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The military industrial complex and mandatory services 

Dear Editor,

While this idea may sound bizarre or insane, if I was prime minister, I should relinquish tourism as our number one industry and replace it with both natural resources and a new military development sector.

With the many deficits we have in both national security and regional security, we can take advantage of the close proximity to the United States and begin the process in purchasing military equipment from defense contractors and companies, all in the form of contracts.

This will properly equip our marines to handle more tasks and we can further train them to combat the threats of the 21st century.

Then, the development sector can create new naval equipment, law enforcement technology, aircraft parts to new military bases and armed frigates.

Police officers and military soldiers can test out new equipment, allowing National Security to use data to find the right equipment for individuals serving The Bahamas.

We can also sell our naval technology to other countries in this region.

This industrial complex will be funded by 10 percent of the sovereign wealth fund and natural resources, and the rest will be from GDP surpluses and foreign investors.

Thanks to the low population, purchasing or creating military defense projects are less expensive and easier on the wallet.

This new industry will bring not only new revenue, but it will also bring forward mandatory services to put an end to the poor work ethics and bad behavior in young people, and fix the manpower issues in national security.

I would take a page out of South Korea’s military service and implement the long-awaited mandatory national services.

Mandatory national services will be implemented for people from 18 to 29 for all young Bahamians and foreigners who recently became citizens.

Candidates and/or parents will fill out forms and bring proper documents to be selected for police and military service, and young people found unemployed will have to enlist like all the others. The exceptions to this law would be if the individual has any sort of serious illnesses, serious criminal offenses or if the individual is heading off to college or university overseas.

Selection will take place twice a year and training will be extended to last for six months, and national service will also last for three years.

The best capacity for new trainees is about 320 to 500 recruits, which is more than enough to solve manpower issues.

During training, candidates will learn how to handle issues in different methods without resorting to violence, learn self-defense, how to adapt to military and civilian standards in the open world and how to think before acting.

Afterward, they will learn physical training, mental discipline, firearms handling, squad tactics, police and military roles in combat and non-combat situations and much more for enlisted soldiers, police officers and commissioned officers and military commanders.

Upon completion of training, the individual can choose to go into reserves to protect the country here or serve as an active soldier or paramilitary police officer and deployed abroad to help the UN peacekeepers or aid NATO in other countries.

The starting salaries for police officers and military soldiers can start at $60,000 for the first year, then it goes up to $90,000 per year.

Physical and mental care will already be paid for three years and basic living conditions will be ensured to maintain high morale in national security. If any casualties occur, then the state government would donate $130,000 to the family of the victim as an apology.

With the military development industry and natural resources, our industries can spread to industrial manufacturing for non-military customers, shipbuilding and IT designers, private military security companies and cybersecurity companies.

With mandatory police and military service, it can finally solve our bad social habitats and poor work ethics for young people.

We can also be a respected nation for a change.

 – Ammaka Russell

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