August 24, 2022

Permanent War for Permanent Peace

I don't know who first coined that phrase, but it describes our "grand strategy" since 1945. It also echoes Orwell's 1984, where there was always, in the background, a war going on that made no sense; it was just war for the sake of war. The Cold War was like that, and Biden, with this new $3b shipment to the Ukraine, seeks to revive it. He has told the Ukraine that he's thinking long-term: the war with Russia will probably go on for years.

One possible problem, however, is that the American people don't have very much upstairs. Their attention span is extremely short. What they want out of a war is quick destruction of the "enemy," such as they got when we destroyed Iraq in 2003. They lose interest if things start to drag out; the prolonged war sinks into the background. Their enthusiasm for this proxy war in the Ukraine already seems to have waned, although not for Biden, apparently. That Russia wants to protect its borders from America and NATO is not on his radar screen. This obvious fact eludes him, and in any case, he prefers to follow the old American playbook of forcing the "enemy" into a corner and then blaming them when they fight to protect themselves. Meanwhile, the $3b that could be used at home for so many badly needed things is pissed away on an illusion, one that we are desperate to maintain. One has to wonder if the American people even care, at this point. However, there is a larger playbook operating here, one that finally sent Rome to its grave: imperial overstretch. If we had a brighter populace, they would see that permanent war is self-destructive, and that we are witnessing our last days. It's not likely they will see that; in fact, it wd require an Act of God--something in short supply these days.