Saturday, December 19, 2009

Remnant, Chapter 6


“Report on Future Logistics Operations
 North American Theater

Prepared by North American Logistics Command (NALCOM), Redstone Arsenal, AL”

The report was titled. I had no idea there was such a group, but then again, why would I?  I had at least heard of Redstone Arsenal. I skimmed through the first few pages, trying to glean what I could before I took a serious read.

“The events of January through July, current FY have forced a reassessment of ongoing and future logistical needs for military and civilian operations in the North American theater of operations. Trigger events that precipitated this reassessment include:

•Collapse of the Middle Eastern oil field complex and depletion of the Mexican and Venezuelan reserves have decimated the worldwide economy and affected all major developed nations. As the United States largest consumer of petroleum products, the U.S. military is particularly affected by this depletion of resources and the collapse of the infrastructure to provide it.

•Multiple earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in the Pacific Northwest and northern California, disrupting commerce, military operations, and causing heavy civilian casualties and massive damage to the infrastructure.

•Military actions against M.E. nations, Russian, Communist Chinese, Mexican and other enemy nations. Military actions included destruction of infrastructure and oil-producing geological features in the Middle East, Russia and former Soviet republics, coupled with destruction of refining and shipping capacities throughout combatant nations.”

This struck me as new news, the statement regarding the destruction of ‘geologic features’ in the war zone. ‘They blew up the fields? How? Burying a nuke?’ I wondered.

•Military actions against the United States resulted in the losses of key elements and resources formerly providing overwhelming dominance on the battlefield, within the seas, and in space. These losses, in addition to the physical losses of ships and personnel in battle, include the destruction of most U.S. shipyards capable of constructing, servicing and repairing SSN and SSBN fleet forces; loss of major contracting firms similarly responsible for Nimitz-class carriers, Aegis-class destroyers, and guided-missile frigates; and loss of space-launch capabilities on both coasts and within the continental United States.

‘No statement about ‘how many’ shipyards were lost, just that we can’t service our fleet? How could this be? Where did they refit our ships, anyway?’  It began to dawn on me that what the report was saying in this brief paragraph, was that there was a very limited time left for the U.S. Navy to remain the dominant naval force in the world. Or more correctly, for there to **be** a dominant navy.

•Pandemic influenza geared toward specific genetic identifiers that is only at this time (15 October) reaching a peak globally. HXN-1 strains appear to have stabilized with regards to mutation, achieving a status of saturation in 70% of the First World countries within 90 days of onset. Losses in terms of human skills, educational resources, and societal stability have demonstrably affected local populations to terminal conditions within as few as 30 days after onset of the virus, with longer down slope affects projected to last at least fifteen to thirty years in most areas of the world.

‘What does ‘saturation’ refer to?’ Endless questions this report.

•Losses to United States civilian and military leadership have been comparable to all other developed nations, with critical losses at all levels of leadership and performance.

•Losses to manufacturing, service, medical, and food production capabilities throughout the North American continent have likewise achieved critical levels, reaching extreme levels in the most urbanized and areas most dependent on imports of food, energy, and goods.

“Firsthand experience there,” I said aloud.  I skimmed through more pages, finding a bit of a summary of the section.

These key events have triggered dozens of expected and unexpected consequences around the world, including: 

•Secession of several parts of the United States led by communist forces under the badge, the ‘New Republic,’ and on-going conflicts between U.S. and N.R. military and militia forces.

“Finally calling them what they are, I see.”

•Collapse of Communist Chinese government, establishment of interim democratic Free China government, and failure of that government within three months due to massive human die-off from influenza, starvation, and violence.

‘Hadn’t heard that on the news,’ I thought.

•Establishment of the Islamic Caliphate, reaching through most of Europe and Asia, outside of Israeli held lands in the Middle East and North Africa.

‘And I wonder what that sentence really means…’ I wondered as I poured over the rest of the page.

•Collapse of the Canadian government into two governmental bodies, ‘New Canada’, which has asked for and received Territorial status from the United States; and ‘Free Canada’, which has asked for a ‘strategic alignment with Rebellion forces within the United States.’

“That’ll only end badly for someone,” I said.

“What was that, Dad?” Kelly asked as she fetched something from her room.

“Nothing, babe. Talking to myself.”

“You do that more and more these days.”

“I’m a good conversationalist.”


•Balkanization of Russia, including incursions from states bordering Russia on the south into the Caliphate, and from China. Chinese refugees appear to have captured the entire Siberian area without resistance.

•Isolation of Japanese islands from all contact to slow spread of influenza.

•Creation of a southern African totalitarian state not unlike Cambodia in the 1970’s reaching from the former South Africa to the Congo, including the southern two-thirds of the continent.

“Hmmm.” ‘Wonder who’s in charge of that little nightmare,’ I thought. Africa brought me mixed emotions.

