One of the most common cries of the Statist is “Who would provide defense without the State?” The idea that the State somehow provides protection is observably false. If one examines military campaigns throughout history they will find that armies always defend the capital of the State as its top priority. It defends government facilities and officials first, and civilians are low on the priority list.
The military “defends” a civilian population in the same way that a wolf defends a calf, by consuming it. When an army moves into an area it expropriates all it needs. If its logistics cannot support it, it takes what it wants, and needs, from the population. It is of no consequence whether that population is its own citizenry or if they are foreign. The atrocities are brutal in either case. This is what the Statist who cries, “Defense! Defense!” either doesn’t realize or chooses to ignore. Even when the State does defend a civilian area, after it has prioritized its own facilities and those necessary to win the conflict, before any of that happened the civilians were already aggressed against to pay for everything the army does.
It doesn’t matter whether the priority of the military is truly to defend its civilian ward or not. Because of what it is, and how it runs, the military simply cannot defend the civilians! The claim that it does so is entirely fallacious, even if we naively assume that the military is there for us, to protect us, and its members are loyal and trustworthy. And because the nature of the State is consistent across time and distance, there is no reason to believe the US and its military will not eventually behave like other foreign, despotic governments.
As we can see from all these examples, State armies don’t defend their civilians when it doesn’t suit them. Armies always prioritize securing strategic positions and supplies, even at the expense of civilians, and States always prioritize conquest and the protection of their own centers of power. When States aren’t murdering their own people they are failing to defend them, as they prioritize defending themselves.