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authorities of the United States; only now It is often said that American officers that my own opinions and conclusions have are not altogether unselfish in their desire been modified, revised, and approved by to see civilians removed from our minisour highest military experts do I feel justi- tries of defense. Even if this is true, can fied in presenting them for public con- they be blamed? Would not a member of sideration. Therefore, in outlining what any other high profession be indignant if seems to be the best method of military through political influence men untrained protection for our own country, I do not in that profession were suddenly to be violate my own dictum that only military made autocratic chief over him and all his experts are competent to give advice in fellows? Therefore I must maintain that purely military matters, since I offer not no matter what system of defense we inmy own opinion, but the verdict of com- stitute or how large a bond issue we depetent army- and navy-officers whom regu- clare, we can never have a safe and sound lations forbid to speak for themselves. reorganization or enlargement of our None of us realizes our danger more abso- army and navy until we have military and lutely than these experts; none would be not civilian secretaries of war and marine more willing to instruct his countrymen ; as members of the President's cabinet. no others could be better fitted to show us No less an authority than Field-Marour errors if they were not subjected to a shal Viscount Wolseley says, in speaking censorship as rigorous as that which now of our Civil War: prevails at the battle-front in Europe.
To hand over to civilians the adminisOur politicians, in order to protect
tration and organization of army, themselves from the exposure of their nu
whether in peace or war, or to allow them merous administrative blunders, which
to interfere in the selection of officers for they naturally commit when they attempt
command or promotion, is most injurious to to perform duties for which they are ut
efficiency; while during the war, to allow terly unqualified, have muzzled our offi
them, no matter how high their political cers, and thus the only men who are
capacity, to dictate to commanders in the thoroughly competent to reveal the woeful
field any line of conduct, after the army inefficiencies of our army and navy are has once received its commission, is simply forced to keep silence and even compelled
to insure disaster. to bear the discredit for blunders for
. . In the first three years of the Seceswhich they are in no way responsible, and
sion War, when Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stanfrom which they would protect us if they
ton practically controlled the movements of were allowed freedom of speech. Occa
the Federal forces, the Confederates were sionally their devotion to their country
generally successful. Further, the most impels them to risk everything and to
glorious epoch of the Confederacy was the break through this senseless barrier, there
critical period of 1862, when Lee was alby injuring the reputations and the politi
lowed to exercise the full authority of Comcal careers of some of our well-known
mander-in-Chief; and lastly, the Northern "statesmen.” The recent fate of Admiral
prospects did not begin to brighten until Fiske, who, when questioned before a con
after Mr. Lincoln, in March, 1864, with gressional committee, dared to tell un
that unselfish intelligence which distinpleasant truths about the present lack of
guished him, abdicated his military functions organization in our navy, is the latest
in favor of General Grant. warning that indiscreet outbursts of truth and patriotism will promptly result in In the United States we are not divided ruined careers.
To muzzle our experts into pacifists and jingoes. All Americans on national safety is almost as ridiculous desire peace, and differ only as to the best as it would be to force the Doctors Mayo means of securing it, or disagree as to the to keep silent on .surgery, or to forbid degree of honor or dishonor with which Edison to speak about electricity.
we may buy that peace. In none of the
wars of our history have we been the ag- penalty of our unpreparedness. We gressors. At Concord that first shot which emerged victorious from the Revolution was “heard round the world” was not and the War of 1812 because Spain and fired by the colonists. In 1846 it needed France sided with us and gave us vital a horror like the massacre of the Alamo aid, choosing those crucial moments to be before our Government would face the avenged for old quarrels with England. necessity of dealing rigorously with Mex- We won the wars of 1848 and 1898 only ico. In 1861 the majority of the people in because we were pitted against weak nathe North were still declaring that the tions. Our one terrible lesson, the only South would never in any circumstances lesson the penalties of which were comresort to arms when the cannon at Fort mensurate with our neglect, was the Civil Sumter cut short their foolish predictions. War. In 1860 our need, as demonstrated
We have ever in the past had war by contemporaneous exponents of preparforced upon us, and have ever been unpre- edness, was for a compact standing army pared to meet it. We shall most certainly of not more than 100,000 men. have wars forced upon us in the future. one who studies the history of that epoch Shall we always be unprepared to meet it must be evident that had we possessed them?
