of hijacking and other forms of attack on El Al ever since the first and only hijacking of an El Al aircraft in 1968.

In contemporary society, in even the most stable and peaceful of nations, there is an unavoidable risk of human attacks on critical infrastructure. The best and ultimate protection against such attacks is universal private ownership of all elements of a national infrastructure combined with insurance and private security to maximize the safety of infrastructure assets and the lives of people who work in or on the infrastructure or use infrastructure such as bridges and office buildings.


The historically accepted ultimate justification for a strong, and coercive, centralized political state is that it is necessary for protection of life and property from domestic criminal attack and for protection of a nation from attack by foreign aggressors.

A preceding chapter entitled “Security” has been offered to show that a state cannot protect life and property. In fact, the state attacks life and property. State security consists of law enforcement. By enforcing thousands of political laws state police actually create dangers to the public while failing to protect the public even from known and previously identified or identifiable threats.

This chapter on National Defense has been offered to show that political states fail to defend the inhabitants of the area they rule, but rather endanger people under their rule by starting wars or by failure to take measures adequate to deter or prevent attack by foreign aggressors.




  1. Paraphrase and amalgamation of comments in V-50 Lectures presented in 1967-1968, transcribed and published as Sic Itur ad Astra (1999), page 462, and description of a stateless, non-coercive society throughout Sic Itur Ad Astra
  2. Citation of authority for this statement of Stalin appears below in a section of this chapter entitled “Productivity.”
  3. Wikipedia, Second Sino-Japanese War, Use of Chemical and Bacteriological weapons,
  4. At Lidice, Czechoslovakia and Ourador-sur-Glane in France
  5. See Wiki, Vokssturm,
  6. See Wikipedia, Fragging,
  7. See Baskir, Lawrence M. and William A. Strauss, Change and Circumstance: The Draft, the War, and the Vietnam Generation (1978); and Gottlieb, Sherry Gerson, Hell No, We Won’t Go: Resisting the Draft during the Vietnam War (1991)
  8. Vietnam War: Draft Resistance, by Jessie Kindig,
  9. The title Czar is derived from Caesar, the title of two Roman emperors.
  10. See Wikipedia, Soviet Union,
  11. Quoted from Pipes, Richard, Communism (2001 Modern Library edition), p. 39
  12. See. e.g., Wikipedia, Soviet Deportations from Estonia,
  13. The most eloquent indictment of Russian communist persecution of the people of the Soviet Union is The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956: An Experiment in Literary Investigation (first published in 1973) by Nobel Laureate Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn. See also Heller, Mikhail and Aleksandr M. Nekrich, Utopia in Power: The History of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the present (Russian language original 1982, English language translation 1986); Pipes, Richard Communism, (2001) chapters 2 and 3; Werth, Nicolas, A State against its People: Violence, Repression, and Terror in the Soviet Union in Courtois, Stéphane, ed., The Black Book of Communism (1999), Part I; Conquest, Robert, The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine (1986); and Conquest, Robert, The Great Terror: A Reassessment (40th Anniversary Edition 2008)
  14. See Pipes, Richard, Communism (2001 Modern Library edition), pages 74-76
  15. Heller, Mikhail and Aleksandr M. Nekrich, Utopia in Power: The History of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the present (1982, 1986 English translation), p. 211; Manchester, William, The Last Lion; Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone 1932-1940, page 63; and “German-Soviet Military Relations in the Era of Rapallo,” by Carole Ann Hale, Department of History, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, September 1989
  16. See Pipes, Richard, Communism (Modern Library edition 2001), p. 74
  17. Heller, Mikhail and Aleksandr M. Nekrich, Utopia in Power: The History of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the present (1982, 1986 English translation), p.365
  18. Quoted in Haffner, Sebastian, The Meaning of Hitler (1978, 1979 English translation from German original) page 111
  19. See Winston Churchill quotation at end of Latin Times, Pearl Harbor Day Quotes,
  20. See Isaacson, Walter, Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), pages 430-431 and 471-476
  21. See Haffner, Sebastian, The Meaning of Hitler (German original 1978, English translation, 1979) at pages 116, 121
  22. See Chang, Jung and Jon Halliday, Mao: The Unknown Story (2005), chapter 20 entitled “Fight Rivals and Chiang—Not Japan.”
  23. Chungking here refers to the Nationalist government that made its wartime capital in Chungking
  24. Quotation from Fairbank, John K., Edwin O. Reischauer and Albert M. Craig, East Asia: Tradition & Transformation (1989), page 806
  25. Quoted from Shirer, William L., The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany (1959) pages 291-295
