UN Martial Law On US Soil?

The Prepper Project
by Rick Cox

united nations

This is one of those topics; some might call it a “conspiracy theory”, which comes up with surprising frequency throughout the Prepper community.  Personally this is a “threat” that I really have zero concern with.

I’m sure that many reading this will have an immediate desire to stop reading, or to write me a nastygram, or both.  I hope you will at least do me the courtesy of reading the entire article before deciding on any course of action.

I’ll begin by pointing out that my opinion has nothing to do with the possibility of a “New World Order” or similar group wanting to impose martial law or other reductions in American freedoms on us.  My opinion is that of a retired soldier with a wide range of specialties and experiences with military personnel from several other nations.  My opinion is also influenced by more than 4 decades of formal as well as informal historical and military history studies.  I don’t find much credence in a “New World Order” either, but that’s a separate discussion.

I looked at several issues that would influence any decision to send UN forces into the USA and that would likely impact the potential for success of such a mission when forming my opinion.  These included things like the current forces available for such a mission, their training/leadership, the abilities of the military/nation to project power, the abilities of the military/nation to supply/support their forces in such a distant setting, the track record of the militaries in question versus the USA, the track record of the militaries in question in peacekeeping or counter-insurgency settings, and finally the economic situation of the nations in question and how that might affect their ability to fund any such forces.  I won’t address these in significant detail in this article as it would be a huge document and nobody would take the time to read it.  Instead this will be the Prepper Project condensed version.

At the time that this is being written there are only 2 nations that truly have the numbers of troops it would take to impose any meaningful force on the USA.  Those nations are Russia and China.  While there are other nations with very large armies, North Korea is an example; they are also nations that require very large armies to maintain their current governments in power.  Thus, they wouldn’t have troops to spare for a UN mission of this scale.  Some will say that there are nations that could supply a battalion or brigade perhaps, but the USA is a large nation in terms of size and in population as well.  Which means it would take a lot of troops, a couple dozen divisions at the least, to have any serious impact on the USA.  And while some nations might be willing to send small contingents, most wouldn’t do so under the command of Chinese or Russian generals.  And since command normally is awarded to the nation with the largest number of troops, that would mean Chinese or Russians in command of the effort and most other nations boycotting the mission.

Of the two nations that have enough troops to spare to consider supporting a UN mission in the USA both have serious issues with training and leadership.  The Soviet Union maintained serious limitations on initiative and freedom of action with their junior officers and NCOs.  This has largely continued in the Russian Army.  What this means is that commanders get their orders and don’t share them with subordinates.  So if anything happens to the commander, the subordinates don’t know what they are supposed to do.  This is an important consideration for the type of actions that make up a UN peacekeeping or similar mission as these are typically focused on small unit, squads or fire teams in most cases, tasks such as patrolling or manning checkpoints.  In most modern armies such missions could be run by junior NCOs, the Sergeants and Staff Sergeants.  In the Russian army such missions would take at least a Lieutenant.  The Chinese military hasn’t fought a significant war since the Korean War of the early 50’s, so their doctrine is roughly 60 years behind the times.  Their equipment is comprised of Soviet era knock-offs and their unit structure is as well, which is not a good thing as the Iraqi Army and Republican Guard will attest to.  Morale in both militaries is questionable at best and would almost certainly collapse in the face of determined American resistance.

Power projection sounds like such a simple concept, and in many ways it is, however actually doing it well is a daunting proposition for most nations.  You have to be able to transport troops, vehicles, equipment, and supplies.  You have to have air superiority or your ships will be sunk.  You have to have sea superiority or your ships will be sunk.  You have to be able to resupply and provide replacements for your forces.  You have to be able to care for sick and wounded troops, to include getting them home.  To have any impact on a nation the size of the USA you’re talking about doing this for a minimum of 20 divisions, which means more than 200,000 troops.  Neither Russia nor China could support even 10% of those numbers for any length of time.  Note: Those 200,000 troops would only be sufficient if they were not actively opposed by insurgents in the USA, but my guess is that they would be very actively opposed.

Russia doesn’t have much of a track record against the USA in military terms.  However, there are numerous considerations that will certainly affect how their military is likely to interact with Americans.

  • Each time US forces have faced an opponent using Soviet/Russian equipment, structure, and tactics they have smashed them at very little cost.  Meaning the Soviet/Russian approach to war gets hammered every time it meets the US approach to war.  Any American insurgency would make use of US tactics and such, and the Soviet/Russian military model would not do well.
  • A UN mission in the USA would almost certainly end up with an American insurgency against the UN troops.  Soviets/Russians don’t have much experience with such actions, and they didn’t do well when they’ve tried.  Part of the problem is the issues they have with trusting their junior officers and their NCO corps, coupled with an inability to “think outside the box”.
  • The USA has a track record of foreign troops deserting from the invading forces and joining the Americans.  Once the Russian troops get to see how much better life is in the USA I suspect many will desert to join with the Americans, probably bringing their weapons and vehicles with them.

China has not faced Americans in a shooting war since the early 1950s, back in the Korean War.  It wasn’t a pleasant experience for them, not that it was great for the Americans either.  But with the numeric advantage that the Chinese had, and the near total surprise of their entry into the war, they should have wiped out the UN (largely US) forces.  Instead the Chinese took huge numbers of casualties and accomplished nothing beyond getting the border set back to where it had been originally.  Some issues the Chinese would face in a UN mission focused on the USA:

  • The Chinese military is largely patterned on the Soviet model, as described above.  They have modified it some, but they have no practical experience to guide such modifications so it’s unlikely that much has really changed.
  • The Chinese have not won a war in a very long time.  Nor do they have a military or warrior culture.  So the average Chinese soldier is unlikely to be a fierce fighter or dedicated to the mission.  Such soldiers don’t do well in insurgencies.
  • China also does not foster independent thought among its officers or NCOs.  They are more focused on blind obedience and adherence to doctrine, which is a major disability in any military action, but especially in the midst of an insurgency.

When considering the economics of any UN military mission to the USA one must understand that the majority of the UNs budget, especially for military actions, traditionally comes from the USA.  Obviously that would not be available for such a mission.  The Russians have no money to support such a mission, and won’t anytime soon.  The Chinese should have cash available, but most of theirs is tied up in trying to bring their military into the 21st century as a regional (or if they can manage it a super) power while also trying to modernize their industrial complex and improve their peoples standard of living.  So any UN mission to the USA carries significant economic risk for them, especially when one considers that if the USA is to be subjected to a UN military mission the country won’t be servicing its debts etc.

The last consideration for any UN mission in the USA is the reality of the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.  What this means to any nation contemplating such an action is that there are more weapons (and in many cases better weapons) in the hands of American citizens than most nations have in their militaries hands.  Couple that with the fact that there are more combat veterans in America than most of the rest of the world combined and the likelihood of any nation taking on a UN sponsored mission to the USA slips to nothing.  Between our military, combat veterans, gangsters/mafia, gang bangers, and cowboys most other nations are more than a little afraid of us as it is.

With all of this in mind I see zero likelihood that there will be a UN mission to impose martial law or any other military action in the USA.  Any nations foolish enough to consider such an effort either don’t have the troops or can’t afford it.  The rest know better.

I welcome questions, opposing views, and discussion on this and any other topic I’ve written about.

The Prepper Project