Ten pages further on, the authors began to discuss ‘recovery.’

Key recovery efforts within the N.A. theater include:

•Re-establishing Constitution-based legal authority within areas unaffected by prolonged nuclear contamination, working within the State framework, with a strong State, weak central government model of operations.

•Collection of critical spare parts, resources, and otherwise irreplaceable technologies, and securing them in dispersed, fortified locations.


•Construction of new industrial facilities to maintain current infrastructure and supply mission-critical components to the U.S. military and key civilian industries throughout the planned interim period of adjustment.

‘And how long is this period of adjustment, fellas?’

•Massive exploration and immediate action on new and previously exempt petroleum resources within the region, including the new oil fields off of California, Baja California, and Alaska.

•Construction and refitting of energy refineries in eleven coastal states and six interior states, seven territories, and two protectorates.

•Encouraging local governments to require individual responsibility for safety and security; production of subsistence foods; local production of goods and services; recovery and reconstruction efforts and entrepreneurship.

•Requiring State governments to enhance National Guard units from local populace for local needs.

•Distribution of medical resources to fortified regional medical research complexes.

‘Again, fortified?’

The next section was really what I was interested in.

Look Ahead—Year 1 through Year 10

Continental United States and North American Theater

“Beans and Bullets”

Key shortages in petroleum product availability at all levels will force a prioritization of available resources in a manner that will dramatically strain both the U.S. military’s force projection capability and maintaining pre-War methods of food production and industrial capacity, until new oil sources come into production in late Year 3.

Critical to sustaining a peaceful population is the production of sufficient and varied foodstuffs to ensure health and maintain an environment in which the individual can thrive.

Projections of available fuel products within the CONUS and N.A. theater illustrate that it is not possible to maintain anything but a subsistence (survival) diet for the great majority of the population, working within the pre-War methodology of food production, transport, and processing. This will certainly result in civil unrest by the end of the Year 2 growing and harvest season, beginning again with certainty, in areas that are unable to sustain farming practices due to climate, urban density and lack of farmland, or lack of water resources.  Example areas include Tucson and Phoenix, AZ, although dozens of urban areas exhibit similar unsustainable settlement patterns.

Regardless of whatever resolution comes from the ‘New Republic’ secession/rebellion effort near-term, long term survival of a large population in the Northeastern United States is not possible without fossil fuels to maintain a transitional economic and industrial model. Insufficient agricultural production currently exists within the region in an operational mode, without petroleum fuels. Additionally, on-going military operations between N.R. and U.S. forces will likely become increasingly one-sided as N.R. forces lose the ability to supply spare parts, fuel, and manpower to the rebellion effort.

Centralized farming operations and the loss of local knowledge of microclimate, advanced mechanization, and even simple farm skills have essentially doomed a large portion of the rural population to probable starvation until sufficient numbers of the surviving population learn how to produce enough food and goods to care for themselves as part of the transitional economy. Small scale industry, possible in the 1930’s is likely all but impossible now due to the lack of knowledge, tools, skill, and heritage.

Petroleum production and refinery capacity in the CONUS will not appreciate and affect market conditions until late Year 2 or early Year 3, forcing USMIL forces to dramatically scale back operations in the Mexican territories and southern battle front, at the risk of not having enough fuel to grow food for both the military and civilian population. Oil fields off of California, although known in location, are unknown in capacity and longevity. Department of Energy sources state that three years minimum will be needed to establish new production wells in the California offshore area, including construction of platforms and transport abilities.

“Band Aids”

Medical care in the CONUS, formerly the highest in the world, has now dramatically declined in availability and levels of service. While it cannot be defined as ‘third world’ in a pre-War sense, routine medical care for minor ailments is all but unavailable, and we are now witnessing a dramatic increase in deaths of those citizens formerly on ‘maintenance regimens’ of medicines for many different diseases and afflictions. With the loss of key medicines and treatments for heart patients for example, losses due to heart failure and stroke increased by six hundred percent from January through July, with the peak hitting in mid-August. CDC staff stated that this was likely thirty to forty days after regular medicines ran out, with an assumption that many patients were taking reduced quantities at regular periods, in effect, stretching their medications out to last.

Surgical procedures have also been dramatically affected by the loss of technology, staffing, supplies and medicines. Post-surgical deaths due to infection have increased with the loss of European-produced medicines, as one example. Operable conditions pre-War are now far more complicated with the losses many advanced technologies due to computer chip and program failures. 

CDC estimates that within the next seven years, the U.S. may regain up to 90% of pre-War medical abilities, assuming domestic production of pharmaceuticals through plant expansion; medical training programs are prioritized (including basic care and advanced diagnostic, surgical and post-surgical technique); and adequate individuals can be found for medical training……..

I skipped down a few more pages.