  26. Quoted from Manchester, William, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone (1988), chapter entitled “Reef,” pages 177, 180, and 189, citing Statist auf diplomatischer Buehne 1923-1945 [An extra on the Diplomatic Stage 1923-1945] by Paul Schmidt, German Foreign Office translator from 1923 until 1945, at note 43 to text on page 177. On Paul Schmidt, see Wikipedia, Paul Schmidt, Interpreter; and Hitler’s Interpreter: The Secret History of German Diplomacy (1951),” by Paul Schmidt, reviewed by Francis Golffing, Commentary magazine,
  27. Quoted from Manchester, William, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone 1932-1940, page 188
  28. Quoted from Manchester, William, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Alone 1932-1940, pages 182-183
  29.   Quoted from About Education, Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech, March 5, 1946, Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri,
  30. Wikipedia, Switzerland during the World Wars,
  31. Quoted in Codevilla, Angelo M., Between the Alps and a Hard Place: Switzerland in World War II and Moral Blackmail Today (2000), page 11
  32. Quoted from General Guisan’s Report to the Swiss Federal Assembly, cited in Codevilla, Angelo M., Between the Alps and a Hard Place (2000), page 51, and note 10 to chapter 2.
  33. The story of Swiss self-defense in WW II is told in the context of a military and political history of the country in the book La Place de la Concorde Suisse (1983) by John McPhee, Professor of Journalism at Princeton University and long-time staff writer for The New Yorker magazine; and also in Codevilla, Angelo M., Between the Alps and a Hard Place: Switzerland in World War II and Moral Blackmail Today (2000); and Halbrook, Stephen P., The Swiss and the Nazis: How the Alpine Republic Survived in the Shadow of the Third Reich (2006).
  34. For a complete account of the Swiss response to Nazi persecution of the Jews, see Codevilla, Angelo M. Between the Alps and a Hard Place: Switzerland in World War II and Moral Blackmail Today (2000), pages 93-107; and Halbrook, Stephen P. The Swiss and the Nazis (2006), chapter 9, pages 201-230.
  35. See Codevilla, Angelo, Between the Alps and a Hard Place: Switzerland in World War II and Moral Blackmail Today (2002)
  36. Wikipedia, Federal Act on Banks and Savings Banks,
  37. The total U. S. military fatalities include 9,500 sailors lost in the sinking of merchant marine transport ships by submarines of Nazi Germany during the Battle of the Atlantic.
  38. Wikipedia, Attack on Pearl Harbor,
  39. See President Roosevelt’s inaugural addresses in 1933 and 1937, his speech of acceptance of nomination by the Democratic National Convention in 1936, and his State of the Union addresses from 1934 through 1938, all available on the internet
  40. Quoted from Larson, Erik, In the Garden of the Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin (2011), page 340
  41. FDR statement quoted from National Archives, Documents Related to Churchill and FDR,
  42. Quotation from Weinberg, Gerhard L., A World at Arms: A Global History of World War II (1994), pages 154-155.
  43. then known in the West as Manchuria
  44. Herman, Arthur, Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II (2012), pages 12-13
  45. American Rhetoric, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “The Great Arsenal of Democracy,” delivered December 29, 1940
  46. The USS Reuben James
  47. Ernest R. May was a distinguished Professor of History at Harvard University from 1954 until his death in 2009.
  48. Quoted from pages 5-6 of Professor May’s book, Strange History
  49. Bradley, James, The Imperial Cruise (2009), pages 74-75.
  50. See Bradley, James, The Imperial Cruise (2009), chapter 4
  51. Quoted in Bradley, James, The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War (2009), page 1 and note 3 citing sources for the quotation
  52. Steely, Skipper, Pearl Harbor Countdown: Admiral James O. Richardson (2008) pages 100 and 105
  53. Wikipedia, Asiatic Squadron,
  54. Quotation from The Savage Wars of Peace: America’s Small Wars and the Rise of American Power (2002) by Max Boot, page 256
  55. Wikipedia, Imperial Japanese Navy,
  56. Homer Lea (1876-1912) was an American geopolitical strategist with personal experience in military affairs in China
  57. Preface by author Clare Boothe (later Clare Boothe Luce) to a 1942 reprinting of the book, at pages 2 and 24.
  58. Wikipedia, Washington Naval Treaty,
  59. Fairbank, John K., Edwin O. Reischauer and Albert M. Craig, East Asia: Tradition and Transformation (revised edition 1989), page 799
  60. Quoted from Toland, John, Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath (1982), page 323
  61. Steely, Skipper, Pearl Harbor Countdown: Admiral James O. Richardson (2008), page 103
  62. Steely, Skipper, Pearl Harbor Countdown: Admiral James O. Richardson (2008), pages 18, 165, 179-180
  63. Steely, Skipper, Pearl Harbor Countdown: Admiral James O. Richardson (2008), pages 173, 198, 203, 211, 217
  64. Wikipedia, Billy Mitchell,
  65. Steely, Skipper, Pearl Harbor Countdown: Admiral James O. Richardson (2008), pages 76, 79, 89-90, 157, and 158
  66. See Wikipedia, Battle of Britain,
  67. Steely, Skipper, Pearl Harbor Countdown: Admiral James O. Richardson (2008), page 229, citing Admiral Richardson’s Memoirs, On the Treadmill to Pearl Harbor: The Memoirs of Admiral James O. Richardson as told to George C. Dyer (1973).
  68. Steely, Skipper, Pearl Harbor Countdown, page 230
  69. Steely, Skipper, Pearl Harbor Countdown: Admiral James O. Richardson (2008), page 19
