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World Association of International Studies

PAX, LUX ET VERITAS SINCE 1965
Post On Disarming
Created by John Eipper on 06/18/14 4:41 AM

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On Disarming (Tor Guimaraes, USA, 06/18/14 4:41 am)

My admiration goes to Vincent Littrell and Richard Hancock's patriotic zeal (17 June) regarding the need to stay in wars all over the world because we are militarily more powerful and don't want to create power vacuums.

I confess to having some intellectual difficulties with comparing Richard's observation that "the US has a history of disarming too soon after wars, [such as] after WWII. This resulted in the Cold War, because we had vastly superior armaments compared to our Cold War opponents, Russia and China. We could have defeated either or both of these two nations" with what is going on in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But I thank God that our better leaders decided that it was good enough to thoroughly destroy the Axis powers in WWII and live through the Cold War, only to see the USSR peacefully dismantle itself some time later.

Richard suggests we copy the British Empire as a model for success. Following this rationale, why not copy the Roman Empire and many others which lasted longer or conquered more territory?

Finally, Richard states: "I think that the US attitude on armament is somewhat immature because we appraise military costs in terms of how nice it would be if this money could be spent on other programs of convenience to us. As long as we maintain this attitude, we will not do a good job as a great world leader." This is completely wrong in my opinion. Let's not confuse military power with leadership of the world. Greater scientific knowledge, better technology and innovation have proven to be a far better vehicle for leadership. I believe that while a strong intelligence capability and military preparedness are critical, war itself should be waged only for immediate self-defense.

Military intervention (regardless of the disguise) should not be used as part of foreign policy, or as a vehicle for social, political, or economic manipulation, let alone for the profit of special interests, as it has been done in many places, including Iraq. Supposedly, we go to war with the ultimate objective of protecting the American way of life: freedom, democracy, a chicken in every pot, a high standard of living for the American middle class. It makes no sense to become the policeman of the world by sacrificing our main objective, making the whole world more miserable, and only bringing wealth to global arms manufacturers, some of our own enemies, and to other special interests.

JE comments:  Once again, it boils down to hard vs. soft power.  A question for further discussion:  to what extent does any empire throughout history offer the US a model for what to do?  The hard power legacies of the Roman Empire are gone; only the soft power aspects remain--language, culture, law, the arts.  We might even say the same thing about the British Empire.


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  • On Disarming and Empires (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 06/18/14 2:52 PM)
    With reference to Tor Guimaraes's excellent post of 18 June, together with JE's wise comments, let me add three considerations:

    1) Maybe Richard Hancock is right about the US not disarming in 1945 (but I did not notice this, as large US occupation forces are still around) and instead smashing both the USSR and Red China. Of course there could have been some collateral effects, such as the destruction of New York and other large cities, plus a world population of perhaps 3 billion now, compared to the current 7 billion...


    2) Hard power historically, sooner or later, is doomed. First of all, the subjects of the hard power do not like it, and the dominant power will eventually overreach, killing not only its enemies but also its own people in endless wars (the military interventions of the USA since 1945 have been countless) and finally overspending, at which point its economy will collapse and with that the empire. Frankly I hope I'm wrong on this second point; let's call it only an unrealistic intellectual construct.


    3) On the other hand, an empire based on soft power that develops culture, arts, law, science, economics without impositions or military bases will be a blessing for all. As pointed out by Tor, the arms should be kept ready but only for a strict defense of the homeland.

    JE comments:  I cannot recall if WAIS ever discussed the call to "roll to Moscow" post-WWII.  To my knowledge, with the exception of a few zealots like General Patton, US decision makers never seriously considered attacking Stalin.  Am I mistaken?
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  • "Managed Decline" of Empires (John Heelan, -UK 06/19/14 4:26 AM)
    JE asked on 18 June: "to what extent does any empire throughout history offer the US a model for what to do?"

    The following website makes some suggestions. http://www.forward-usa.org/id5.html


    Some highlights:



    "Of the two ways to end the inevitable Phase 3 of an Empire (Decline or Failure), it is far less painful to engage in a ‘managed decline,' or ‘nation restoration,' compared to a massive depression. England and France are examples. A 'managed' process would entail prompt action to:



    "1. Invoke a major change in foreign policy by; a. Terminating Empire-USA, and its role as policeman and bully of the world, and focus on homeland defense; b. Reducing spending and conflict by closing most, or all, overseas bases, and keeping only a minimal standing army (primarily State-controlled National Guard); c. Stop meddling in the affairs of other nations by force, sanctions, or bribery (no preemptive wars or occupations); and d. Promote free trade.



    "2. Invoke a similar change in domestic policy where: a. Federal spending is reduced by 50% or more; b. Creation of new fake money is ended; c. Sound money is introduced (paper is convertible to precious metal), and the Federal Reserve System is abolished; d. The Constitution and law are adhered to (with repeal of recent bad laws); and e. Market intervention (favors to firms, unions, people) is ended, and free enterprise capitalism is used.



    "These steps would help bring the government back to its proper role to: ‘Protect the personal and property rights of citizens, as individuals, from threat or violation by others.' With this approach, the USA and its citizens would enjoy a future of peace, prosperity, justice and good ethics. It always works! I cite W. Germany in 1948, and later, Prov. of Alberta-Canada, and New Zealand."


    WAISers' views on this Republican-esque and isolationist approach would be interesting.


    JE comments: This sounds less Republican than orthodox Libertarianism in the Ron Paul mold. (Especially the tenets of #2.) I don't understand what the precious metal standard has to do with ratcheting down US interventionism.  Nor do I grasp the significance of Alberta or New Zealand as useful models.  New Zealand in particular is a mainstream tax-and-spend social democracy.


    The author, Dave Redick, was born in Detroit and went to the University of Michigan.  His bio tells us that he's 6' 1" and weighs 215 pounds.  (In Alberta, New Zealand or W Germany, that would be 1.85 meters and 97 kilos.)

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