What Part Of “Defense” Does The Department Of Defense Not Understand?


Source: Ingenious Press

It is the largest employer in the world, with more than 2 million active duty soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, and over 1 million additional national guardsmen and other reserves. Furthermore, it is allocated the highest level of budgetary resources among all Federal agencies, amounting to more than half of the annual Federal discretionary budget ($618 billion for fiscal year 2014). You would THINK with all that collective brainpower and finances that the world’s largest employer, The United States Department of Defense, could actually live up to the expectations of its name. What exactly is the key word they are not living up to? DEFENSE.

A Quick History Lesson

The United States Department of War, also called the War Department (and occasionally War Office in the early years), was the United States Cabinet department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army. The War Department also bore responsibility for naval affairs until the establishment of the Navy Department in 1798 and for most land-based air forces until the creation of the Department of the Air Force in 1947. The Secretary of War headed the war department throughout its existence.

The War Department existed from 1789 until September 18, 1947, when it split into Department of the Army and Department of the Air Force and joined the Department of the Navy as part of the new joint National Military Establishment (NME), renamed the United States Department of Defense in 1949.

How do we define Defense?

In the context of human-to-human struggle (which is what warfare is about after all), The Free Online Dictionary defines the word ‘Defend’ as “To make or keep safe from danger, attack, or harm” and “to ward off attack from; guard against assault or injury”, while the definition of ‘Defense’ is “The act of defending against attack, danger, or injury” and “The science or art of defending oneself; self-defense”.

All of those definitions among the two words bear strong similarities. The However, ‘defense’ has another usage, far different to anything that comes from ‘defend’. Its eighth and final use in the form of a noun is “The military, governmental, and industrial complex, especially as it authorizes and manages weaponry production”. This ambiguous term, which gives no indication as to whether such weapons will be used in offense or defense, was almost certainly a new buzzword of far more recent origin. It is kind of Orwellian, like the same sort of meaningless terminology which has been so overused and butchered among the U.S. government. After all, “Justice”, “Democracy”, and “Freedom” are all thing that the U.S. military wants to bring to the world too, in ways quite different to how a dictionary would define their actual pursuits.

The Department of Defense even takes on a different face, completely against the dictionary definitions of ‘defense’, when you study the history and origins of other federal departments. For instance, it is interesting to point out that on the topic of ‘Homeland Security’ in Wikipedia, it states that “Where the Department of Defense is charged with military actions abroad, the Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect the United States within, at, and outside its borders.”

Hang on a minute here! Military actions abroad? (I scour numerous online variants of ‘defense’ from different sources hoping to find something related to ‘conducting military actions abroad’. I fail, and for good reason.) How on Earth does ‘military actions abroad’ have anything remotely related to being DEFENSIVE in nature? What was the United States doing that was so ‘defensive’ in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Panama, Somalia, Grenada, and Afghanistan? Are we to believe these 3rd world nations, which in many cases transcend entire oceans, are literally capable of being such an offensive threat to the United States to the point of not being able to take an appropriate course of action? In other words a TRULY defensive response? OF COURSE NOT.


How does surrounding Iran with 44 different U.S. military bases constitute ‘defense’ of U.S. territorial and national sovereignty? Just imagine a complete role reversal. What if Iran was great chums with Canada and Mexico, and had 44 different bases along the Rio Grande and the 49th parallel, along with aircraft carriers and other various warships within the Gulf of Mexico. Would you actually believe for a second that such a display of force and power projection would constitute ‘defense’ for the Islamic Republic of Iran? When a whopping 12,400 kilometers separate Tehran from Miami? OF COURSE NOT.

Final Points   

In summary, since the Department of Defense has adopted its current name and format (since 1949) the United States has literally not fought a SINGLE conflict would could be construed as defensive. Involvement in the Korean War, The Vietnam War, Gulf Wars I & II, The War in Afghanistan, and the countless breaches of national sovereignty through military force in Grenada, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama, Serbia, Libya, El Salvador, and Somalia among many others never once directly threatened the United States with invasion or territorial harm.

It’s a rather insidious sick joke that during the lengthy era the modern-day Department of Defense was known as the Department of War, the United States actually conducted military operations which were defensive. This was due to a breach of sovereignty and destruction brought upon U.S. territory, people, and property which was administered by a foreign nation on several occasions (British burning of U.S. capital in War of 1812, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, etc.). However, in the ‘Department of Defense’ era we have been currently living under since 1949, the United States has fought armed conflicts entirely on the OFFENSIVE against nations which have never once threatened, let alone even had the capability, to attack this country. They should literally just change their name to the Department of Offense, or reinstate the Department of War. If they are not going to stop conducting aggressive wars then at least they can just be honest with themselves.

This article first appeared on Ingenious Press. Follow us on our Facebook and Twitter Pages for weekly updates on independent news and other alternative media.