The Coming National Security Case For A Tucson Rebirth

Tucson, Arizona [Photo courtesy City of Tucson]

From a national security perspective, the post COVID-19 world will look very different.  If prepared, Arizona will get many opportunities, all based upon a new set of Asia-centric policies.

Chief among them, unlike Obama’s faux 2012 declaration, will be a genuine, large-scale US “Pivot to Asia”.  This will be unique, given America’s much longer involvement with Europe.

One can absolutely bet on this vast swing to Asia.  It’s entered what I call the historic “Zone of Have-To.” Survival & dominance for America’s elites are at stake.

Along with all the usual NatSec cast will be a new player, the US Space Force.  Inasmuch as the Chinese have made no bones about their commercial & military ambitions in outer space.  Metro Tucson has a small edge here.

For the border states, as I noted before, “Mexico will be the new China for Manufacturing”. The Port of Guaymas, Sonora will be absolutely critical for secure shipments to the Pacific Basin from West Texas and the Rocky Mountain states.

Unfortunately, Tucson’s advanced sector economy is based almost exclusively on elephantine government; i. e. Raytheon, DMAFB, and UA.  It’s a double-edged sword.

Two of these don’t really source important stuff,  as in something from a high-tech supply chain, where R&D meets manufacturing or services… all produced by very well-paid employees.  More of that is coming our way if the Metro is able to attract it.

Currently, if Tucson’s elite think they got this covered, they’ve been hanging out too long at the gourmet weed shops in the Foothills & Oro Valley (hey, why get mugged in Tucson?).  Milton Friedman once observed liberals evaluate their deeds by “good intentions”, whereas conservatives have to evaluate by hard results.  What’s coming will be a wake-up call for Tucson’s good intentions gang.

The sad news is Tucson’s poor attractiveness to outside investment.  One immediate remedy is the restructuring of local government that badly needs a modern overhaul.  And that first means addressing the bloated & fossilized relic of the 19th century, Pima County.

It’s simply crazy to have 40%+ of the contiguous Tucson Metro—as formed by multiple, un-incorporated CDPs (Census Designated Places).  You’re throwing trashcans of money into a grotesque, arrogant, corrupt ‘el Patron’ Countysystem that lost its effectiveness decades ago.

Municipally combining 3 of these CDP-adjacent pairs would result in highly thematic, effective and economically healthy—standalone citiesMassive efficiencies in local governance would be quickly achieved.

I could see these combinations with similar characteristics & cachet, i.e. geography, lifestyle, and culture, being successful right out the chute.   What makes it work is their physical size and (2020 est) populations; i.e. Casa Adobes & Flowing Wells (31 sq.mi.) = 90,000 people;  Catalina Foothills & Tanque Verde (75 sq.mi.) = 65,000 people;  Valencia West & Drexel Heights (29.5 sq.mi.) = 55,000 people.

Believe me, what’s coming is a given: as long as the leadership of Metro Tucson stays confused about what a quality metro really looks like, you’re going to miss the bonanza.  You have another opportunity here (i.e. the ‘Asia Pivot’) to halt your ruinous decline into squalor & rot.  Don’t fumble it.

Sellers is a South Park Republican who lives in incorporated Oro Valley.  His background is federal tech-transfer commercialization. 

About Bill Sellers 45 Articles
Sellers is a South Park Republican who lives in incorporated Oro Valley.  His background is federal tech-transfer commercialization.  Contact him at Sellers is also a grad of Clemson’s Architecture School and the University of NC School of Business. He was a founding member of the Albuquerque Friday Morning Breakfast Group (’82-’96) which elected numerous conservatives. He has lived in the SouthWest & PacNorthWest more than 40 yrs.