such an army, the Civil War need never Due to fortunate combinations of cir- have been fought. Some military authoricumstances, we have not, in four of the ties even go so far as to state that a single five wars of our history, reaped the full efficient army corps of 30,000 men would
To any absolutely have prevented that war, in pounds, or francs is too great to pay for which a million men lost their lives. Our peace. No price that will build up an adetroops could have suppressed the disorder quate navy and an efficient army is too in the South long before it reached armed great. We all desire that America may conflict, and forced the South to settle its have as few wars as possible, but we must differences with the Government at Wash- face the fact that we cannot always ington by arbitration or compromise.
avoid wars. Even to-day one may perAmerica is so large that she has no need ceive several causes pregnant with the to fight for more territory, as Japan and possibility of future hostilities for the Germany have fought and will fight; she United States. Mexico is one; South is so rich that she has no temptation to America, coveted by Germany, is another; strive for indemnities; and she is too still a third exists in the fact that our proud to indulge in quarrels over trifles. Western labor-unions refuse to allow us May she, however, never be unready to to grant equal rights to certain Orientals hold her boundaries against an enemy or because of racial dislike and because these to protect herself from invasion!
Orientals are more industrious and efshe likewise ever be prepared to defend ficient than the average American day the ideals for which she stands! A nation laborer and are willing to work for lower without vigorous ideals is a nation unfit, wages. The labor-unions very justly make a nation doomed to destruction even more might their right, and have caused laws to certainly than one that has been conquered. be passed the object of which is to keep Conquered nations have sometimes re- their own State for their own use by rengained their freedom, but no nation with- dering it virtually impossible for the Oriout ideals to defend, and the will and entals to compete with them. The might power to defend them, has ever survived. upon which this right is founded cannot
If after the battle of Concord our co- go forever unchallenged. Sooner or later, lonial ancestors had voted peace at any in ten years or in ten decades, it must be price, we should now be taxed without tested by a trial of arms. If the case representation, be ruled by a nation which between the California labor-unions and would allow us no general manhood suf- the Oriental immigrants were to be subfrage, and our territory would still be mitted to fair and impartial international subject to huge land grants which reserved arbitration, it is probable that the Orienvast areas for non-resident nobility. By tals would win the decision, but it is eviaccepting the gage of battle, we won lib- dent that our Government could not acerty and established a great nation. We cept such a decision against the will of its even freed all England's colonies from the own people. tyranny against which we fought, for by Thus from time to time differences that bitter lesson we taught her the wis- arise between nations which cannot be dom of granting autonomy to her daugh- peacefully arbitrated; especially when a ters; in consequence of which the inhabi- rich nation is politically weak, while a tants of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, neighboring country is poor and cramped, and South Africa really enjoy more free- but politically powerful, the latter will dom than the inhabitants of England her- possess itself of the former's territory as self. As regards human liberty, we, by the inevitably as water runs down hill. The Revolution, set forward the hands on the attack will come the more quickly if racial clock of time at least a century. We even differences render the two nations antagdid England herself a service; for in her onistic. It makes little difference whether present need she is supported by a group the rich nation has become weak through of strong and loyal colonies because she race degeneration or through fatuous neghas long allowed them to share her privi- lect of her defenses. The invasion of leges, opportunities, and ideals.
France by the Norsemen, the overrunning No price that can be counted in dollars, of the Roman Empire by the barbarians,
Photograph by Brown Brothers
Rear-Admiral Bradley Allen Fiske
has been a faithful student and a successful follower of his chosen profession. and the recent nibblings at China by many Japan and Russia are to-day allies, who nations are conspicuous examples among ten years ago were bitterest enemies, while many to be found in history.
