Militias: exploring alternative force structures for national defense
Gavra, Daniel V.
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Large-scale conventional wars have become quite rare, yet most militaries are built with this model in mind. Conversely, less well-resourced entities employ force through part-time fighters and prevail at a higher rate than expected when facing standing militaries; in these cases, they employ pre-existing combat-related skills mastered either in civilian life or through military refresher courses. This research seeks to determine whether a militia-focused approach may be the most cost-effective security choice for a community; it may not be optimal for short, blitzkrieg-like engagements, but it may employ force effectively for defending the community it represents. Through analyzing three historical cases that stretch from small-scale to nationwide war, from desert to forested mountains, from unconventional to mechanized warfare, and from active combat to pure successful deterrence, this thesis examines the conditions under which a militia-based defense system is a viable and attractive option for national defense.
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