All along the watchtower: KFS defensive strategy
The Kentucky Free State has a major strategic problem: its military forces are too small to defend its border from raiders. The five Infantry Regiments can man a few forts along the rivers that mark the KFS borders – but this does not allow them to prevent attacks and infiltrations. The KFS cannot even rely on these forts to make successful counter-attacks.
- mark the border to solidify the claim on land, control it
- trade and ally with nearby communities/towns/tribes as the “carrot” part of “carrot and stick”
- lower the expectation value for net raid profit
- use punitive expeditions as the “stick” in “carrot and stick”
As mentioned earlier, the forts and the natural barriers represented by the rivers aren’t capable of stopping many raiding party infiltrations. Their greater value is in the difficulties posed for the exfiltration (return) of a raiding party.
In theory, the border troops would be on “alert status” by the time of exfiltration, the raiders would be hunted (by armored cavalry and ground-attack aircraft) and they would likely be encumbered with loot and captives . Only really strong raiding parties would have a chance of making it out alive and retaining their booty.