We are currently seeing several examples of what happens when authority vanishes. On the national scene we are seeing Baltimore becoming even more unlawful following the riots in the recent past.
Arrests are down 50% and it seems that the police force is being very careful in how it reacts to crime. Rather than patrol and possibly prevent crime, it seems that the police force has decided to wait until a crime occurs and then appear. Last weekend was the worst crime spree in this century for Baltimore.
The Baltimore police force is being investigated by the federal Justice department and if other investigations by the Justice department are any indication, Baltimore will become another police force that must follow regulations from the Justice department as are twenty five other police jurisdictions throughout the country.
Historically, the family was the fundamental basis for structure in a country and the male had been the key element of authority. We have seen this aspect of authority significantly decrease over the past 50 years with the percentage of single mothers now raising the family increasing yearly. Disciplinary problems in school are contributed by children with no positive male role model in the family or the neighborhood. That lack of education and direction condemns far too many of our young to be dependent on the goodness of others to include government in order to survive.
On the international scene, the world was accustomed to the United States taking a leadership position. That has been true especially following World War II when we were the only major country that maintained its industrial base and could rapidly shift from military products to commercial ones after winning that war. Nearly every pact that was established by the west during this time was led by the United States such as NATO or SEATO. Friendly countries relied on our good will and protection, while enemies rarely confronted us directly. We were not always successful, but we led and both friends and foes knew that we would. The Soviet Union used other nations to challenge us, but it never confronted us frontally except for the Cuban missile crisis.
Continuing on the international scene, Ramadi fell to ISIS last week and it appears that many of the Iraqi forces left the battlefield. Where was the leadership? Former Prime Minister Maliki purged many of the Sunni leaders from the military and I suspect that that has contributed to the collapse of the Iraqi units that lack effective leadership. This schism between the Shiites and Sunnis must be corrected if authority is to return to the Iraqi forces.
Iran continues to rattle its sabers because it sees the United States as a paper tiger with no will. In retaliation, we seem to support that premise by our actions of almost begging Iran to sign an agreement. Iran in effect has significant influence in most of the countries in the middle east.
While Iran is moving, ISIS apparently is doing quite well in recruiting new members not only in the middle east but also in the west. China continues to expand its military and attempts to create a challenge for control of the western pacific. North Korea rattles its sabers and fires missiles from one of its submarines. Russia digests its consumption of the Crimea and looks at seizing Ukraine. All the while, we talk.
As the United States reduces its military strength and loses influence in the world due to a lack of resolve and commitment, our friends wonder if we can be trusted and our enemies use this opportunity to gamble that we will continue to retreat.
Donald Myers is a retired Marine Colonel and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org