“All things shiny”

Re-establishing a national economy that is based on a recognized commodity or series of commodities is essential for all advanced economies. Formerly, and as required by the Constitution currency was backed by such commodities, until abandoned in favor of the fiat economy. As all fiat economies, the former Federal Reserve Note system failed utterly, compounding virtually all other issues the world is dealing with at present.

Presidential directives to re-establish a Federal currency based on gold, silver, nickel, and copper have been put in place, and new coinage based on ounce-weights of gold, silver, etc. re-established as well.  Old, pre-1964 silver coinage (90% silver) is accepted at face value, but post-’64 coinage, with the exception of some half-dollars (40% silver) and pre-1979 copper pennies, are now being sold or valued at the melt value of their base metals. Gold coins are being minted in $5, $10, and $20 pieces, and paper notes will be immediately redeemable for coins on demand. The base value of the nickel seems to fluctuate in value from worthless in parts of the CONUS, to face value, in selected regions.

Key issues related to the monetary system involve sheer lack of metals for coinage.  Silver, gold, and copper mines throughout the North American continent have been acquired for the creation of the new coins, but the Treasury Department expects at least some coinage will be in circulation by the end of Year 1. By the end of Year 2, there should be wide availability of silver coinage and notes, and limited availability of gold coins. Until that time arrives however, trading and barter will comprise the bulk of the local economy.

Bullion removed from New York City and Washington prior to N.R. occupation has been relocated to several secure locations well within U.S. controlled areas.

‘Interesting,’ I thought to myself. How much bullion? From where? To where? And when did they figure out they were going to lose the Northeast? How did they move it?

None of which really mattered, of course, except for my own curiosity.

Deeper into the document:

…Price controls were studied on a national basis, but deemed unworkable as local economies, including barter, sales made with existing silver-based and gold-based coins, etc., were being created and acting with more agility than the Federal response could attain.

Of Credit and Debt
Federal taxation has been set at five percent of gross income, flat across income levels. Income is now collected by the local governments transmitted to the States, and to the Federal treasury. Limited information was provided for the generation of this report regarding the process, but it is the consensus of the reporting officers that this process has been fraught with corruption and mishandling of funds. Federal workers have been paid since 1 May in scrip redeemable at Federal commissaries. Military units have similarly been compensated at base and post exchanges. Purchases by the Federal government for such compensation have been made with physical commodities, such as silver or gold coinage.

National and international banking and finance concerns, since the onset of the Second Depression, have insisted that debt obligations be fulfilled per law. President Lambert under Executive Order abolished all debt obligations for individual Citizens effective 1 September.  Debt obligations against companies, corporations and municipalities were forgiven on 1 August, after the Supreme Court ruled that lenders in the test case had breached fiduciary duty by attempting to collect on debt instruments that had been sold, and resold, until the true owner of the note could not be determined.  In most cases, including the test case, the debtor company had in fact ceased operations within weeks of the onset of the Depression, with most physical assets being stolen, looted, or destroyed (Eurovian Finance Ltd. Vs. Detroit Motor Company).

Insurance concerns worldwide similarly, ceased operations within three months of the onset of the Depression and the outbreak of War. In more than ninety percent of all cases, no claims were paid due to the complete collapse of the investment portfolios held by the insurance firms, which were wiped out in the economic collapse. Individual claims against such firms, while certainly legally founded, will with certainty fail, due to the evaporation of the insurance firms from the new economic landscape.

The Domestic Political Future
Currently, national representation is in place from all fifty states, Puerto Rico, Mexican territories, Canadian Territories, and Pacific territories, despite insurrections in several states. The full Senate was seated on 1 September, followed by the full House on 15 September.  Interim appointees, selected by State governments, will formally run for office next November.

The stability of the current political environment is a direct result of the preceding Administration’s Executive Order to immediately appoint qualified individuals to serve at the behest of the State leadership, should current representation fail to fulfill their obligation due to medical issues, etc. No major national legislative issues have been addressed, other than emergency and interim programs to maintain cohesive, Constitutionally mandated Federal control, and prepare for a dramatically smaller Federal government over the next five to fifteen years.

The success or failure of political leadership at all levels depends on people with integrity with a willingness to serve, sometimes in situations of grave hardship. Local leaders in particular, are critical to maintaining local order, control, and hope for recovery. Most successes locally have greatly enhanced the ability of the local population to cut dependency on the Federal response, which both frees up the Federal forces for other areas, and reduces the need overall, for involvement by the national government and military.

I heard the impending sound of dinner, and quickly flipped to the end of the report, not really knowing what sort of conclusion might be waiting for me.  Nonetheless I was surprised by the ten-point text on the bottom of the final page:

‘The preceding document is the consensus of six of eight NALCOM officers assigned to complete the assessment. Two dissenting staff officers withheld their consent signatures on the report, stating that the report was far too optimistic over the timeframe presented.’

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