[FoRK] The Decline of Empires..

Strata R. Chalup strata at virtual.net
Tue Jan 4 08:25:51 PST 2005


It's been pointed out by numerous commentators, and independently 
evolved in ditto coffeehouse chats, that if the US slightly changed its 
military slant from "first offender" (eg, the recent tendency to 
pre-emptively strike) to "first responder" then several goals might be met:
	a) emphasis on aid and development would defuse some of routine anti-US 
hostility
	b) culture of First Response could be showcase for int'l cooperation, 
rebuild some bridges that GWB shat caustically upon
	c) provide better US-taxpayer bang for the buck in domestic disaster 
(eg recent hurricanes, flooding, forest fires)
	d) gain access to some bases of operation that would not welcome a 
purely military presence, but could justify a response-based presence

Note that the emphasis shift does NOT in any way rule out maintaining 
combat readiness.  It provides humanitarian aid and non/less lethal 
training in realworld situations, builds goodwill, and possibly starts 
to take some of the crustiest verdigris off the US' image in developing 
countries.

If we accept that the Middle East is a seething pit of generations-old 
resentment against the West in general and the US in specific, we might 
also recall that anti-US sentiment is not institutionalized in AsiaPac 
yet.  Tsunami aid is a beginning.  Aid-oriented presence is the next 
step.  Otherwise the existing regional ties to Islam will naturally 
drift into anti-US sentiment as the desert Islamic cultures continues 
its outreach to the tropical Islamic footholds.

_SRC

Gordon Mohr wrote:
 > ...
> I'm sure it could be more efficient, but on a few major criteria, measured
> on the scale of decades, the US military is doing pretty well. What I'd
> like to see in national defense is:
> 
> (1) No more "world wars"
> (2) Few military attacks against US people, territory, or property
> (3) No emergent militaristic powers with the inclination and resources to
>     begin arms races or expansionist regional wars
> (4) No foreign power able to militarily coerce the US or its constituents
> 
> We've done pretty well on those fronts, albeit at a great financial cost
> and human cost in regional conflicts. But against the alternatives?
> Someone's got to have the biggest, baddest military capabilities; if it
> weren't clearly us, a lot of other far less savory regimes would be 
> grabbing
> for that perch, and the dynamic competition and chances of worldwide
> conflict that would involve could quickly make the last 50 years of
> military expenditures look cheap.
 > ...
-- 
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Strata Rose Chalup [KF6NBZ]                      strata "@" virtual.net
VirtualNet Consulting                            http://www.virtual.net/
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