Tag Archives: sysadmin complex

Is the SysAdmin Constitutional?

Volokh, E. (2007). The marines, the coast guard, and the constitution. The Volokh Conspiracy. January 28, 2007. Available online: http://volokh.com/posts/1170035957.shtml.

Eugene Volokh ponders the question: is United States Marine Corp is constitutional, as it appears to be an Army administred under the Constitutionally more generous terms given to the Navy?

The tougher conceptual question is whether the Marines can constitutionally be considered part of the constitutionally specified Navy (whether or not they are part of a federal agency labeled the Navy), or must be seen as falling under the constitutional head of “Armies.” In either event they’d be constitutional, but if they are treated under the head of “Armies,” then they’d have to be funded using appropriations that are for no longer than two years; if they are treated under the head of “Navy,” they can be funded under unlimited-length appropriations. Recall that the relevant Congressional powers are:

To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

To provide and maintain a Navy.

I don’t know the answer, but I thought I’d flag the question (recognizing that it is of little practical importance, especially these days).

Dr. Volokh then gives speculated on why the Army should be on a shorter lease than the Navy:

My (somewhat vague) recollection is that the constitutional distinction between armies and the navy stems from the fact that Englishmen of the time — including the American variety — saw land-based forces as much more dangerous to domestic liberty than sea-based forces, and sea-based forces as much more important to day-to-day national defense. That’s also why there was lots of concern about a standing army, but not about a standing navy. Modern Marines are in this respect at least potentially more like “armies” than like the “navy”; that’s why the question I pose is theoretically nontrivial.

Is Barnett’s Leviathan an updated version of the Department of the Navy (the few, high-tech, can only be deployed offshore and abroad) while his SysAdmin just an updated version of the Department of the Army (the many, the low tech, deployable at home and abroad). If an Office of Systems Administration is created, would it have to be funded for no more than two years at a time?

Mother’s MILC and the Department of the MISCellaneous

DoD Directive 3000 put in the context of Iraq,” by Thomas Barmett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 4 January 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/002778.html.

Viral in-coring: Seoul to Beijing,” by Thomas Barmett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 4 January 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/002774.html.

The China trajectory the hawks never see,” by Thomas Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett :: Weblog, 6 January 2005, http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/weblog/archives2/002782.html.

In Embracing Victory, I argued that the main engine of globalization is the civilian-led reverse domino theory. A Military-Industrial-Leviathan-Complex prevents a country from spending the wealth it gains from globalization on a war which would threaten globalization. From time-to-time, however, we want to protect the innocent without having middle class people sacrifice For these times when is needed, we need a Military-Industrial-SysAdmin-Complex to give us the freedom to act. Recent posts by Dr. Barnett support this view.

On the need for a Military-Industrial-Leviathan-Complex

From clothes to hairstyles, music to television dramas, South Korea has been defining the tastes of many Chinese and other Asians for the past half decade. As part of what the Chinese call the Korean Wave of pop culture, a television drama about a royal cook, “The Jewel in the Palace,” is garnering record ratings throughout Asia, and Rain, a 23-year-old singer from Seoul, drew more than 40,000 fans to a sold-out concert at a sports stadium in Beijing in October.

But South Korea’s “soft power” also extends to the material and spiritual spheres. Samsung’s cellphones and television sets have grown into symbols of a coveted consumerism for many Chinese.

Christianity, in the evangelical form championed by South Korean missionaries deployed throughout China, is finding Chinese converts despite Beijing’s efforts to rein in its spread.

For a country that traditionally received culture, especially from China but also from Japan and the United States, South Korea finds itself at a turning point in its new role as exporter.

You laugh, but when you’re moving as fast as China, you’re bringing up a whole lot more than incomes; you’re raising an entire society, in effect schooling it on how to behave with its new-found wealth.

I stick with my prediction in the “Blogging the Future” afterward in BFA: we will be amazed at how religious China is within a generation. And we’ll have South Korea to thank for it.

This is why the Reverse Domino Theory is Barnett’s most important strategy. We must keep encourage China to grow richer and discourage China from growing more belligerent. Encouraging China to open up to her neighbors let’s us do the first part of this. Maintaining a Leviathan that can easily blow the Chinese fleet out of the water is the second. And we maintain a Leviathan with a Military-Industrial-Leviathan-Complex which incentivizes politicians to keep our “big stick” strong.

Dr. Barnett correctly sees where China is going

Me, I see a clear trajectory with China: day-in and day-out it slowly but surely opens up its precious “communist” economy to outside economic influence and connectivity. Its political leadership, which is clearly autocratic, increasingly lets that process of growing connectivity drive a comprehensive and profound transformation of its internal economic rule sets, while trying desperately to keep itself insulated from the pluralistic impulses that process inevitably unleashes throughout society, but especially among the youth.

Our Leviathan is like mother’s milk to peacefully rising China: the MILC of our Military-Industrial-Leviathan-Complex. Instead of trying to “shake” the greed from our system, the MILC funnels it into deterring a violent China from ever emerging.

On the Need for a Military-Industrial-SysAdmin-Complex

In the future, there is always going to be a need for a lot of deployable civilian capacity,” said Jeb Nadaner, deputy assistant secretary of defense for stability operations. “Think of all capabilities you need in stability missions.” He envisions the new State Department office coordinating contributions from departments as diverse as Treasury, Commerce, Justice and Agriculture.

Almost like a virtual department? Hmm, my dream for the DoEE.

Instead of a shapeless, “virtual” Department of Everything Else, Barnett’s should focus on the need and not the obvious bureaucratic solution.

The need is a lot of deployable capacity for nation-building-type work. We need networks of private sector security contracts. The Department of Defense should be the hub for this, but saying it will have “departments as diverse as Treasury, Commerce, Justice and Agriculture” is like saying “A Free Market is run by bureaucrats as diverse as Treasury Commerce, Justice, and Agriculture.”

For everything else, we don’t need a department. We need a MISC: A Military-Industrial-SysAdmin-Complex.