Bulgaria and Serbia, who together deIn determining America's specific re- feated Turkey in 1912, have since that quirement for adequate national defense, time already fought against each other in we should first estimate the number of one war and are beginning another. troops, together with all necessary supplies, Before an enemy who attacks us can ammunition, and horses, which could be
transport troops overseas, he must have landed by an enemy upon our coast within almost complete control of those seas. a given time. In this connection it is nec- Therefore, if we could be certain that no essary to consider as a possible opponent hostile war-fleet could ever deprive us of every separate nation of the world, for control of our oceans, we might dispense history shows that the friends of to-day with military preparedness beyond that may be enemies to-morrow, or that ene- needed to protect our outlying possessions mies this year may be friends the next. and our Canadian and Mexican borders. Conversely, if we cannot be certain of Thus France and Great Britain, although commanding the two oceans, we must hereditary enemies, combined in the build up an army sufficient to discourage Crimea to support Turkey against Russia. invasion. It should be remembered that To-day Russia, Great Britain, and France since we possess two long and widely sepa- have temporarily united against their comrated coast-lines, we cannot be even mod- mon rival, Germany. Bulgaria, Greece, erately certain of maintaining sea-control and Serbia, who have long felt toward one unless we constantly maintain a navy vir- another a ferocious hatred, temporarily tually twice as large and effective as the combined to attack Turkey, their common navy of any other nation. In the present foe. It is therefore highly probable that war the second navy of the world has been we may some day have to fight against a unable to leave the shelter of its fortified combination of two or more nations. If, harbors, and the war is being fought out after the present hostilities have ceased, entirely on land. The larger navy a coun- Japan and Germany should both be antry supports, the fewer nations or coali- tagonistic toward us, nothing could be tions of nations will be able to deprive it of more according to precedent than that sea-control. Since it would be inadvisa
Since it would be inadvisa- they should temporarily compromise their ble, if not impossible, for us to maintain a present difficulties in order to deal more navy twice as large as that of any other successfully with us. This is, however, country, we must not depend for safety only a possibility, and since I am pleading entirely upon our marine; geographical for the minimum of preparedness rather conditions compel us to possess adequate than for the maximum, I shall assume for military forces.
of discussion that we shall be in Having determined that our navy can- conflict with only one nation at a time. not be counted upon to protect us from all An enemy, having fifty-five hundred attacks, we must next consider the scope miles of coast from which to choose a of possible invasions and must try to de- point of attack, would naturally not attermine the minimum means necessary to tempt to land near any one of our fortified meet them with success. We find by cal- ports, which reminds us that coast deculations based upon well-known statistics fenses are useless without a field army to that Japan, the most powerful nation on assist them. Even the Dardanelles would our west, using only half her merchant have fallen in short order had the splenfleet as transports, could in four weeks did forts not been amply supported by land one hundred thousand men and the Germanized Turkish field army. It twenty-five thousand horses on our Pa- is therefore self-evident that an enemy cific coast, and, as additional vessels be- landing four hundred and fifty thousand came available, could in each succeeding trained and organized troops on our coast period of six weeks land another detach- in two weeks must be opposed by an equal ment of one hundred and forty thousand force that could be mobilized in the same men and thirty-five thousand horses. Either length of time. We must be ready to Germany or Great Britain, the most pow- match numbers for numbers, quality for erful military nations on our east, could quality, and speed for speed, up to the
, by using half their marine, in two weeks ultimate limit of the enemy's strength at land four hundred and fifty thousand men the point of attack. Effectively to deand ninety thousand horses on our Atlantic fend the Atlantic coast, we should be seaboard. And in each succeeding month obliged within two weeks' time to mobilize either would be able to land an additional and transport 500,000 men.
In two army of six hundred thousand men. months we should need to put into the
Above all, we must remember that in- field against the enemy's principal attack ternational alliances have become the or- 1,500,000 troops.
At least one million der of the day; that wars are now almost additional men would be necessary to invariably fought by coalitions of nations. guard against feints and raids, to protect