"Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia, and Africa combined... could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide." - Abraham Lincoln, 1838
The United States spends roughly $800 billion a year on defense; the People's Republic of China, about $146 billion. The Russian Federation lays out around $55 billion, annualized, while the Islamic Republic of Iran's military spending annualizes at $15 billion - not accounting for the crippling 13%-plus inflation it's experiencing.
Finding reliable figures for military expenditures of Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, or the tattered remnants of al-Qaeda and ISIS would be a waste of time.
It's enough to say that not a single one of these state and non-state actors can reasonably be expected to show up on our shores, "D-Day style," at any point in the near future. And if you expect any of these adversaries might come ashore, cannons blazing, in Cleveland, or San Francisco, or Austin, or Bismarck, N.D., then I respectfully submit you may be watching a little too much cable news.
And in the slightly more likely event that one of these foes were to, say, set off a dirty bomb in any of these places, it's doubtful an extra aircraft carrier would prevent it.
And yet, if the manifestly stupid, hopelessly censored mainstream media - run by just five conglomerates - were to be believed, hordes of jihadist enemies are closing in from all sides, moments away from striking.
Then again, this pale shadow of a legitimate Fourth Estate has also - just as dangerously - confused an East Coast stock bubble for real, widespread prosperity and strength.
No, folks, the real danger to American security and prosperity - what's left of it, at least - is safely ensconced, thriving in its ultimate evil, right here...
About the Author
25-year run as a hedge fund portfolio manager, family office chief investment officer, managing director and general counsel. Internationally recognized expert in credit and equity markets as well as macro risk management.