America Needs a New Grand Strategy

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

— President Dwight Eisenhower

Addison WigginDear Reader,

Reports say that President Biden’s 2023 budget proposal will give the military $770 billion — more money than has ever been allocated to our armed forces.

Compared to some of Washington’s recent spending initiatives, anything less than $1 trillion can seem quaint. But it’s still far more than China and Russia spend on their militaries — combined.

And what does the U.S. hope to achieve with that massive allocation? The country threw $2.3 trillion into Afghanistan with nothing to show for it. Such spending hasn’t deterred China or Russia from threatening its neighbors… leaving aside whether or not the U.S. should even care.

The politicos used to justify handing over large sums of cash to the U.S. Defense Department by claiming it was in support of a “Grand Strategy.” During the Cold War we were told it was necessary to prevent the spread of communism. After 9/11, they said we needed a strong military to fight terrorism.

It’s not entirely clear what the “Grand Strategy” is today. But in this week’s Wiggin Session, Charles Hugh Smith argues we need to hew a new one that’s directed at the internals of the United States.

“If we have grand strategies about security,” he tells me, “we have to focus on our domestic problem.” After all, “if the domestic society unravels, you’re not going to have any global power.”

That’s true even if you believe the U.S. needs all the weapons and troops it can get. “If our economy can’t support our giant military, then you’re not going to have it,” Charles says. “It’s kind of like the Roman era or in the Zhou Dynasty in China.”

His latest book, Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States, lays out everything this plan needs to address.

“Scarcity in essentials is going to be an issue going forward,” he says. “So everything that we want, like copper and oil and everything, it’s going to be more expensive and harder to get.”

Next is inequality. “If a handful of people control all the power, or most of it and most of the wealth,” Charles explains, “then you’re not going to have a society that’s very adaptive.” That’s because when money and control are in the hands of a few, “they’re going to run the system to benefit themselves.”

Finally, not surprisingly, there’s decentralization. The federal government is just too bloated and detached from everyday people to get anything done, as we’ve explained before.

“If you’re going to solve global problems like supply chains, or inefficiencies, or waste,” he says, “you’re going to have to deal with it locally.”

You’ll get to hear more about Charles’ vision for a national Grand Strategy when we post our conversation tomorrow.

Follow your bliss,

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin
Founder, The Financial Reserve

P.S. “I say thank God for the Canadian Truckers,” reader Brian H. counters our correspondence from yesterday. “They finally started the conversation about what’s really happening here — worldwide! Let’s hope and pray the masses will finally come to their senses and realize that there is no need to drive your car, alone, wearing a mask!”


“With half the nation (Rasmussen Jan’22) supporting Joe’s mandates,” writes Robert from Houston, “I’ve got to ask myself: Why? Maybe they’re all vaxxed up and don’t see why anyone would object to saving lives. Maybe. But should you force someone who disagrees?” Robert continues:

Regardless of fiat approvals, whether vaccines work or not, they are “experimental” by any rational definition. No one has had one for more than 20 months. Sure, millions have accepted jabs but numbers do not make up for time. Nine women cannot have a baby in one month!

New technology like mRNA would need a minimum of five years in human volunteers. More likely 15 to be proven. Plus multi-generations in an animal analog, of which I’ve seen no mention.

Forcing experiments on humans has hanged those responsible and should be treated as a crime against humanity today. Mandates and passports are backed up by force. Even “removing disinformation” may be criminal as it impairs informed consent. Once again, human rights are in conflict with democracy.

“Who wins?” Robert implores. “Neither!”

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin

Addison Wiggin is founder and executive publisher of Agora Financial LLC, an independent economic forecasting and financial research firm. He and Bill Bonner began writing the firm’s flagship Daily Reckoning in the midst of the tech boom and bust. It was one of the first widely distributed email newsletters on the Internet. The publication’s critical eye on finance and economics continues today. He’s also creator and editorial director of Agora Financial’s daily missive The 5 Min. Forecast.

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