It is customary in democratic countries to deplore expenditure on armaments as conflicting with the requirements of the social services. There is a tendency to forget that the most important social service that a government can do for its people is to keep them alive and free.
Marshall of the Royal Air Force Sir John Cotesworth Slessor,
Strategy for the West
I am not a pessimist by nature, but I do consider myself a realist. Despite Trump, the U.S. is rapidly moving in the direction of the British Isles and continental Europe: welfare-dependent, nannied in the nth degree, and politically correct to the point of feminization.
This “ambiance” will dominate the military-diplomatic sphere under the next Obama — who will arrive four or eight years from now, given the fickleness of the American electorate. The U.S. will then be open to military blackmail by a determined and strong regime in search of economic gains (e.g., de facto control of oil-rich regions) and political dominance over vast regions if not the globe. Inasmuch as the U.S. is properly and profitably engaged in the world (for the ultimate benefit of American consumers), the result will be vast harm to Americans’ interests.
Military blackmail by a state (or states acting in opportunistic coordination) might be accompanied by or follow in the wake of a major terrorist attack by an emboldened non-state actor. (I remember reading of evidence that bin Laden was emboldened to order the 9/11 strikes because previous U.S. responses to terrorism suggested softness.)
But such developments will come as a surprise to most Americans, whose solipsism blinds them to the realities of a world (out there) that hasn’t been — and won’t be — turned into a kindergarten by left-wing university administrators and faculty, generations of indoctrinated public-school teachers, tens of millions of their indoctrinees, politicians and otherwise hard-headed businessmen eager to signal their virtue by favoring political correctness over actual ability and accomplishment, and the media chorus that eagerly encourages and sustains all of with its skillfully slanted reportage.
When the surprise occurs, it probably will be too late to do anything about it, despite the sudden mugging by reality that will convert many leftists into conservatives.
Recommended reading and viewing:
Simon Sinek, “Millennials in the Workplace,” Inside Quest, October 29, 2016
Chenchen Zhang, “The Curious Rise of the ‘White Left’ as a Chinese Internet Insult,” openDemocracy, May 11, 2017
Mark Steyn, “Tomorrow By the Numbers,” Steyn Posts, May 10, 2017
Katie Kieffer, “Tick, Tock: EMP War Looms,” Townhall, May 15, 2017
Bruce Schneier, “Who Is Publishing NSA and CIA Secrets, and Why?” Schneier on Security, May 15, 2017
Liberalism and Sovereignty
The Media, the Left, and War
A Grand Strategy for the United States
The Folly of Pacifism
Why We Should (and Should Not) Fight
Rating America’s Wars
Transnationalism and National Defense
The Next 9/11?
The Folly of Pacifism, Again
Patience as a Tool of Strategy
The War on Terror, As It Should Have Been Fought
Preemptive War and Iran
Some Thoughts and Questions about Preemptive War
Defense as an Investment in Liberty and Prosperity
Mission Not Accomplished
The World Turned Upside Down
Defense Spending: One More Time
Walking the Tightrope Reluctantly
My Defense of the A-Bomb
Presidents and War