  70. Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: The Truth About Pearl Harbor and FDR (2000), pages 84-97
  71. Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor (2000), page 147
  72. Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor (2000), chapter 9 entitled “Watch the Wide Sea,” pages 145-151
  73. Wiki, Joseph Grew,
  74. From quotation of Henry Stimson diary reported in Toland, John, The Rising Sun: the Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire 1936-1945 (1970), page 141; and quoted at Wikipedia, Henry L. Stimson,
  75. Wikipedia, 1st Air Fleet (Imperial Japanese Navy),
  76. Quotations from Twomey, Steve, Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack (2016), pages 184-185
  77. Twomey, Steve, Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack, pages 222-223 (2016).
  78. Quoted from Twomey, Steve, Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack, page 81 (2016).
  79. Quoted from Twomey, Steve, Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack (2016), pages 224-225
  80. See text above accompanying note 72.
  81. Toland, John, Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath (1982), chapter 24 entitled “The Tracking of Kido Butai.” Kido Butai was the name given by the Japanese Navy to the task force assigned to carry out the attack on Pearl Harbor
  82. Columbia University Libraries, Oral History Research Office, Notable New Yorkers Secretary Perkins’ observation is reproduced at Toland, John, Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath (1982), page 311
  83. Quoted from Steely, Skipper, Pearl Harbor Countdown: Admiral James O. Richardson (2008), page 22
  84. Toland, John, Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath (1982), p. 341
  85. Stinnett, Robert, Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor (2000), pages 255-256
  86. Quoted from Stinnett, Robert, Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor (2000), pages 255-256
  87. See Beard, Charles A., President Roosevelt and the Coming of War (1948)
  88. See Toland, John, Infamy: Pearl Harbor and its Aftermath (1982); Beach, Edward L., Scapegoats: A Defense of Kimmel and Short at Pearl Harbor (1995); and Stinnett, Robert B. Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor
  89. Quoted from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, chapter 21 entitled “Captain Nemo’s Thunderbolt
  90. In Galambos’ 1967-1968 V-50 lecture number 12, transcribed and reproduced in Sic Itur Ad Astra (1999), page 453
  91. In Russia this is known as the October Revolution because at the time the Julian calendar was still in use in Russia
  92. See Pipes, Richard, Communism: A History (Modern Library Edition 2000), page 49; and Gaddis, John Lewis, The Cold War: A New History (2005) pages 230-231
  93. SDI was and still is, under another name, a program to build defenses against inter-continental ballistic missiles. SDI was derided by American opponents with the pejorative title “Star Wars,” from the title of a popular science fiction motion picture.
  94. Quoted from Gaddis, John Lewis, The Cold War: A New History (2005), page 226
  95. Quotation from Gaddis, The Cold War (2005), page 231
  96. F-14 specifications and statements of Russian pilot Viktor Belenko who defected to the United States in 1976 are quoted from Barron, John, MiG Pilot: The Final Escape of Lieutenant Belenko (1980), page 41
  97. Pacific Aviation Museum, “Catalinas at Pearl Harbor,”
  98. See Stinnett, Robert B., Day of Deceit: the Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor (2000), pages 84-105
  99. Quoted from U. S. Army, The Campaigns of World War II: The Philippines,
  100. According to a respected history of WW II, “United States contingency planning for any war in the Pacific with Japan . . . had always pre-supposed that it would be impossible to defend the Philippines . . .” Quoted from Weinberg, Gerhard, A world at Arms: A Global History of World War II (1994), page 255
  101. See Wikipedia, “Isoroku Yamamoto’s sleeping giant quote,”
  102. Quoted in Herman, Arthur, Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II (2012), page 336
  103. Herman, Arthur, Freedom’s Forge (2012) pages 136-142
  104. Herman, Arthur, Freedom’s Forge (2012) pages 197-198
  105. World War II in the Pacific, at
  106. France, the U.K., China, Russia, India, Pakistan, and probably Israel
  107. Quoted in Gaddis, John Lewis, The Cold War (2005), page 29
  108. Quoted from Mr. Buffett’s Chairman’s Letter in the 2001 annual report of his company, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc., page 8
  109. According to Jastrow, Robert, How to Make Nuclear Weapons Obsolete (1985), page 42
  110. See Wikipedia, SOSUS,
  111. Wikipedia, Gamal Abdel Nasser,
  112. Wikipedia, Operation Orchard,
  113. Quoted from Singer, P.W., Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry (2003, updated version 2008), pages 68-69
  114. “Ex-SAS men in secret rescue,”
  115. Data mentioned above regarding Private Military Firms was drawn from Singer, P. W., Corporate Warriors: The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry (Cornell University 2003, 2008)
  116. See Diamond, Jared, The World Until Yesterday: What We Can Learn From Traditional Societies (2012), pages 29-30 and 157-163
  117. See Fox News Insider, “Small-Scale Attack on U.S. Power Grid Could Cause Nationwide Blackout”
  118. United Airlines Flight 93,

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